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Max Gomez has come a long way. Gomez – a singer/songwriter from Taos – cut his teeth playing at local clubs around Taos and New Mexico. Now, the 25-year-old is going to take center stage at this year’s Taos Solar Music Festival on June 30 and July 1 at Kit Carson Park in Taos.
“I played the side stage a couple years ago,” he explains during a recent phone interview. “I was asked to come back, and it feels really special. I haven’t played in front of my hometown in quite some time. It’ll be special.”
Gomez is only one of the featured guests at this year’s festival. The two-day festival lineup includes Michael Franti and Spearhead, Lyle Lovett, The Del McCoury Band, Sonny Landreth, Mat Kearney, Los Lobos, Cucu Diamantes and Saints of Valory.
|Taos Solar Music Festival
WHEN: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. June 30 and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. July 1
WHERE: Kit Carson Park, 211 Paseo Del Pueblo, Taos
HOW MUCH: $45 for one-day pass; $91 for two-day pass; $25 for camping pass atwww.solarmusicstore.com
The festival is celebrating its 14th year and brings together the wild and wonderful worlds in music and solar.
In addition to the featured acts, one New Mexico band will share the stage with the headliners. Alan Vetter, the Solar Fest band search producer, says the festival held a contest for New Mexico bands to win a slot on the stage.
“In New Mexico, there aren’t a lot of venues for a band to play,” he says. “This will give one of the bands an opportunity to play in front of thousands of people and get a lot of exposure.”
The winner will be announced today, and Vetter says voting via Facebook has been off the charts for the five finalists. The finalists are: Anthony Leon & the Chain, Stephanie Hatfield & Hot Mess, The Imperial Rooster, Big Swing Theory and Gonzalo.
“We were looking for a band that has stage presence and can really carry an audience,” he says. “The process to get down to the five finalists was really competitive. There were only a few points separating the five of them.”
Meanwhile, Gomez says, he’s looking forward to meeting the musicians in the festival.
“Lyle Lovett and Michael Franti always put on a great show,” he says. “I look forward to meeting some of those guys and making new friends.”
Gomez says he’s been involved with the festival since he was a teenager.
“I always looked for a way to volunteer, just so I could get into the show,” he says. “It was about making those connections in the industry. I wanted to get my foot in the door.”
And with those connections, Gomez is now signed to New West Records and is putting the finishing touches on his upcoming album.
Gomez also worked with singer/songwriter Shawn Mullins, who took him under his wing while recording the album.
“I’ve been traveling a lot just to get all of the songs down,” he says. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing people and am looking forward to unveiling some of the songs during my set at the show.
“I haven’t played in my hometown in quite awhile and it’s going to be a nice present,” he says. “Sure, there are going to be some nerves, but I’ll be performing in front of the people who have supported me for a long time.”
Read the full article at Alburquerque Journal.