Over the past several decades, DK Warner says he’s gone “back in time” in terms of musical taste. Starting out in bands back in the ’80s playing that era’s modern music, he was eventually drawn to vintage rockabilly, whose heyday was the 1950s.
The Los Alamos native discovered the twangy, swinging sounds of rockabilly later in life while working for the city’s Summer Concert Series. Now his band, DK & The Affordables, does its own take on the music, with one goal in mind – getting people out of their seats and moving.
The band, which offers classics from acts like Elvis Presley and present-day rockabilly stalwarts The Paladin, along with its own original music, will be at Ski Santa Fe this weekend.
Warner actually calls the band’s genre “affordabilly,” which he describes as a mixture of vintage rock ‘n’ roll, jump and swing blues, and more. Pianist Aaron Anderson said making up its own category means the band – also with drums, bass, guitar and sax, and sometimes more horn sounds – can play whatever it wants.
“(It is) kind of a rockabilly slash garage punk attitude,” said Warner.
The band’s set list includes the likes of “Trailer Trash Queen” and “Cougar Paradise.” Warner, who moved to Los Alamos when he was 10, also has written several original songs with clear ties to his New Mexican roots, like “Española Girl” and Chile Peelin’ Mama.”
Warner said the songs are homages to el Norte’s female population. His Española girl is “shakin’ and shimmying until I nearly lost my mind.”
“Chile Peelin’ Mama” goes “Say hey, Mama / What you cookin’ for me? / Are those some hot tamales on the stove I see? / She’s my chile peelin’ Mama.”
“It’s basically a huge jam,” pianist Aaron Anderson said of that song, which utilizes almost all of the band’s instrumentation for a big band feel.
Another song with regional roots is “Big Foot Saturday Night,” which describes a true story of Warner and his friends hiking in southern Colorado in hopes of a Sasquatch sighting.
“They’re all pretty simple lyrically,” Warner said of his songs. He just wants people to have a good time. “We’re a dance band … . We’re out to get people moving, having fun, smiling and forgetting about all the things going on in their life.”
The group will be at Totemoff’s Bar from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. as part of Ski Santa Fe’s Winter Music Series.