Shew, Bobby

Robert “Bobby” Shew ~ Albuquerque

Bobby ShewBorn In Albuquerque, New Mexico, Bobby Shew began playing the guitar at the age of eight and switched to the trumpet at ten. By the time he was thirteen he was playing at local dances with a number of bands and by fifteen had put together his own group to play at dances, occasional concerts and in jazz coffee houses. He spent most of his high school days playing as many as six nights a week in a dinner club, giving him an early start to his professional career.

He then spent three years as the jazz trumpet soloist in the famed NORAD multi-service band. Shortly after leaving he joined the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra under the direction of Sam Donahue, which, among other things, gave him the chance to perform quite a bit with trumpet legend Charlie Shavers. After his stint with Tommy Dorsey, Bobby was asked to play with Woody Herman’s band upon Bill Chase’s recommendation. He then spent some time playing for Della Reese and Buddy Rich, who’s big band had just been formed.

Many other similar situations followed and Bobby played lead trumpet for a number of pop stars. This brought Bobby to live in Las Vegas where he became prominent in various hotels and casinos. By this time Bobby was widely known for his strong lead playing rather than as a jazz soloist. So late in 1972 he decided to make a move to the Los Angeles area in order to get reinvolved in developing as a jazz player.

Once in Los Angeles, Bobby quickly found what he was looking for, and in the years to come he spent time with the groups of Art Pepper, Bud Shank, Horace Silver Quintet, and Frank Strazzeri-Sam Most, as well as numerous big bands such as Bill Holman, Louie Bellson, Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin, Oliver Nelson, Bill Berry, Nat Pierce-Frank Capp Juggernaut, Ed Shaughnessy, Terry Gibbs, Benny Goodman, Maynard Ferguson, Neal Hefti, Don Menza, and Bob Florence.

In addition to being a sideman, Bobby also became a leader around this time, recording many of his own albums. Several of these received very high accolades from critics and high placement on the airplay charts. One of his albums, ‘Outstanding In His Field’ was nominated for a Grammy in 1980, while, ‘Heavy Company’ was awarded the Jazz Album Of The Year in 1983 by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ).

During this time Bobby also found a great deal of studio work, including TV shows like ‘Hawaii 5-O’, ‘Streets Of San Francisco’, ‘Bob Newhart’, ‘Mary Tyler Moore’, ‘Midnight Specials’, ‘Don Kirschner Rock Concert’, ‘Happy Days’, ‘Laverne And Shirley’, and ‘Eight Is Enough.’ His work on soundtracks includes ‘Grease I and II’, ‘Rocky I and II’, ‘Six-Pack’, ‘The Muppet Movie’, ‘The Drivers’, and ‘Taxi’.

Today, in addition to a busy performing and private teaching schedule, Bobby spends a considerable amount of time actively involved in the educational system, conducting clinics and master classes at high schools and college campuses all over the world. Bobby has also been active on the Board of Directors of the International Trumpet Guild, and has acted as National Trumpet Chairman for the International Association of Jazz Educator’s for 16 years. He authors numerous articles of educational interest in various trade magazines, all translated into several languages for worldwide distribution. During a period of traveling to New Zealand, Bobby acted as host for a weekly TV show entitled ‘Just Jazz’ and has been in numerous artist-in-residence situations virtually all over the world. He has even had a few minor acting roles in movies and TV shows.

He continues to tour internationally and to produce and record excellent music. He has released several recent albums for the MAMA Foundation including Playing With Fire (w/Tom Harrell), Heavyweights (w/Carl Fontana), and Salsa Caliente. In addition, for other labels, Bobby has released the the highly regarded CD recorded with the The Metropole Orchestra, and a double-CD set for Seabreeze Records of The Music of John Harmon, plus others. Bobby never stops using his remarkable insight, sensitivity and creativity to inspire the next generation of jazz players and teachers. Bobby currently resides in Los Lunas, New Mexico.

above: Louie Bellson and his Big Band Explosion at the Cork Jazz Festival 1980 featuring Bobby Shew playing his own composition ‘Blue’ as a tribute to the great trumpet player Blue Mitchell.

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1915 – O’ Fair New Mexico – Elizabeth Garrett

Songs About New Mexico: O’ Fair New Mexico

written by Elizabeth Garrett (1915)

“O Fair New Mexico” was adopted as the state song of New Mexico by an act of the state legislature, approved on March 14, 1917, as signed by Governor Washington E. Lindsey. The musical genre of “O Fair New Mexico” is classified as a tango.

