THe imagined from Taos, singer-songwriter Max Gomez, the Red River Folk Festival is an annual 4-day event held in the resort town of Red River, New Mexico.
Carefully curated by Gomez, the festival features both emerging artists and national tours, and is organized in partnership with the Miners Market Artisan Crafts Fair, drawing thousands of visitors to this charming venue every year.
Past headliners include Dave Alvin, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Shawn Mullins, James McMurtry, Michael Martin Murphey, The Secret Sisters, Jim Lauderdale, Max Gomez, Steve Poltz, Joe Purdy, Chuck Prophet and others. This year will not disappoint either.
Tempo has remained in contact with Gomez throughout the pandemic and continues to showcase all of his creative output, including the live broadcasts he has consistently broadcast throughout this troubled time.
We reunited with him again recently to hear about the Red River Folk Festival.
You’ve been busy during the pandemic broadcasting live concerts, but now you’re heading back to Rivière Rouge for a real festival, God willing! Tell us what to expect.
It will be another great festival! You can always expect great lineup, great weather and fresh mountain air at the Red River Folk Festival. It is a beautiful place to enjoy good music. You have to see the places to believe them.
Will COVID protocols be in place – how do event organizers plan to handle things this year?
I’m happy to share that this year the festival will be 100 percent outdoors. The Motherlode Saloon, which has hosted most of our evening concerts in the past, we have transformed it into an open-air hall. We’re going to have a large wedding-style tent in front of the living room with spaced seats and heat lamps etc. This changes a lot from previous years, but we are really happy to host a safer event. The other sites will be outside in the sun with plenty of room to stretch out. Regarding COVID, we are confident that we will handle the event in the safest way possible.
Can you tell us a bit about the programming?
We have Michael Martin Murphey, Bill Hearne, Chris Arellano. Some of the new New Mexicans, Joe Purdy and Esther Rose. Joe has been someone I have admired for many years. I just found out about Esther and we are delighted to have her with her group. Mary Gauthier is going to perform and I think she will be hosting a songwriting workshop. He is a very inspiring person and a great artist. Did I mention Junior Brown? He will play with his group and I will be in the foreground. My dad used Junior’s records in the car growing up. It will be great to see him in a small setting like this. Leslie Stevens is a series of sneak attacks. She is really a great artist at the level of the best. It is an honor to welcome all the musicians of Red River. Most are close friends and it is an annual party that we have so that we can all see each other and share stories and songs. The artists I mentioned here are part of our programming. Visit our website for the full program and schedule.
I imagine you wrote a storm – can we expect a new recording soon?
I work on a song whenever I get the chance! In fact, I just released a new recording of an old blues song, “Key to the Highway”. But I plan to start a new album of original songs in the fall.
Would you like to add anything else?
Yes! Our little festival in Red River has a fairly small capacity and we’re almost sold out as is, so don’t wait to grab a ticket if you’re planning on coming. We will be refueling soon. But don’t forget that our afternoon shows in the park (12 p.m. to 5 p.m.) have a larger capacity and cost only $ 10 to enter. Even less for children. We would love to see you there.