A quirky performer comes to town

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By Kirsten Laskey

His humor has been called impish, his songwriting skills have been referred to as creative and his performances are honored as being fearless. Steve Poltz’s music summons a barrage of descriptions and his life reflects his work.

According to his website, Poltz was born in Nova Scotia; he was raised in Palm Springs and went to college in San Diego.

He performed with the band, Rugburns, spending the majority of the year touring in a beat-up van and the song he co-wrote with Jewel, “You Were Meant for Me,” landed on the Billboard Top 10.

Poltz is now bringing his eclectic self to Los Alamos to perform in the Los Alamos Summer Concert Series. The concert will start at 7 p.m. Friday at Ashley Pond.

A goof ball singer should be a crowd-pleaser, concert organizer Russ Gordon said.

“He’s quirky. He’s clever. He’s satirical (and) somewhat cynical,” he said.

“He’s a good songwriter, a good musician,” Gordon added. “The concert is going to rock.”

All of Poltz’s life experiences have helped shaped his music, he said. “He’s a heck of a musician. He’s been around now. He’s a good showman.”

Poltz isn’t the only one to play beneath the striped canopy this weekend. Local music groups Black Mesa Quartet and Amhran Trio will also perform during the Next Big Idea Saturday.

Black Mesa Quintet, which is made up of Jan McDonald, trumpet; Joe Holland, trumpet; Larry Bronicz, trombone; Jerry Morzinski, tuba; and John Hargreaves, French horn, will perform from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at Ashley Pond.

The program includes music by Ralph Vaughn Williams, Percy Grainger, Fats Waller, Gershwin and other pieces.

Next up is Amhran Trio, which includes Hargreaves, Louse Mendius, vocals; and Cindy Little, piano. The trio will perform from 1:10 p.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at the pond.

Their program includes a few opera pieces as well as music by Strauss and other composers.

All concerts are free and open to anyone.