Sarah Mowrey

Sarah Mowrey – Improv extraordinaire, stand-up comedian, social activist, all around renaissance woman and Albuquerque local. Mowrey is a recent graduate of UNM in University studies, She started with improv and sketch comedy there. Later moving into stand-up comedy and tackling social issues head on in her sets.

Mowrey, who is thinking about returning to UNM in the near future, is currently busying herself running Comedy Question Mark. It was founded in 2010 on the UNM campus, but now has become a weekly Friday night show at The Box in Downtown Albuquerque. 2010 is also the year that Mowrey began doing Improv and sketch comedy. It was 2011 before she tried stand-up. The difference between improv and stand-up? Mowrey explains, “With stand-up, you’re on stage alone, but with improv, you have a buddy – someone else to bounce ideas off of. So even if it’s stupid, the rule in improv is to go with it.” Sketch comedy is improv with a script. When asked to choose between the them, there is no choice. They are all very different and mind-expanding in their own ways.

On Wednesday nights, she co-hosts the open mic night at Broken Bottle Brewery on the west side of Albuquerque. Here you will get a chance to see her MCing skills and stand-up comedy. It’s a free show with some great microbrews to quench your thirst. Mowrey wants to reach out to women comics, in particular, since here, in Albuquerque, there are still so few comparatively. “Women’s voices need to be heard as much as the males,” explained Mowrey. It’s hard to be a female comic. Even today, they are expected to only tell certain kinds of jokes. “Any guy can stand up on stage, tell dick jokes, and get a laugh,” shares Mowrey. “But if a girl stands up and says vagina, then everyone gets uncomfortable.” Sarah has made it her mission to motivate women and get women’s humor out there. Women in comedy, like anywhere else, are scrappier and work hard at comedy. But, here in Albuquerque, guys in the scene are supportive of women, so all you ladies out there with a funny bone come out to one of the open mic nights popping up around town.

Mowrey uses her talents and charms in other outreach programs and benefits for the community. Equal rights for everyone is a big issue for her. It shouldn’t matter sex, color, or preference. She also donated her time to raise funds for people suffering in Ferguson, in the wake of a police shooting. “I’m dedicating my time to this cause, because what’s happening in Ferguson has been a huge violation of human rights,” expressed Mowrey. “Since I don’t have the resources to give out of my own pocket, I want to dedicate some time to help raise money.”

She’s not asking for much out of her dream of comedy. She wants to go far in stand-up, so she can be political and incite change in the world. If possible, she would like to be able pay her bills and donate time to help causes she believes in. She wants young comedians to come out and check out all the open mics in town. Get involved and let your voice be heard – changing the world one joke at a time.
Check out more at http://www.NMentertains.com

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Doug Stanhope

“You can think you’re absolutely dying the worst death in your whole career and then you say good night to a standing ovation”- Stanhope on British audiences

Since 1990 Doug Stanhope has committed his life to the art of stand-up comedy. With subject matter ranging from his thoughts about Abortion being Green; over population needs to be handled and he has some colorful ideas to help you down that path, or starting a charity fundraiser Atheists Unite on Indiegogo, to help an atheist who lost her home in the bible belt move elsewhere, or even to the death of his own beloved mother. Stanhope is an equal opportunity Drag your dirty little secrets in to the light of day kind of guy. So if you’re easily offended stay home, or better yet bring the protest, I’m sure he would have a few choice words for you and your following.
Stanhope, a self-proclaimed lazy man, moved from Los Angeles to the middle of nowhere Arizona for a peaceful life. Touring most of the year doesn’t leave Stanhope much time for anything else, but even he couldn’t resist when he received a phone call from Johnny Depp to work on a project. “It’s a secret, but not that secret of project.”
Coming back to the Duke City to play Launchpad October 9 for the second year in a row is good news to the veteran comic. For a long time it was rare to play a venue and be allowed back. On Laff’s the (now defunct) comedy club in Albuquerque, “When they were open they wouldn’t touch me with a stick, so it’s great to be invited back.”
Like most comics, Stanhope started at an open MIC night with the hope of getting the ladies. “I couldn’t sing, I wasn’t good looking, but I could make ‘em laugh” He never had aspirations of turning comedy into a career but some callings are too strong to ignore.
Whether he is offending your morality, insulting your favorite pastime, or attacking your corporate overlords, Stanhope is nothing but honest when it comes to airing his grievances with the world and is not to be missed.

