Spectacular colors, arts, music grace Red River this week

Red River jewelry maker (and steampunk aficionado) Susan Hogrefe has brought her unique designs to Aspencade for many years. (Chronicle file photo from 2017)
The aspen are turning golden! With arts and crafts, food booths and exceptional music, the 4th Annual Red River Folk Festival at Aspencade will offer something for everyone Thursday  Sunday (Sept. 20 – 23) in Red River.

A Red River tradition for decades, during Aspencade visitors can browse through booths of hand-crafted items, art, pottery, jewelry, home furnishings and specialty goods outside in Brandenburg Park and inside the Red River Conference Center. Artists and artisans are showing Friday (Sept. 21) 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information see Aspencade.

Folk Music Festival

(Chronicle file photo)
The 4th Annual Red River Folk Festival at Aspencade will feature talented folk artists from all over the country at several venues throughout Red River. National artists include Max Gomez, Rick Brantley, The Lone Pinon, Joe Purdy, Amy Lavere, Chris Arellano, Jed Zimmerman, Mark Edgar Stuart, Will Sexton, Thom Chacon and Jack Barksdale, along with many exciting regional acts.. For detailed information, see


Red River’s music scene can trace its roots back to the Texas music scene of the ’60s and ’70s, mostly centered around Austin’s “redneck rock” music scene. According to the festival website, the roots of Red River’s Folk Festival go back to the early ’60s when musicians Rick Fowler, Wayne Kidd and, Ray Wylie Hubbard came to play for the summer.

“These boys became known as Three Faces West and began playing regularly in the Red River Valley. They set a high bar when it came to the folk music scene in Northern New Mexico.… During this time in Red River the valley experienced an influx of music. Every picker west of Texarkana had to come and see what these southern rocky mountains had to offer. Whether you were ‘kickin’ hippies asses and raising hell” or just wanted to be a cosmic cowboy, it seemed that a music mecca came to exist within this unsuspecting town that still boasts a population of less than 500 people.”

Michael Martin Murphey, B.W. Stevenson, Joe Ely, Delbert, Jerry Jeff, Guy Clark, Bill & Bonnie Hearne, Lyle Lovett and — reportedly — Neil Young…. “Whether you were ‘kicking hippies asses and raising hell’ or just wanted to be a ‘cosmic cowboy,’ this town that still boasts a year-’round population of fewer than 500 people is quite the music “mecca”!

Today Steve Heglund, owner of The Lodge operates several music venues in Red River, works hard to keep Red River’s music tradition alive with the Folk Festival, winter songwriters’ workshop and other events year-’round.

The venues: During the day, Red River’s beautiful Brandenburg Park is the place to enjoy live world-class music. With or without music playing you can head to the park and checkout the Aspencade Arts & Crafts Fair. The Lost Love Saloon is a casual smaller venue where music will start daily at 5 pm. Next door to the Lost Love Saloon,The Motherlode Saloon will be home to nighttime headliner performances.

Folk Music Schedule

Thursday (Sept. 20)

  • 5 p.m. Max Gomez, Jed Zimmerman and Mark Edgar Stuart with Ollie O’Shea, Lost Love Saloon
    6:30 p.m. Carin Mari, , Lost Love Saloon
  • 8 p.m. Rick Brantley, Motherlode Saloon
  • 9:30  p.m. Steve Poltz, Motherlode Saloon
  • 11:30 p.m. Red River Folk Festival Late Night Playlist, Motherlode Saloon

Friday (Sept. 21)

  • noon Rick Brantley, Brandenburg Park
  • 1 p.m. Thom Chacon, Brandenburg Park
  • 2 p.m. Secret Show, Brandenburg Park
  • 3 p.m. Lone Piñon, Brandenburg Park
  • 4 p.m. Jed Zimmerman, Brandenburg Park
  • 5 p.m. Amy LaVere & Will Sexton, Lost Love Saloon
  • 6:30 p.m. Chris Arellano, Lost Love Saloon
  • 8 p.m. Joe Purdy, Motherlode Saloon
  • 9:30 p.m. Max Gomez & Friends, Motherlode Saloon
  • 11:30 p.m. Red River Folk Festival Late Night Playlist, Motherlode Saloon

Saturday (Sept. 22)

  • 11 a.m. Lone Piñon
  • noon Mark Edgar Stuart, Brandenburg Park
  • 1 p.m. Chris Arellano, Brandenburg Park
  • 2 p.m.“Sing For Your Supper” hosted by Jed Zimmerman, Brandenburg Park
  • 3 p.m. Secret Show, Brandenburg Park
  • 4 p.m. , Brandenburg Park
  • 5 p.m. Thom Chacon, Carin Mari, Jack Barksdale, Lost Love Saloon
  • 6:30 p.m. Max Gomez, Jed Zimmerman and Mark Edgar Stuart with Ollie O’Shea, Lost Love Saloon
  • 8 p.m. Amy LaVere & Will Sexton, Motherlode Saloon
  • 9:30 p.m. Iris Dement, Motherlode Saloon
  • 11:30 p.m. TBA, Motherlode Saloon

Sunday (Sept. 23)

  • 11 a.m. Carin Mari
  • 11:30 a.m. Thom Chacon
  • noon Rick Brantley, Brandenburg Park
  • 12:30 p.m. Amy LaVere & Will Sexton,Brandenburg Park
  • 1 p.m. Jed Zimmerman, Mark Edgar Stuart, Brandenburg Park
  • 1:30 p.m. Max Gomez & the Family Band, Brandenburg Park

Schedule – 2018 Red River Folk Festival

Purchase tickets here:


About the headliners

Steve Poltz owns a crowd when he’s on stage, where the proverbial rubber hits the road. His shows are the stuff of legend – no two are alike – and can take an unsuspecting audience from laughter to tears and back again in the space of a single song. He is a master of improvisational songwriting and works without a set list to be free to react instantly to the mood of a room. It’s also worth mentioning that he is an astonishing guitar player on top of everything else. He is quite possibly the most talented, and engaging, solo performer on this planet.

Max Gomez got a children’s guitar for Christmas when he was 10 and by age 14 performed at a benefit concert in which he played “Sunday Mornin’ Coming Down”—the down-and-out classic by future labelmate Kris Kristofferson. Soon thereafter he was playing professionally. He wrote some songs with Shawn Mullins, who later recorded them. In his early 20s he began recording his own songs with producers in  New York, L.A., and  Nashville. His debut album, Rule the World, was released in 2013 by New West Records.

Iris DeMent is an acclaimed singer/songwriter whose 1992 debut Infamous Angel was hailed by Rolling Stone as “an essential album of the 90’s”. Combining elements of folk, gospel and country, her rich lyrical landscapes and captivating music have earned two Grammy nominations and the respect of many of her peers such as John Prine, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell. NPR has called her “one of the great voices in contemporary popular music” and The Boston Globe heralded her 2012 album Sing The Delta to be a “work of rare, unvarnished grace and power…”