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Summer Concert Series draws to a close with final show

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By The Staff

There is one last concert scheduled for this year today at Rover Park in White Rock.
“Well folks, I hope that you’ve enjoyed the 2013 Los Alamos County Summer Concert Series,” Concert organizer Russ Gordon said. “Our show is free. Bring your blankets and/or your lawn chairs. We’ll have a concrete dance floor or you can ‘play’ on the park’s grass.”`
Two bands will be playing and it’ll be a night of dancing, or just listening to some classic American music. Opening the show at 7 p.m. will be the Los Alamos Big Band. This 16-piece band plays mostly the swing era standards of the 40’s and 50’s. This is the music written by such legends as Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and the Gershwin Brothers. Great songs like “In the Mood,” “String of Pearls,” “Sing, Sing, Sing,” “Moonlight Sonata” and “Take the A Train.”
This Los Alamos band started up in 1945 as the Los Alamos All-Stars, playing the popular music of those days. They played mostly two-steps, fox trots and waltzes. The band is under the direction of Jan McDonald and still plays the timeless dance music. Jan joined the All-Stars in 1963 and became the director of the LA Big Band in 1984. Our Big Band has drums, piano, bass, four trumpets, four trombones and five saxophones. Elisa Enriquez is their vocalist.
At 8:35 p.m., another outstanding Los Alamos dance act, the Renegade Mountain Band will take the stage. RMG plays classic country, outlaw country, country-rock and country-dance music. They’re from Los Alamos and are quickly becoming one of New Mexico’s best country bands. The lead singer and guitarist is James Carothers. Carothers is “the entertainer,” and can sound like Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, Townes Van Zandt, or Waylon Jennings when singing their songs. On the classic cut “Good Hearted Woman,” he sings and sounds like both Willie and Waylon. The Renegade Mountain Band has Dave Hemsing on bass, Trent McCuistian on drums and J.R. Ross on pedal steel guitar.
RMG were recently in Santa Fe at the Frogville Studios recording their first album. It’s being produced by Bill Palmer.
“It’ll probably make a fine Christmas or birthday present in a month or so. I’m looking forward to this CD,” Gordon said.
The band has played such northern New Mexico venues as the Cowgirl, Pajarito Brewpub, Buffalo Thunder, Dirty Bourbon, Los Ojos and the Caravan East. They could be playing even bigger venues in the coming years if they can leave the Los Alamos National Laboratory and go for the big time.
Any comments on the 2013 Series or requests for the 2014 Series, can be sent to Facebook, or at russ@gordonssummerconcerts.com.
“Who were your favorite acts of this year? Have you seen the new stage area at Ashley Pond? The Pond will be gorgeous and it’s so exciting that you and LA County are building this 30 ft. X 40 ft. stage … thank you,” Gordon said.