Thirsty Ear Festival Brings Global Roots to Santa Fe

- May 17, 2012

“Roots music at its best…”

Thirsty Ear Festival, the four-day music extravaganza, returns to Santa Fe for its 13th annual incarnation June 6-10. This year's festival is centered around Santa Fe Sol (AKA Santa Fe Brewing Co.), with satellite events at other venues. Santa Fe Sol features both indoor and outdoor stages, and plenty of food, beverages and a full array of craft brews.

This year’s lineup features many favorites, including Sister Carol, Mary Gauthier, Birds Of Chicago (Featuring Po' Girl's Allison Russell and JT and The Clouds' Jeremy Lindsay), Robert Belfour, Ana Egge Band, Chipper Thompson, Dirt Daubers, Stray Ravens, Akeem Ayanniyi (African Drumming For Kids), Broomdust Caravan, Free Range Ramblers and Kate Mann.

At New Mexico’s premier roots music event, you expect to hear lots of blues and other musical idioms from deep in the roots of American music, but, as always, Thirsty Ear uses this annual celebration of music to cram new sounds into the spaces between your ears. Each festival is an opportunity to expand the possibilities in those spaces.

Take this year’s group chosen for the Kick-Off Party on Thursday, June 7 at 7:30 p.m. at Sol Santa Fe: The Legendary Shack Shakers. These hillbilly punk rockers are just such a group. The word legendary always brings up connotations and questions: Legendary – who says so? So I went to the Thirsty Ear website. Here’s what they had to say about this group: “If Iggy Pop were to front a hillbilly band, you get a fair picture of what The Legendary Shack Shakers are all about. Drawing on punk and polka, blues and goth rock, rockabilly and moonshine music, the band's Kentucky roots keep interweaving with newer, crunchier forms.”

Okay, I’m there! Where do I get tickets? Well, like many festivals you can buy tickets for individual events or you can buy an all festival pass, which gets you into everything, at all venues, all the time.

And, by the way, if you have kids, don’t despair; you can bring them and still have a good time. All shows are “all ages” and kids get in free. There’s a Kids Corral, with arts, games and crafts that will keep kids going all weekend long at Sol Santa Fe. They will probably crash about the time you do and all of you can get some rest after the weekend. Checkout the Kids Corral on Sunday the 10th for the kids’ African drumming session with master Nigerian drummer Akeem Ayanniyi.

Tickets are available at a variety of locations and, for specific show times, venue locations and more information on the artists, visit the Festival’s website.