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Souvenir Shop

Flash Fiction 48 hour challenge: location truck stop, prop diamond ring, genre suspense

     A collector of trash finds not all souvenirs are what they seem

     Inhaling slowly from the cigarette pressed between his lips he watched through the kitchen window waiting on the only customer. Customers were few and far between in the greasy spoon and employees even fewer. The ones that did come to work never did last long. He remembered cursing the day he inherited this dump from his scumbag of a father. But, that was also the day he found the collection in the basement. He would finish what his dad started, a tribute to a bastard.
He exhaled slowly tapping the ashes from the cigarette on to the grimy floor, before flipping over the burger on the grill. His eyes watched as her golden blonde hair swayed in the sunlight while she wiped down the faded tabled with a rag. She always scrubbed a little harder when she was going to use it. The way her hips moved back and forth reminded him of the need that he had to fill. His smile grew as he plated the burger and fries and rang the bell. Tonight would be the night.
Annie bit into the burger causing grease to flow down her arm and onto the dingy table. She had been at this truck stop, just left of hell, almost a week and she was tired of waiting. She dropped the burger down on to the paper wrapper and wiped her mouth with a napkin. She broke a piece of the meat off and tossed it across the table to the cockroach that lived in the cushions on the other side of the booth. She watched the critter scurry out grab the meat and drag it back to the hole it lived in. Unlike the roach she refused to continue to dwell in unsanitary filth for very long. Her fingers stroked the diamond ring hanging from the string around her neck, hidden by her dirty grey tank top. Blinking back the tears she gathered her trash and retied the apron around her waist.
She locked doors just after midnight flipping off the lights. Her boss, the cook, had left hours ago. She stretched her arms over her head with a yawn, and walked back into the storage room. She peeled off her clothes and walked into the employee bathroom. In the sink she used her tank top as a washcloth and slowly bathed herself. While she dripped dry she washed out her the rest of her clothing and hung them about the small room. She padded carefully to the back of the storage area where a small cot was set up. With a sigh she lay out on the bed and closed her eyes picturing better days.
Biting his lip he allowed his excitement to grow as he watched her safely hidden behind shelves of food. He turned the long sharp knife over and over in his hand; he still got stage fright before the kill. He rubbed himself against the end of the shelving unit. He’d been waiting a long time for a pretty blonde to come his way. He would savor the moment. He eyes darted to the trapdoor a few feet away. Just under it was his family. A beautiful brunette, a redhead, and a blonde still wearing her clothes from the 60’s that father had left, but they all smelled of him. This one had been kind enough to remove her clothes so he wouldn’t have to find a new outfit to display her in.
He had been practicing on the trash that rolled through here for years. It had taken him many tries to perfect the taxidermy methods in his father’s journal. After many messy mistakes he was sure this would be the one. He watched as her body relaxed and her chest began to rise and fall more slowly. He would make it a quick jab in the neck. She would bleed out quickly and the hole could easily be repaired or cover. He moved slowly towards the bed forcing his hands to steady. He loomed over her for a moment before raising the knife. Closing his eyes in anticipation, he plunged the knife down, but something wasn’t right.
His eyes popped open to see Annie’s crystal blue eyes staring into his, her hands gripping his wrist tightly. With a low growl Annie wrenched his wrist and pulled her legs up wrapping them around his neck. She slammed his head into the wall behind the bed before pulling him down on the bed and tightening her legs. Pulling with all her strength, his shoulder made a loud cracking noise and the knife fell from his hand. His groan muffled by the blanket on the bed. She tightened her legs until the struggling ceased.
She kicked the limp body into a pile on the floor and made sure there was no sign of life. Reaching into her backpack she pulled out a list of names, missing girls from the area from the last 50 years, and satisfyingly stuffed the list into his mouth. Standing, she caught a glimpse of the ring still hanging around her neck, a stark reminder of why she still does this. It wouldn’t bring her back the love she lost, but it was a reason to keep going. She stepped over the body and lay down to sleep. Her clothes would be dry by morning and she would move on.

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Behind a 48 film

Bombing down I25, my eyes barely open, gripping my coffee, I ask myself,  “Why are you out of bed before 7am on a Saturday – willingly?” The answer to that? I wanted to see how to make a movie. Not a feature film, mind you, but a 48 Hour film festival film. New Mexico’s own Friends of Film has invited me on set to see what goes into the making of a film. This will be all new to me. I have never been on a film set before and I can’t wait to see what happens.

