With the historic Socorro Plaza as the venue and a loaded lineup of diverse and talented musicians, the annual Socorro Fest Sept. 15 and 16 aims to provide two days of rock and roll, country, folk, oldies, blues, and more for music lovers. The city of Socorro and New Mexico Tech’s Performing Arts Series (PAS) jointly sponsor the annual music fest to entertain and delight residents, students, tourists, and music enthusiasts of all ages. All are invited to attend the free all-ages festival, which also will include a kids’ corner with a bouncy house and imagination blocks, spirits tent, food and arts vendors, 3-on-3 basketball tournament, and eSports demonstrations from NMT competitors.
Three music stages – Historic Plaza, Capitol Bar & Brewery, Box Canyon Brewing Company– will feature performers from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 15, and noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16. The Spirits Tent — operated by Capitol Bar & Brewery, Bodega Burger Company and Wine Shop, Black Smuggler Winery and Box Canyon Brewing Company– offers a classic beer glass for the $10 entry fee. Those who enter on Friday may bring their glass back on Saturday.
A major SocorroFest headliner is The End of the Innocence — A Salute To The Songwriters, a national and international touring act delivering a high-energy, high-level show, performing a full range of chart-topping Grammy award-winning hits from Don Henley, Paul McCartney, Neil Diamond, Dan Fogelberg, and Glenn Frey. The musical group has opened for such big names as Kenny Loggins, Little River Band, Randy Meisner, America, Three Dog Night, Kansas, Charlie Daniels, 38 Special, and Hotel California: A Salute to the Eagles. SocorroFest attendees will hear them perform songs such as: “Hey Jude,” “I Am I Said,” and “Desperado.”
The festival’s marquee performer is Gonzalo, a Spanish dance music star originally from Las Vegas, New Mexico, who, in addition to performing hits such as “Adolorido” and “Sin Sal Ni Limon,” also owns and operates a Taos-based music production company, The New Mexico Music Factory.
“He is a New Mexico fave,” said PAS Director Ronna Kalish. “His Spanish music should get everyone up and dancin’.”
Local talent also will take the stage during the two-day music fest, including (a full detailed schedule of performers, with dates, time, and location of their performances, is online at nmt.edu/pas):
Friday, 9.15.23 – Plaza Gazebo Stage
- Pepper Jam – 6-7:30pm Bluegrass, folk, and Americana music, features Francie Deters, Mariah Carter, Neil Haverstick, and Jim Ruff.
- Mesa Blue – 8-9:30pm Spanish, country, and oldies.
Friday, 9.15.23 – Capitol Bar Stage
- Johnny Dean – 5-6pm Classic rock, country and folk covers and lots of originals.
- Wredemppshun – 6:30-7:30pm Pronounced “Redemption,” a multi-generation group playing a mixture of rock, folk, and bluegrass.
- Rhythm Prophets – 8-9:30pm Hard-rocking, established group of seasoned musicians playing original and cover tunes that range from blues to classic to hard rock.
- Fullish Professors 10-Midnight – With musical influences ranging from Americana and folk to popular, and even some ‘80s mixed in. In their day jobs at NMT, Julie Ford, vocals, is a professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department; Steve Simpson, vocals and guitar, is a communication professor and dean of Arts and Sciences; Ephraim Ford, bass, is head of NM Engineering at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory; Paul Demorest (saxophone) is a scientist at NRAO; and Andrew Wagg (drums) is working at EMTRC after just graduating with a mechanical engineering degree. They are guided by Neil Peart’s poetic lyric “All this machinery making modern music can still be open hearted.
Friday, 9.15.23 – Box Canyon Brewing Company Stage
- Vanessa Ruane 5-6pm
- Tyler Lam 6:30-7:30
- Why Knot 8-9pm
Saturday, 9.16.23 – Plaza Gazebo Stage
- Tyler Lam 12:45-1:30pm – Musically inclined growing up, Lam always loved music, mostly country, rock, oldies, the American classics, and a little Spanish/New Mexican music and he started playing guitar at age 10. He never played publicly – aside from school talent shows – until last year when he started playing at open mic at The Capitol Bar and then at Box Canyon Brewery. His first solo gigs this summer have been at the Socorro Farmers Market, Box Canyon Brewery, and at the Cap. Lam counts George Strait, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Waylon Jennings, and Johnny Cash among his influencers.
- Technical Differences 2-3pm – Featuring former NMT students, this band plays pop tunes, oldies, and contemporary rock.
- The Murillos 3:30-4:30pm – Spanish, country and oldies.
- Blue Monday – Rockin’ blues featuring Gene Cole on vocals, Jim Ruff on bass, Neil Haverstick on guitar, Tom Hunt on saxophone, and Rob Long on drums.
Saturday, 9.16.23 – Capitol Bar Stage
- Terri Sunflower 1-1:45pm – Terri is a prolific, heartfelt, thoughtful and fun singer-songwriter.
- Why Knot? 2-2:45 – Folk and oldies trio with Steve Cather on vocals and guitar, Martha Cather on keyboard, guitar and accordion and backup vocals, and Jim Ruff on bass.
- Roon 3-3:45 – This trio plays good timin’ folk rock and originals with all three on vocals, Ronna Kalish on guitar, keys and harmonica, Johnny Dean on guitar and bass, and Jim Ruff on mandolin and bass.
- Shelbi Etscorn 4-4:45 – Contemporary and classic songwriters delivered with Shelbi’s dynamic vocals and engaging personality.
- Pete Gonzales and Carl Lukesh 5-5:45pm – Some of your favorite oldies played by guitarist singer Pete Gonzales, and the seasoned guitar riffs of Carl Lukesh.
- Flat Note Society 6-7pm – Featuring classic, contemporary and original rock by Colleen Gino on vocals, drums and guitar; Dylan Etscorn on bass, William Eveleth on guitar, Ben Thomas on guitar, with Bill Patridge and Shelbi Etscorn making vocal guest appearances.
- Fuzzy Logic 7:30-8:30pm – Classic, contemporary and original rock with the powerful vocals and stage presence of Val Thomas, Ben Thomas on guitar, Colleen Gino on Drums, Clifton Murray on bass, and Jay Blanchard on keyboards.
- Moondogs 9-Midnight – This group is a five-piece jam band from Albuquerque, offering a blend of lively originals and multi-genre interpretive covers of artists from Al Green and Tom Petty to Alabama Shakes and Joss Stone.
Saturday, 9.15.23 – Box Canyon Brewing Company Stage
- The Socorro Synth Society 2-3pm
- Jazz Action 3:30-4:30pm
- Terri Sunflower 5-6pm
- Midnight Run 7:30-9pm