The author, Elizabeth Garrett, was the daughter of former Lincoln County Sheriff Pat Garrett, the man who killed Billy the Kid. Elizabeth lost her sight shortly after birth. She attended the Texas School for the Blind, in Austin. As an adult, she applied herself and was qualified as a voice and piano teacher. She loved to sing and worked her way east teaching and singing. Audiences were appreciative of her talents and her interesting compositions about the far-west land of New Mexico. Elizabeth, the blind teacher/singer/songwriter soon found herself performing in respected theaters in Chicago and New York. She was called the “Songbird of the Southwest.”

Popular award winning New Mexico musician, Busy McCarroll, sings her fun & unique arrangement of New Mexico’s state song. Busy was asked to sing the song at the 2014 burning of Zozobra before a crowd of 40,000 people. Busy has come to love the song and, as you can see, she had a ton of fun recording the video, below!

Que Viva New Mexico!

above: Busy McCarroll performs her version of “O Fair New Mexico” for the burning of Zozobra.


Under a sky of azure,
Where balmy breezes blow,
Kissed by the golden sunshine,
Is Nuevo Mejico.
Land of the Montezuma,
With fiery hearts aglow,
Land of the deeds historic,
Is Nuevo Mejico.

O, Fair New Mexico,
We love, we love you so,
Our hearts with pride o’reflow,
No matter where we go.
O, Fair New Mexico,
We love, we love you so,
The grandest state to know
New Mexico.

Rugged and high sierras,
With deep canyons below,
Dotted with fertile valleys,
Is Nuevo Mejico.
Fields full of sweet alfalfa,
Richest perfumes bestow,
State of apple blossoms,
Is Nuevo Mejico.

O, Fair New Mexico,
We love, we love you so,
Our hearts with pride o’reflow,
No matter where we go.
O, Fair New Mexico,
We love, we love you so,
The grandest state to know
New Mexico.

Days that are full of heart-dreams,
Nights when the moon hangs low;
Beaming its benedictions,
O’er Nuevo Mejico.
Land with its bright manana,
Coming through weal and woe;
State of esperanza,
Is Nuevo Mejico.

O, Fair New Mexico,
We love, we love you so,
Our hearts with pride o’reflow,
No matter where we go.
O, Fair New Mexico,
We love, we love you so,
The grandest state to know
New Mexico.

For more information about Busy: Busy McCarroll

No copyright is claimed in the above creative examples and to the extent that material may appear to be infringed, the New Mexico Music Commission asserts that such alleged infringement is permissible under fair use principles in U.S. copyright laws. If you believe these materials have been used in an unauthorized manner, please contact us.


2003 – New Mexico – Simon Petty and Minibar

Songs About New Mexico: New Mexico

written and performed by Simon Petty and Minibar (2003)

“Minibar continue to stake out their niche of respectable, but not astounding, roots rock on their second release Fly Below the Radar. Much was made of the group’s faux-Americana feel in its initial press coverage, but although this does have definite folk-rock, country, and West Coast harmony influences, it’s not as simple as a British band trying to play American. They play tuneful rock that has pop appeal without selling out, Simon Petty’s breathy, slightly scratchy vocals projecting an inviting, world-weary, reflective warmth. Echoes of bands like R.E.M. and, reaching further back, the Byrds and late-’60s/early-’70s Brit-pop can be heard in addition to the more contemporary alt-folk-rock factors. There are varied accents like the brooding Spanish melodics in “New Mexico,” the fairground instruments on the fade of the lilting “Unstoppable,” and the ethereal country tinge of “Breathe Easy” and “Martha.” There’s an even-keeled feel of containment to the proceedings, though, that makes this more modestly likable than striking.”

~ Richie Unterberger, for

Minibar members are Malcolm Cross, Sid Jordan, Simon Petty, and Tim Walker. They formed in 1994 and are from England. They have served as Pete Yorn’s backing band on a number of occasions.

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2011 – Santa Fe – Beirut

Songs About New Mexico: Santa Fe

written and performed by Beirut (2011)

Santa Fe was hopping the weekend of October 3, 2015 with the performance of Beirut on the plaza. Thank you to Zach Condon and band for playing the home field; we loved it and you! Thank you and congratulations to the Earl Potter and the Five and Dime, Mayor Javier Gonzales and the City of Santa Fe, Santa Fe Audio Visual, Meow Wolf, WAREHOUSE TWENTY-ONE, and the amazing AMP Concerts for making the live concert happen!

Beirut was originally the solo musical project of Santa Fe native (born in Albuquerque) Zach Condon, which later expanded into a band. Beirut’s music combines elements of indie-rock and world music. Interesting tidbit, Zach mentioned during the performance that he used to work at the Haagan Daz ice cream store right off the plaza.

Beirut’s performance in Santa Fe was in celebration of the release of their new album, “No No No” release October 5, 2015.