A little background on The 48 Hour Film Festival.  This festival began in 2001 in Washington DC. The brain child of Mark Ruppert and his filmmaking partner Liz Langston, who now reside in Albuquerque, the goal was to push creativity to the extreme. The participants are given a genre, a prop, a line and a character that they have to work into a script. They don’t just have to write a screenplay in that time-frame, they have to write, shoot, and edit the footage over one weekend. The drawing happens about 7:00pm on Friday night and the writers jump into action, putting together a script, and have it sent out hopefully by 5:00am the next morning. Then the crew will spend 12 hours or so shooting, another 12 hours or so editing, handing in the completed work by Sunday at 7.  Each group can choose how they want to work and can secure the cast’s shooting location and equipment in advance of the contest.

Back to the morning, I’m late, of course, for call time, but I get here in time to hear the pep talk. This group will wrap shooting in 12 hours, no matter what. Safety first, followed by fun, and hopefully it will translate into a great short film, between 4½ and 7 minutes long. Like a full-length feature, they have actors and actress in costuming and make-up and a full crew.  Everyone breaks from the huddle to get their area up and running. This gives me a chance to talk with the writers and find out what it’s like to write a movie overnight. Jaqueline Loring and Cliff Gravel are on hand since they wear multiple hats in the production. Kathleen Gonzales, the third writer, has gone home to get some sleep, but will be back later. Jacqueline and Cliff walk me through the night. First the phone call about what genre was drawn and then a brain-storming session with the cast and crew about how the movie should progress. By 9:00pm, it’s left to the writers to brainstorm and write together. By 1:00am, they are laughing so hard that they know they’re on to something. Somewhere between 2:00am and 3:00am, the script is written, edited, and then sent out around 3:30am to the cast and crew to begin prep work for the 7:00am call.  “It’s unusual to have time to edit when working like this.” says Loring.

Friends of Film, Video and Arts Albuquerque is a cooperative that is run by its members since 2004. The group not only sponsors a 48 hour film crew, but participates and helps in many film endeavors in New Mexico. Anyone of any background can join, as long as you have a strong love for making a film. Throughout the year, FoFVA holds monthly meetings, workshops, and helps members get in touch with one another. Look them up on Facebook and try out one of their meetings.

In the 48 Hour group, sponsored by FoFVA, anyone can volunteer to be on the crew. No one is paid, but it’s a great opportunity to try something different. On this film, the Director, Michael Miller, has worked in many areas of filming before.  He and his Assistant Director (AD), Carmen Tsabetsaye, who keeps things on track, have done worked together before. Many of the other members of the crew are also experienced, but are trying out new areas. Director of Photography and camera operator, Elizabeth Waites, has worked on set before, but this will be her first time behind the lens for a film. Local actors hone their skills working on these demanding projects. “It’s not about winning,” shares Miller. “It’s about being safe, learning, and having fun.”

The editors of the film go to work, as soon as the first scene is shot and sound splicing begins. There is no time for being ideal on a shoot like this. Shooting wraps about 7:00pm Saturday and full-on editing takes place. “It takes about twice as long to edit a film, then the shoot time,” says Sheryl Brown.

Lacking in time, the movie is edited quickly, with the hopes of winning, but also knowing they can go back and clean it up –  enter it into other film festivals around the world. Sunday night, the movies are handed in at Tractor Brewing Company. The following Thursday and Friday, the Kimo will show all the competitors, even the ones that don’t qualify, for the official contest. From the groups shown, the best will go on to the final showing Friday night at the Kimo. There is a lot of competition out there with great crews filming and working all over New Mexico trying to win. Over 120 cities across the country hold a 48 Hours competition and there are nations competing all over the world. This project, Sir Acheron’s Party by FoFVA, won for sexiest use of prop in the end. If you want to know how check out the 48 Hours Film Festival and find out more.

The speed, creativity, and technical know-how that go into producing a film of any kind is mind-boggling to say the least. For every minute you see on your large or small scene, there was approximately an hour of filming to bring it to you. So, the next time your watching your favorite movie, remember to give thanks for all the knowledgeable hard-working people that put it together for your viewing pleasure.

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The Hillerman Legacy Continues

911860.spiderwomansdaughterJournalist, turned novelist, Anne Hillerman has been writing from an early age, following in her father’s footsteps. From article writing to editing and now restaurant reviews, Hillerman ran the gambit in the newspaper world. Back in 2004, for she began the Tony Hillerman Writers Conference in honor of her father, and now has written her first novel picking up the series her dad left behind.

