Homespun music: Joe and Archie West will play traditional cowboy, folk songs in virtual series - Albuquerque Journal

Homespun music: Joe and Archie West will play traditional cowboy, folk songs in virtual series

Archie West and his nephew, Joe West, will perform a virtual concert of cowboy songs and folk music on Friday, May 29. (Courtesy of Joe West)

Singing songs of days gone by, Joe West and his uncle, Archie West, have quite the show for fans of old cowboy songs and ’50s folk music.

The duo will perform a virtual concert at 7 p.m. Friday, May 29, as part of the “Our Fair New Mexico – A Virtual Concert Series,” presented by the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with state museums, historic sites and cultural institutions.

“I learned a lot of songs growing up with Archie,” Joe West said. “He’s my uncle, so we tried to stick to some cowboy folk songs, and he certainly knows many of them, but we strayed into some of the gambling stories and the more sort of the Weavers kind of style folk music that I grew up singing with him and that kind of ’50s-era folk music.”

Archie West was influenced by Burl Ives folk records and old cowboy songs, while Joe West came from more of a Bob Dylan and Tom Waits background. But regardless of the generation gap, there was always music at their family gatherings, with singing, harmonicas, guitars, sometimes a harpsichord, and a piano every now and then. A neighbor would also come over with his banjo.

“Archie is not a professional (musician), so there’s this really charming quality about it,” Joe West said. “He’s done it as a hobbyist his whole life, and he’s just very passionate. It’s something he’s always done. And our family grew up singing a lot. That was something we did – sat around (and sang). We don’t do it as much anymore. I certainly remember as kids it was something we did every get-together at some point. We would always have guitars out singing these old songs. It was a sweet thing.”

Joe West credits his Uncle Archie as the one who got him involved in music.

“Archie was always our guitar player,” Joe West said. “My father and my mother were never musicians, but Archie was always the musical one in the family, and he’s probably how I sort of started and took it up at a certain age. I kind of went on to be into rock ‘n’ roll and punk rock and all that, but he was certainly the musical influence in my life.”

Unlike his uncle, who primarily is a rancher, Joe West is a full-time musician who dabbles in theatrical events.

“I run the theater in Madrid, doing something called the ‘Theater of Death’ in the fall, and we do a big film festival in July,” Joe West said. “Over the last 25 years, I’ve been a full-time musician, but I studied a lot of theater and did a lot of that in my younger days, so I tend to do theater things. I was a musician. I went to New York out of college with a bachelor’s in fine arts and mostly theater. I went to New York to be an actor and ended up still continuing to do a lot of music.”

Before returning to his home of Madrid, Joe West lived in Austin, Texas, for a few years.

“That’s the fun thing about going off and seeing the world, is you can always come home and appreciate home a lot better and not feel guilty,” he said. “I think a lot of people who don’t go away think I could’ve gone to New York and been an artist. But once you do it, you just realize it’s not that big of a deal and you can always just come back and be just as productive. Maybe there was a day that you had to be an artist in a bigger community or city, but with the internet, now the world has gotten more well connected where you can connect with the world.”

Home » Entertainment » Music » Homespun music: Joe and Archie West will play traditional cowboy, folk songs in virtual series


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
'Chocolate: The Exhibition' brings the history of the bean ...
Entertainment
After its run in Albuquerque, the ... After its run in Albuquerque, the exhibit will begin to travel the state, with its first stop in Hobbs at the Western Heritage Museum.
2
Zu Hot Pot brings the interactive dining experience back ...
Dining Reviews
Hot pot cooking traces its roots ... Hot pot cooking traces its roots back a thousand years to Mongolia, where horseman reputedly used their helmets as pots for cooking meat in ...
3
Safe House Distilling Co. unveils canned vodka cocktail with ...
Blogs
The canned line has extended to ... The canned line has extended to its Green Chile Bloody Mary, as well as its collaborations with the Albuquerque Isotopes that include its Teller ...
4
'Tosca,' 'Flying Dutchman' to open 2023 season
Arts
It's the opera's 66th festival season It's the opera's 66th festival season
5
World War II epic 'Wolf Hound' now available on-demand
Blogs
'Wolf Hound' features action sequences using ... 'Wolf Hound' features action sequences using vintage aircraft.
6
What’s happening in ABQ June 24-30: Zoo Music, New ...
Coming This Week
With July around the corner, let's ... With July around the corner, let's see if the rain keeps up this summer
7
Relationship dramedy 'For The Love of Jason' returns for ...
Entertainment
The new season explores Jason's (Trell ... The new season explores Jason's (Trell Woodberry) journey facing the obstacles of becoming an entrepreneur and building a co-parenting relationship with Carmen (K
8
Inaugural Albuquerque Contemporary Dance Festival will run June 30-July ...
Dance
The event will include dance performances, ... The event will include dance performances, classes and film.
9
Street photographer brings Downtown Albuquerque into focus
Arts
516 Arts to host 'Nathaniel Tetsuro ... 516 Arts to host 'Nathaniel Tetsuro Paolinelli: Downtown' through Sept. 3.
10
Basilaris Trio to play at Thirsty Eye Brewing on ...
Entertainment
The band took its name from ... The band took its name from the plant, which is a cactus. They describe their music being beautiful with an edge.