Three-days of live acoustic music


Lovers of acoustic music of all genres will be able to get an earful during the three-day Pickamania 2021 event in Kingston, New Mexico, on Sept. 10-12.

Pickamania has evolved from its origins as a backyard party hosted in a garlic shed into an annual three-day festival.

Now a project of the Sierra County Arts Council, Pickamania 2021 will feature a talented line-up of musicians performing at the outdoor pavilion at the Black Range Lodge in Kingston. This outdoor event offers a Covid-safe environment for music and socializing.

The festival will be from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 10, 4 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11 and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 12. The cost is $15 for Friday, $30 for Saturday and $15 for Sunday. A three-day pass is $50.

Tickets will be available at the gate. Admission also includes a ticket for a fresh grilled cheeseburger (vegetarian options, too), iced tea or lemonade.

Seating at the Black Range Lodge outdoor pavilion includes chairs on the grass, with scattered benches under shade trees. You can bring your own picnic basket, camp chair and/or pop-up canopy. Kingston is generally 10 degrees cooler than Rio Grande Valley communities. Parking is free. Black Range Vineyards will be on hand to sell beer and win.

Friday will feature rock and roll originals from Truth or Consequences recording artist and engineer Rob Stroup, followed by the acoustic blues offerings from the Back Porch Blues Band, featuring Pat Dutton, Bill Bussmann and Mark Kashmar. 

Saturday will get started with the Creosote Ramblers from T or C,

led by Blanch Almquist, who will entertain with an acoustic blend of folk, country and classic rock with guitars, fiddle, upright bass and harmonica. 

Santa Fe’s The Fast Peso String Band will follow, with old-time Appalachian roots of country music. The Fast Peso String Band features Gary Ashkin and Jim Hughes on fiddles, John Eddy on mandolin, Bo Olcott on guitar and Tom Adler on banjo.

Then, national flat-picking guitar champion and singer-songwriter Peter McLaughlin and his multi-instrumentalist collaborator Chris Brashear will offer an original blend of acoustic blues music shaped by the landscape and legends of the West.

The evening culminates with Wil Maring and Robert Bowlin joining McLaughlin and Brashear for a “super jam” of musical professionals.

On Sunday, Socorro, New Mexico, native Francis Deters will lead off with Americana classics, followed by Truth or Consequences Pint and Half (Tammy and Duke Shepard) offering up Americana and original songs.

Singer/songwriter Wil Maring and multi-instrumentalist Robert Bowlin will wrap things up with a mix of folk, country and bluegrass. Maring has performed at the Grand Ole Opry and National Public Radio’s “Whad’ya Know” program.

Bowlin is a national fingerpicking and flatpicking guitar champion, and has played onstage with artists such as B.B. King, Ricky Scaggs, Peter Rowan, and Vassar Clements. He’s been a session guitarist and fiddler in Nashville for countless recordings.

An added attraction on Sunday will be unique booths of art and crafts from the Truth or Consequences “Makers Market”.  

Attendees will be encouraged to follow Covid-safe practices, masking and distancing as appropriate.  Chairs and tables will be situated at a 6-feet distance and the event will be limited to 150 people. 

This event is sponsored by the Sierra County Arts Council, and supported by a grant from New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the National Endowment for the Arts.  For more information call the Black Range Lodge at 575-895-5652, or visit