Music

Music that feeds the body and soul

Last to Know headlines benefit for local organization to help the hungry

By Ariana Kramer
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 12/11/19

Hunger in Taos County is a chronic problem. For 34 years, Taos Feeds Taos has worked to alleviate hunger during the winter holiday season. To support their efforts, the Taos band Last to Know has held an annual benefit concert and food drive. This year marks the 12th annual benefit concert, and opens with Foggy Memory Boys followed by Last to Know.

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Music

Music that feeds the body and soul

Last to Know headlines benefit for local organization to help the hungry

Posted

Hunger in Taos County is a chronic problem. For 34 years, Taos Feeds Taos has worked to alleviate hunger during the winter holiday season. To support their efforts, the Taos band Last to Know has held an annual benefit concert and food drive. This year marks the 12th annual benefit concert, and opens with Foggy Memory Boys followed by Last to Know.

The Taos Feeds Taos benefit concert takes place this Friday (Dec. 13) at 7 p.m. at Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership, 20 ABC Mesa Road, off U.S. 64 west. Price of entry is five cans or five pounds of suggested food items, or $5-10 sliding scale. A food list of needed items is available at TFT.org. No one will be turned away at the door for lack of food or funds.

Dedicated to the late Gary Cook of Super Save

This December, according to its website, Taos Feeds Taos volunteers will collect, package and deliver boxes of food to 1,200 families. Boxes include items such as sugar, flour, rice, pinto beans, posole, red chile, peanut butter and coffee. Taos Feeds Taos has dedicated this year's efforts to longtime Super Save manager, the late Gary Cook, and to the late Taos High School culinary program chef, Benjie Apodaca.

A long-standing Taos band, Last to Know has been around since 2001. They have a reputation for throwing all-night parties in their younger days. Band member Howie Roemer tells me they still prefer jamming for hours at a time. The band combines a variety of genres - they call their sound "discofunkgrass."

Last to Know has performed with Hot Buttered Rum String Band, The Motet, Buckwheat Zydeco, Culture, The Vince Herman Trio, The Skatalites and Leftover Salmon. They have played at the Taos Solar Music Festival, Silverton Jamboree, Crestone Music Festival, Alibi Spring Crawl in downtown Albuquerque, the Santa Fe Thirsty Ear Festival and the Dreamtime Festival.

Band members are Scott Barady (percussion), Randy Morris (drums), Dan Irion (mandolin, fiddle and vocals), Eric Riegel (guitars and vocals), Howie Roemer (keyboards), Curt West (bass) and Tom Pryor (guitar and pedal steel).

First benefit was 12 years ago

Roemer told me it was his idea, and that of former drummer Nathan Bonnette, to have the first benefit for Taos Feeds Taos 12 years ago. Roemer said he had performed website work for Taos Feeds Taos and had a prior connection to the organization through his work. It seemed a natural fit to bring the band out for a benefit.

"We did it just because we wanted to do something around the holidays 12 years ago, and because I was connected to Taos Feeds Taos previously I got to know the people and I got to really believe in what they were doing. And the fact that at the time it was 25 years in. That was a testament to what it meant to the community - nothing lasts that long if it isn't a good thing," said Roemer.

For their benefit performance, Last to Know is excited to test out three brand-new songs. Roemer said they are also happy to play a longer set than they have been able to for their past few performances.

"We're looking forward to a show where we can take our time and feel the crowd out and do the give-and-take that makes our shows so much fun," Roemer said.

Roemer said the opening energetic bluegrass band Foggy Memory Boys reminds him and his bandmates of what Last to Know was like 20 years ago - young, inspired, with fewer responsibilities - on the road touring and playing because they love to play.

"They're supertalented and good," said Roemer. "It's going to be a nice complement."

Foggy Memory Boys on stage

Foggy Memory Boys is Jacob Haggerty (mandolin and lead vocals), Andy Yeomans (guitar), Willie Hunton (dobro) and Zephaniah Stringfield (guitar). Stringfield won't be playing this benefit concert and Wesley Six (mandolin) will join in.

Haggerty, Yeomans and Six were all former bandmates with a group called the Noseeums. They formed the Foggy Memory Boys after the Noseeums dissolved. Hunton told me the Foggy Memory Boys have focused their efforts on playing shows out of town.

Hunton said the group has toured consistently since forming a little over a year ago. Over the past year Foggy Memory Boys has toured the Midwest and Southwest, including Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. As a result of being out on the road, Hunton said the band has been invited to play at several festivals in the new year.

"Next year is going to busier than last year," said Hunton.

For their opening show at the Taos Feeds Taos benefit, Hunton said the audience can anticipate a lot of upbeat instrumentals.

"It will be high-energy," promised Hunton. "We do a fair amount of rip-snorting bluegrass numbers."

In addition to coming out to the benefit concert on Friday night, consider supporting Taos Feeds Taos in other ways. Albertsons and Super Save will collect food until Monday (Dec. 16). Cash donations can be made to purchase food at taosfeedstaos.org. Volunteers are needed from Dec.14-18 at the Army National Guard Armory, on the road to the Taos Country Club and UNM-Taos Klauer Campus, 1145 State Road 570 in Llano Quemado. Call or text Linda Knief with questions about volunteering at (575) 770-4758.

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