About Music, People

Chris Sanders offers music camps, new CD


“It’s about music and it’s about people,” area singer/songwriter/musician Chris Sanders said about the Desert Night Acoustic Music Camps coming up in May, August and October.

The camps’ 10th anniversary in 2023 is also completing a circle for Sanders, who wrote about her wish to create music and build relationships in an essay she wrote for a philosophy 101 class she took in Minnesota more than 50 years ago.

“What sets our camps apart are the faculty, the Black Range Lodge and the people,” said Sanders, who is coordinating the camps.

The meals and hospitality at the lodge, its isolation Kingston, west of Silver City and its history – one of its lodge walls was part of Pretty Sam’s Casino in 1881 when Kingston was a silver-mining boom town.

“What we do is impossible without our partnership with the lodge,” Sanders said.

Attendees at the camps have come from throughout New Mexico and Texas, and from as far away as Colorado, California, Arkansas, Maryland, Minnesota and even Canada, she said. And some of them have been there since the very first camp in 2013.

Sanders also has a new CD, “When the Day Comes.” She wrote all the songs on the album, including two in collaboration with Steve Smith – his poetry and her melody and chords creating “the height of wonderful collaboration,” Sanders said.

Smith was “important and essential to this project,” Sanders said. The CD features “his most exquisite playing ever.”

Sanders and Smith, from Las Cruces, and Anne Luna of Fort Sumner, comprise the nationally acclaimed bluegrass group Hard Road Trio.

“We love to play with each other, and we love playing for other people,” Sanders said.

More than 80 percent of the music they perform they also write. The trio has toured across the country and has recorded three albums and two music videos: “Whiskey in a Glass” and “Mamma Spin Me Round.”

Other musicians featured on the CD include King Ibu, who flew in from Las Vegas, Nevada to provide drums, vocals and guitar; master musician Derrick Lee of Las Cruces on drums; Luna; El Paso bass player Brun Avitia; violinist Amalia Zeitlin; and the Bumpettes (Bree Gordon, Andrea Miologos and Kim Johnson).

All the songs on the CD were recorded in Smith’s studio in Las Cruces, with Smith engineering the album, Sanders said. It was mixed and mastered by Rick Delellis. The photo of Sanders on the CD cover was taken in her backyard by Sterling Trantham, and her new brand (she even has a tattoo!) was created by her son, Curtis Sanders.

“It’s all about the partnerships,” Sanders said. “Live music, theatre and dance remind us that we’re human in a way that nothing else does,” she said. “In this very divisive, very troubling time, it’s good to be reminded of our human nobility.”

Visit https://hardroadtrio.com/when-the-day-comes.