Anne began her career over twenty years ago, starting out as a copy editor, and then moving into reporting. She started at the Santa Fe New Mexican and then moved on to work for the Albuquerque Journal. Moving into reporting was a learning experience that Hillerman wouldn’t trade for the world. It helped her learnto write against deadlines, hone her skills to word counts, and gave her confidence in her writing abilities. Fact sorting was the most relevant skill she learned for her later career as a fiction writer. There are so many facts and details that a writer can add to a story or an article. It takes discernment to know which of these facts or details is going to impact the reader. It’s a skill that most writers spend lifetime learning. Hillerman states, “Being a reporter introduced me to some many different kinds of people and gave me a lot of confidence.” Taking on the role of editor allowed her to work with some talented writers. While helping other writers tighten their work and create stronger prose, Hillerman learned to refine her own writing.

Hillerman and her husband, Don, worked together to produce many books on New Mexico including: Santa Fe Flavors: Best Restaurants and Recipes (winner of the 2009 New Mexico Book Award), The Insider’s Guide to Santa Fe, and many other titles, none of which were novels. After her father, Tony HIllerman’s, death in 2008, she decided to write the next book in the series that her father had created. Hillerman wrote Spider Woman’s Daughter in 2013, partly cathartic, partly to honor her father’s memory, and, of course, to pay homage to the characters. The story, number 19 in the series, picks up with Leaphorn, Bernie, and Chee, with the addition of some new characters. Staying true to the main characters in the story, she gave her own twist to the new mystery and allowed all the characters to grow in the addition. Devote readers maybe be surprised who solves what in this installment of the series, but it will keep you guessing right up until the end. She is in the process of completing number twenty and signing a book deal for three more installments. These characters will be around to save New Mexico from the criminal elements for years to come. “I loved his stories,” Hillerman shares. “I love his characters… his setting.”

Wordharvest, founded in 2002 by Hillerman and Jean Schaumberg, supports the art of writing. They began the Tony Hillerman Writers Conference in 2004, now celebrating its tenth year, Tony participated in the inaugural conference that was focused for mystery writers. Originally intended to be a one time event, the conference went over so well that it became an annual event. It was opened up to create a space where writers of all genres could come to learn and share experiences in the 2010 Writers Conference. The event is three days long and held in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Day one consist of hands on writing workshops, day two the craft of writing, and day three the business of writing. The conference days are packed with speakers, special guests, and panels to give new and seasoned writers information on writing from all angles. Along with the conference, they run a contest for new mystery writers every year. “We thought it would be fun to shine the light on the wonderful talent that New Mexico has in terms of writers,” says HIllerman. Writers who have not published a mystery before can submit their mystery novel for a chance to win a $10,000 advance. Submission deadline is June 1st, and it must take place in the Southwest. Please visit www.wordharvest.com for details.

Anne Hillerman – talented writer, inspiring editor, and community involvement keep her busy and traveling all over New Mexico. She still finds time to do restaurant reviews during her travels. If you’re a mystery reader, or a writer, Anne Hillerman should be on your list of people to follow. She is doing amazing in the writing world and you can be a part of her journey.

 

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Where’s Norma Now?

Where’s Norma Now? That is the question everyone in Albuquerque will soon be asking. Armed with nothing but two GoPro cameras, and some wicked imaginations, three local ladies, with a great crew, have created the latest hotness, “Where’s Norma Now?” Sheryl Brown, Terry Hicks, Nina Knapp are the screenwriting – directing – producing power team behind this show, starring Teresa Longo and Cheryl Hooks.

The idea? A life long desk jockey, Norma Esperanzo, is given a GoPro camera at her retirement party. With time on her hands, Norma, now retired and widowed, has to face the question so many do. What comes next?  Norma hopes to answer that question throughout the first season of the show, while learning just what it means to live a life of adventure.

The team of Sheryl, Terry, and Nina came about this idea when Nina got a GoPro camera for fun. The struggle to get it out of the box alone was enough to spark ideas and hours of banter between these funny ladies. With a mostly female film crew and a high action shooting style, “Where’s Norman Now?” is a comedy about coming of age the second time around. The ladies on Team Norma has started a grassroots movement using social media to bring this web show to life around the world. So, along with Norma learning her new life, the team behind this movie is learning, too.

Social media, GoPro Camera, and web shorts are just part of the learning curve for experienced filmmakers to overcome. Luckily for us, the team is taking us along on the journey with them. Check out http://www.Wheresnormanow.com and see what the new face of retirement looks like.

