A Little Music…

It has been a week blessed with good music from friends local and visiting…

Joel Becktell is local, a neighbor and a world- renowned cellist, probably Magdalena’s most famous resident in a sort of obscure way (he is known among musicians but not by Magdalenians). He is also a cook and as much of a bookman as I am.

Joel at right. He has been as always traveling and performing all over the nation– Santa Fe, where he performed last night, is “near”. But somehow conversation brought us to a performance in Albuquerque last year: his classical/ “fusion” (if that is the word) group Revel playing at the Church of Beethoven. I love this fierce jazzy performance of the Argentinian composer Piazzola’s “Autumn”, and it is a good entree to Revel. Now we need a CD!

Our good friend Montana novelist Peter Bowen (new website, with my essay “Of Peter Bowen and Gabriel DuPre”, here— more to come!) told us his friend Amanda Bailey would be traveling in our area and sent her our way midst the storms.

Amanda has one of the all- time haunting voices for Appalachian and country music. Go here for a version of “In my time of dyin'” that will raise your hair. Libby wants me to add that she vastly prefers it to the 70’s Led Zeppelin version featuring a bare- chested Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, though that one does make an interesting contrast.* I got Amanda listening to my late friend John Lincoln Wright (posts below) with real interest- I’d love to see that collaboration. Again, the perfect voice– she and JLW were both influenced by Merle Haggard.

Local trivia– she keeps a sketchbook of her travels and produced for us this very New Mexico vignette from 1992, good enough for us to recognize Marshall Larry Cearley in the middle:

* 6 degrees or less department.I THINK Revel does a version of the Zep’s Stairway to Heaven– Joel? And Zeppelin founder & guitarist Jimmy Page once roomed in London (in the Yardbird days) with Explorer’s club member Ted Bakewell. Ted is the nephew of the late legendary Jesuit adventurer (and my mentor) Father Anderson Bakewell, who lived in Santa Fe– not a few of Q’s readers including Peculiar drank his whiskey and ate elk there. Ted also lived in NM, in the 70’s, and used to play guitar with rock legend and Los Lunas sheriff Bo Diddley


  1. Thanks so much for all of this.

    I well r3member finding Bowen's first Yellowstone Kelly book at the Glendale Public Library. Think I read most of it sitting there in the aisle.

    He's a treasure and your essay is great. Think I'll do a piece linking up to it after I finish off Ben Mc.

    Jim Cornelius

  2. PS to Jim- if you have Kelly and the Three- toed Horse– remember the excitable Italian falconer Stefano and his sane wife the cook Elizabeta? (Spelling without going to library)…

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