Your days in one
This day undone
(The kind that breaks under)
All day at once
(For me, for you)
I’m just too young
(And what of my heart)
This day was once
(Silence before)
All grace of lost
Can’t wait at all
(Can’t wait at all)
Temptation won

And what ever comes through the door
I’ll see it face to face
All by your place

Sign me up Santa Fe
And call your son
Sign me up Santa Fe
On the cross Santa Fe
And all I want
Sign me up Santa Fe
And call your son

And I and I and I alone want you to know
And I and I and I alone
And I and I and I alone want you to know
And I and I and I alone

Your days in one
This day undone
(The kind that breaks under)
All day at once
(For me, for you)
I’m just too young
(And what of my heart)

Sign me up Santa Fe
And call your son
Sign me up Santa Fe
On the cross Santa Fe
And all I want
Sign me up Santa Fe
And call your son…

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source: AMP concerts


1998 – Albuquerque – Weird Al Yankovic

Songs About New Mexico: Albuquerque

written and performed by Weird Al Yankovic (1998)

“Albuquerque” is the last song of Weird Al’s Running with Scissors album. At 11 minutes and 22 seconds, it is the longest song Yankovic has ever released on any of his official studio albums.

With the exception of the choruses and occasional bridges, the track is mostly a spoken word narration about Yankovic’s made-up life in Albuquerque, New Mexico, after winning a first-class one-way airplane ticket to the city. According to Yankovic, the song is in the style of the “hard-driving rock narrative” of artists like The Rugburns, Mojo Nixon and George Thorogood.


Way back when I was just a little bitty boy
Living in a box
Under the stairs
In the corner of the basement
In the house half a block down the street from Jerry’s Bait Shop
You know the place

Well anyway,
Back then life was going swell
And everything was just peachy!

Except of course for the undeniable fact
That every single morning
My mother would make me a big ol’ bowl of
Sauer kraut for breakfast

Big bowl of sauer kraut!
Every single mornin’!
It was driving me crazy!
And I said to my mom,
I said, “Hey, mom, what’s up with all the sauerkraut?”

And my dear, sweet mother,
She just looked at me like a cow looks
At an oncoming train
And she leaned right down next to me
And she said, “IT’S GOOD FOR YOU!”

And then she tied me to the wall
And stuck a funnel in my mouth
And force fed me nothing but sauer kraut
Until I was twenty-six and a half years old

That’s when I swore that someday,
Someday I would get outta that basement
And travel to a magical, far away place,
Where the sun is always shining
And the air smells like warm root beer,
And the towels are oh so fluffy!

Where the shriners and the lepers
Play their ukuleles all day long
And anyone on the street
Will gladly shave your back for a nickel!

Wacka wacka, doo doo, yeah!

Well, let me tell you, people,
It wasn’t long at all before my dream came true
Because the very next day,
A local radio station had this contest
To see who could correctly guess the number
Of molecules in Leonard Nimoy’s butt

I was off by three, but I still won the grand prize
That’s right, a first class, one-way ticket
To Albuquerque!

Oh yeah
You know, I’d never been
On a real airplane before
And I gotta tell ya
It was really great

Except that I had to sit
Between two large Albanian women
With excruciatingly severe body odor
And the little kid in back of me
Kept throwin’ up the whole time
The flight attendants ran out of
Dr. Pepper and salted peanuts
And the in-flight movie was Bio-Dome with Pauly Shore
And, oh yeah, three of the airplane engines burned out
And we went into a tailspin
And crashed into a hillside
And the plane exploded in a giant fireball
And everybody died!
Except for me. You know why?

‘Cause I had my tray table up
And my seat back in the full upright position
Had my tray table up
And my seat back in the full upright position
Had my tray table up
And my seat back in the full upright position

So I crawled from the twisted, burnin’, wreckage
I crawled on my hands and knees
For three full days
Draggin’ along my big leather suitcase
And my garment bag
And my tenor saxophone
And my 12-pound bowlin’ ball
And my lucky, lucky autographed glow-in-the-dark snorkel!

But finally I arrived at the world famous
Albuquerque Holiday Inn!
Where the towels are oh so fluffy!
And you can eat your soup
Right out of the ashtrays if you wanna
It’s okay, they’re clean!

Well, I checked into my room,
And I turned down the A/C,
And I turned on the SpectraVision,
And I’m just about to eat
That little chocolate mint on my pillow
That I love so very, very much,
When suddenly there’s a knock on the door

Well, now, who could that be?
I say, “Who is it?” No answer
“Who is it?” There’s no answer
“WHO IS IT!?” They’re not sayin’ anything

So finally, I go over
And I open the door,
And just as I suspected,
It’s some big, fat hermaphrodite
With a flock of seagulls, haircut,
And only one nostril
Oh, man, I hate it when I’m right!