For more on What’s going on in New Mexico check out New Mexico Entertainment Magazine

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Mikey Mayes

2014-08-11 20.07.25Mikey Mayes is 23 year-old on a mission to make people laugh. If any of you out there have ever hit the stage at an open MIC night and saw all those faces staring back you, you know it’s hard, but Mayes makes it look easy. With big dreams, and an even bigger funny bone, Mayes has plans to take Albuquerque by storm and then the world. A dictatorship of comedy might not be such a bad place to live, right?

At a place called Winnings, across from UNM, is where the magic first happened. They were hosting an open MIC poetry slam event. “It was a different open MIC,” says Mayes, “It had poetry guitars and dudes who smelled like feet. It was just sad everybody felt sad afterwards, told sad poetry.” Mayes decided he would go tell some jokes and see if he could get these people to laugh. Even though one of his friends tried to steal his thunder that night, he went on, made people laugh, and hasn’t looked back since. That was two years ago and he is still going strong.

Being an entertainer is a learning experience in more than one way. While Mayes is perfecting the art of comedy, he is working on self-promotion and getting gigs. There should be a list of Dos and Don’ts handed out to people when they decide to take the stage for an open MIC, but learning on the fly is working well for Mayes. “All that sounds cool,” shares Mayes. “But right now what I really want to do is be really good at stand-up.” Knowing Hollywood is in his backyard, Mayes still would rather prefect his stand-up comedy, then move on to a screen near you. “There was just something special about the old school dudes,” remarks Mayes. Connecting to a live audience is the driving force that keeps him going and strives for being extraordinary.

Mild manner and friendly off-stage, he has a big personality when he has a mic in his hand. If for some reason he feels he doesn’t make that connection with his audience, he will let them know and keep going. “I can tell if a joke just isn’t funny,” expressed Mayes. “Or if it’s not working with this audience.”  When preforming open MIC nights around town, his favorite spot is a tie between Back Alley Draft House and Broken Bottle – yes the one way out on the westside.

With his big ideas and big dreams, Mayes will go far in the stand-up world – here in New Mexico and aboard. Make sure you finish your drink before this young man takes the stage or you may be spitting it out all over your friends from the laughter, and no one wants to see that. Come on out or check out Mikey Mayes on Facebook to see where the laughs are going to be.

Check out more at New Mexico Entertainment Magazine 

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RJ Mitte

By Winter Flack

Back in New Mexico, after traveling the country, RJ Mitte feels like he returned home. Here in Albuquerque for Albuquerque Comic Expo (ACE), Mitte has a smile on his face, but the expo isn’t the only thing that has bought him back to the Land of Enchantment. He has a new project in the pipeline that is close to his heart, out here in the beautiful southwest.

Mitte first time out as an executive producer is for the film, Vanished: The Tara Calico Story. Having known the family of this nineteen year old who went missing without a trace, Mitte wanted to help bring peace to this small town in New Mexico and bring closure to the families involved in the 25 year-old mystery. Tara Calico of Belen, New Mexico disappeared one day while riding her bike never to be seen or heard from again. “Having a little sister, and knowing this could happened to her, made me want to bring awareness to people of the danger”. This project differs in so many ways from what people know RJ Mitte for. He’s not acting or being a spokesperson. He is helping to give a voice to someone who hasn’t had one in a long time. In the film he made it clear that the people they interview will do the talking and provide evidence. There will be no fancy editing or trying to point blame on his of the project, his goal, to bring truth to light for this missing girl and her family and closure to a cold case. Not what most people would expect from Walter White’s on screen son, but he did start out on Hannah Montana so he has a soft spot for Disney endings when ever possible.
At the ripe old age of twelve RJ moved with his family from Texas to LA so his younger sister could pursue a career in Hollywood. Initially all RJ planned for his Los Angeles adventure was to go to school and make some friends, but one day while looking for a new agent for his sister he received a proposal he couldn’t refuse. The agent wanted him to work in Hollywood. To RJ amazement he began doing background on tween televisions show while take acting lesson four times a week. “It was a whirlwind”. With in six months he landed a role on A&E’s Breaking Bad. He played Walter White JR the son of soon to be drug king pin of Albuquerque Walter White SR. The character suffered from a minor case of cerebral palsy like RJ himself.

The pilot for Breaking Bad will always be RJ’s favorite episode even through there were so many great times on the set. The first episode everyone knew they had something special going. “It was such a wealth of knowledge to work such amazing people.” Breaking Bad will always hold a special place in the hearts of the fans and the people who worked on the show. It was the first show of it’s kind, even promoting a funeral for the main character of the show, a fundraiser for healthcare for the homeless.

