Blowhards to compete in Socorro
If you think the Albuquerque’s Balloon Fiesta has cornered the market on hot air, think again. There’ll be plenty of hot air blowing around at the third annual SocorroFest Harmonica Contest on Saturday, Oct. 9, on the Historic Plaza in Socorro.
The organizers of SocorroFest, a free, two-day music festival featuring live music on three stages, are inviting harmonica players from near and far to bend it like Butterfield and show off their mad harp skills for a wildly enthusiastic crowd of music lovers and the chance to win $500 in cash prizes.
Harmonica players, do you sometimes feel you can’t get no respect? Are you tired of being told to leave your accompanist at home because there are no dogs allowed?
Well, in Socorro you don’t have to suck it up and take it. At the Third Annual Socorrofest Harmonica Contest, you and your $25 entry fee will be welcomed with open arms.
The rules are simple. Contestants will have five minutes to wow the judges with any harp they can pull out of their pocket and any trick they can pull out of their hat. Any brand of harmonica, any style of instrument, any style of music.
The emcee this year is big, bad Bobby Olguin — that’s right, the man who bested Bobby Flay in front of a national audience on the Food Network in the Green Chile Cheeseburger Throwdown.
Olguin is the host of the Land of Enchantment’s smokin’ new TV show, New Mexico’s Hot Chefs. We’re talking about some of the finest, hottest air around. Bobby Olguin doesn’t just make the best green chile cheeseburger in New Mexico — the man also plays a mean tin sandwich.
Olguin and the rest of his band, a motley crew of local musicians and chile cheeseburger aficionados who call themselves Blue Monday, will perform on stage before and after the contest, so you can hear for yourself.
That alone is worth a trip to Socorro, never mind the rest of the 36 continuous hours of live music packed into three stages and featuring Terrance Simeon and the Zydeco Experience playing not one, but two nights on the outdoor Plaza stage.
Last year’s Harmonica contest drew players from Santa Fe, Conchas Dam, Truth or Consequences and even Austin, Texas. Videos of some of last year’s finalists are posted on the festival’s website at www.socorrofest.com.
Editors note: Suzanne Barteau is serving on the SocorroFest committee.
Contact Suzanne Barteau