Sabinal sisters take music to another classic level

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The Sabinal sisters are two of a kind. Playing a variety of music from old rock to western swing, these two ladies know exactly what they’re doing. Playing their music in Sabinal, N.M., where they met, hence their name, Sabinal Sisters — Beth Crowder’s and Joyce Yoxall’s interest in music has brought them together.

Yoxall grew up on farm in Kansas, and Beth was born in Long Island, N.Y., and moved to New Mexico when she was 11. They have been singing and playing guitar together for 15 years, after meeting through a mutual friend. Crowder was looking for someone to sing with when Yoxall moved into the neighborhood.

“We love to jam with people more than anything,” Yoxall said.

This is Crowder’s third year as a part-time singing teacher at Cottonwood Valley Charter School. She teaches students how to sing and play percussion. This year, the students will be learning more about world music in African and Caribbean drumming. The students will also do some extra workshop training, and Crowder will be teaching curriculum to her students about old and new composers. This year, students will also learn more about how to play the drums, and Crowder wants to open the after school program up for other elementary school students to join in and learn how to drum as well.

“I always had music around. I heard my sister play piano and I played piano at 5 years old once,” Yoxall said.

Yoxall got her music inspirations from the radio, listening to artists such as Patsy Cline and Nat King Cole. Her favorite artists are The Beatles, James Taylor and Joni Mitchell. Crowder likes John Denver and James Taylor. The women cover “storyteller” songs and often harmonize together, Yoxall said. They play at the Blue Door Pizza Parlor in Bosque and Sofia’s Kitchen once a month. They also play for private parties or benefits, Yoxall said.

“Music is a different form of communication with people I know and love,” Crowder said.