RJ also used the recognition he garnered from the show to speak out about cerebral palsy and how disabilities can affect people. “I don’t really think about it (cerebral palsy), in all honest”. He just wants to be seen as RJ doing whatever RJ is doing at the moment, he never took into account his disability. In his latest role on ABC Family’s Switch at Birth RJ plays a character confined to a wheel chair. “My new role I’m playing a paraplegic, I’m progressively getting worse”. Playing a paraplegic on set opened RJ eyes to how differently people with physical disabilities are treated by some. He’s not worried about being type cast in the role, because he makes the decisions on what roles he takes and when.

In the spirit of ACE RJ thinks he would make a great super villain. He wants to keep growing creating and trying new things whenever he can. When asked what he wants to leave behind for a legacy “I will always be a Breaking Bad kid. I already have a legacy even though it might fade”. Beyond Breaking Bad RJ wants to make a positive difference in the world and make sure his family is always provided for.
Growing changing and moving forward I the focus of RJ Mitte’s life, but he will always have a soft spot for his second home here in Albuquerque, and it will always have a soft spot for him. New Mexico hopes to see RJ back here again and again over his career in all the different roles he will be playing.

Check out more at NMEntertains.com

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Memphis P. Tails

Looking out over the dusty desert that is Albuquerque it’s hard to believe that deep inside this city beats the heart of the blues. But, sometimes looks can be deceiving. Albuquerque is not really known has a music town sometimes it can be difficult to find live music any where in town, but there is one band that has been playing here for over 20 years, Memphis P-Tails. Founded in 1993 they are easily one of the longest running local bands still on the scene here. Darin Goldston the founder of the Memphis P-Tails has the blues flowing through his veins and back in the 90’s he decided to do something about it. The band has gone through a few line-up changes over the years, with the latest and greatest being the best. The Memphis P-Tails can be spotted playing all over Albuquerque, with a standing Wednesday night at The Monte Vista Fire Station. This isn’t even a regular show for the band this is a jam session where anyone who knows the words or the chords can get up on stage and jam with the band. Some nights they set up in the back of the bar and other summer nights they will be out playing on the patio. “It’s a great time that our extend blue family can join in on” Darin. The P-tails use to be a traveling band but now they keep it to a minimum playing blues festivals in Silver City and Arizona. They love the scene they have created here locally. With families and kids at home Albuquerque is more then just a home base, it’s the place they want to stay. “I’m really proud of the band for playing as much and for as long as we have” Darin. When pressed on how to turn someone onto the Blues, Darin says start with the King, BB King that is. At some point in everyone’s life they can relate to the Blues. When looking for inspiration to write the next great Blue’s song Darin says it’s like anything else the mood has to hit. In case it’s not hitting put on some music the sound will never fail to inspire. A good drink and a good friend is all you need to enjoy singing the Blues .Checkout the Memphis P-tails on Facebook and find out where they are playing next, there is nothing like hearing the blues live. check out more at New Mexico Entertainment Magazine 

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Kansas Bleeds

KansasBleedsFrntNew Mexico native Melody Groves has a deep love for anything cowboy and Old West. Winner of six first-place writing awards, Melody is a member of Western Writers of America, SouthWest Writers and New Mexico Press Women. She writes for Wild West, American Cowboy, True West, New Mexico Magazine and other regional publications. When not writing, she’s busy playing rhythm guitar with the Jammy Time Band. Kansas Bleeds is a coming of age story everyone can relate to. Hotheaded teenager, overbearing father, big brothers putting in their two cents and negative outside influences, except this story is set in the old west where shootouts replace arguments and teenagers are considered grown-ups. Luke, our hotheaded teenage antagonist, is married and himself a parent who is trying to break free of his father’s views. But, it’s not easy when your family is living in your parents’ house. The language and feel of the book transports the reader to 1862 Kansas, a place and time of hard living, and the polarizing effect of the war even in the territories trying to stay out of it. Through out the story you will spend as much time cheering for Luke as you do wanted to shake some sense into him. A reader, like myself, with limited interest in the Wild West the story kept me turning the page well after bedtime. The hard choices a family has to make and the tragedies that spur them on, will make you grateful and sad when you reach the end. The Wild West holds a special place in Melody’s heart and she invites you to show you what a wonderful and mysterious world it could be. Leave yourself plenty of time for reading because sleep won’t be coming any time soon. Checkout more at New Mexico Entertainment Magazine

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