The annual Robert Mirabal Christmas Concert at the TCA is a Taos tradition. For more than a decade, Robert has treated his fans and friends to an evening of storytelling, music and dancing.
Last week, although the premise was no different, intimate and relaxed, Robby Romero accompanied him on stage on guitar throughout the show. Although Robby mostly kept the beat, he gave us a taste of his great lead licks and, for the most part, many of the songs they played and sang together were either Romero compositions or new collaborations with his band Iron Horse. .
It was great to get a sense of where they are headed with Iron Horse. Robby’s point of view (although his New Mexico Apache roots run as deep as Robert’s Pueblo heritage) has always been globally slanted, inclusive, and calls for respect for all Indigenous Peoples and endangered cultures of the Mother. Land, while Mirabal draws inspiration from the land of the Red Willows that he farms like his father and his father’s parents before him, to create cultural and spiritual metaphors.
Early in the evening he distributed corn seeds from the Madre plants in the Pueblo, to all who wanted them. Her introduction to the song that she then performed was preceded by some advice on planting corn and included a harsh admonishment of Monsanto’s GMOs.
Robert’s contribution to the rock and roll roots that Robby was practically born into (more on that next week) takes these songs (both his and Romero’s) to a different energetic level, but in no way distracts from the message. of the songs themselves.
Robby has been touring the world, bringing his message of Mother Earth and her fragile ecosystems to people around the world for over two decades. His youthful anger has tempered as his hair has turned silver, but his passion for his life’s work remains and his dedication to the well-being of all our children remains his primary focus. .
Towards the end of the evening, Robby welcomed Mina Tank and Dakota Romero to the stage. The women provided great harmonies on some tracks, including the self-titled single, Iron horse. Both men have incredible stage presence and Romero in particular is a consummate professional. When the monitors were turned off at the beginning of the show, he made it seem like just part of the set without losing the audience’s interest. Mirabal’s grace and dexterity with the flutes (and other wind instruments) that he makes and plays brought an almost shamanic vibe to the stage that will work brilliantly in a larger room with a rhythm section.
They played a Christmas song, Rick Danko’s Christmas must be tonight with slightly modified lettering to make it relevant to Taos Pueblo. Rick, one of Robby’s mentors was surely in the room.
Tonight the boys are cooking up something at The Farmhouse, I’ll post a review here tomorrow,
But can they cook?
The Farmhouse Cafe and Bakery hosted an evening with Iron Horse last night. The event was to raise funds to benefit an organic breakfast and lunch program for Taos School children and Tiwa Farm.
The Iron Horse Chefs had their equipment set up, but most of the night they were in the kitchen supervising the plating of the food they had been cooking for the past two days. Robby’s Green Thunder Dip (fresh roasted green chili, garlic masses in organic sour cream) with blue corn chips was on every table. Tamale Mountains – Vegetarian and Buffalo – Heavenly Zucchini Enchiladas, Robert’s Venison Stew with Piñon and Posole and one of Robby’s specialties, Buffalo Stew with Green Chile and Wild Rice from the Ojibwe Territories in Minnesota where four of his children They live with their mother, actress, television presenter and lawyer Stacey Thunder.
The desert was a traditional Taos Pueblo candy. Baked pumpkin stuffed with rice, nuts and sprinkled with honey. All food was locally grown (except wild rice) and organic.
The food was plentiful and delicious, perfect for a snowy night after Christmas in Taos.
After the plates were cleared, we were treated to a very intimate and extremely on-set atmosphere by the chefs, who rocked the room for the next hour or so with Dakota Romero joining in on a soulful version of Iron horse.
A great evening was enjoyed by all and hopefully, due to the awareness and money raised, the children of Taos will enjoy a good meal at school next year.
Stay tuned for more Iron Horse Chef events and yes, they are award winning musicians and they do cook!
Photographs of Iron Horse members Robby Romero, Robert Mirabal, Mina Tank, Dakota Romero and the Trujillo Family Dancers at the TCA by Bill Curry