So, anyway,
He bursts into my room,
And he grabs my lucky snorkel,
And I’m like, “Hey, you can’t have that!
That snorkel’s been just like a snorkel to me!”

And he’s like, “Tough!”
And I’m like, “Give it!”
And he’s like, “Make me!”
And I’m like, “‘Kay!”

So I grabbed his leg
And he grabbed my esophagus
And I bit off his ear
And he chewed off my eyebrows
And I took out his appendix
And he gave me a colonic irrigation
Yes indeed-y, you better believe it!

And somehow in the middle of it all
The phone got knocked off the hook
And twenty seconds later,
I heard a familiar voice
And you know what it said?
I’ll tell ya what it said!

It said, “If you’d like to make a call,
Please hang up and try again
If you need help,
Hang up and then dial your operator
If you’d like to make a call
Please hang up and try again.
If you need help
Hang up and then dial your operator
In Albuquerque!”

Well, to cut a long story short,
He got away with my snorkel
But I made a solemn vow
Right then and there
That I would not rest,
I would not sleep for an instant,
Until the one-nostrilled man
Was brought to justice
But first, I decided to buy some donuts

So I got in my car
And I drove over to the donut shop
And I walked on up to the guy behind the counter
And he says, “Yeah, whaddaya want?”

I said, “You got any glazed donuts?”
He said, “Nah, we’re outta glazed donuts.”
I say, “Well, you got any jelly donuts?”
He said, “No, we’re outta jelly donuts.”
I said, “You got any Bavarian cream-filled donuts?”
He said, “No, we’re outta Bavarian cream-filled donuts.”
I said, “You got any cinnamon rolls?”
He said, “No, we’re outta cinnamon rolls!”
I said, “You got any apple fritters?”
He said, “No, we’re outta apple fritters!”
I said, “You got any bear claws?”
He said, “Wait a minute, I’ll go check.”

“Naw, we’re outta bear claws!”

I said, “Well, in that case
In that case, what do you have?”
He says, “All I got right now
Is this box of one dozen
Starving crazed weasels.”
I said, “Okay, I’ll take that.”

So he hands me the box,
And I open up the lid,
And the weasels jump out
And they immediately latch onto my face
And start bitin’ me all over

Oh, man, they were just goin’ nuts!
They were tearin’ me apart!
You know,
I think it was just about that time
that a little ditty started goin’ through my head
I believe it went a little somethin’ like this:

Get ’em off me! Get ’em off me!
No, get ’em off, get ’em off!
Oh, oh God, oh God!
Oh, get ’em off me! Oh, oh God!
Ah, aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!

I ran out into the street
With these flesh-eating weasels
All over my face,
Wavin’ my arms all around
And just runnin’, runnin’, runnin’,
Like a constipated wiener dog

And as luck would have it,
That’s exactly when I ran into
The girl of my dreams
Her name was Zelda

She was a caligraphy enthusiast,
With a slight overbite,
And hair the color of strained peaches

I’ll never forget
The very first thing
She said to me
She said, “Hey,
You’ve got weasels on your face.”

That’s when I knew it was true love

We were inseparable after that
Aw, we ate together
We bathed together
We even shared the same piece
Of mint-flavored dental floss
The world was our burrito

So we got married,
And we bought us a house
And had two beautiful children,
Nathaniel and Superfly
Oh we were so very, very, very happy, oh yeah

But then, one fateful night,
Zelda said to me, she said,
“Sweetie pumpkin?
Do you wanna join the Columbia Record Club?”
I said, “Woah! Hold on now, baby!
I’m just not ready for that kind of a commitment!”

So we broke up,
And I never saw her again
But that’s just the way things go
In Albuquerque!

Anyway, things really started
Lookin’ up for me,
Because about a week later
I finally achieved my lifelong dream
That’s right, I got me a part-time job
At the Sizzler!

I even made employee of the month
After I put out that grease fire
With my face!

Aw yeah, everybody was pretty jealous
Of me after that
I was gettin’ a lot of attitude.

Okay, like one time,
I was out in the parkin’ lot,
Tryin’ to remove my excess earwax
With a golf pencil,
When I see this guy Marty
Tryin’ to carry a big ol’ sofa
Up the stairs all by himself.

So I-I say to him,
I say, “Hey, you want me to help you with that?”
And Marty, he just rolls his eyes
And goes, “No, I want you to cut off my arms and legs with a chainsaw!”

So I did.

And then he gets all indignant on me
He’s like, “Hey, man, I was just being sarcastic!”
Well, that’s just great.
How was I supposed to know that?
I’m not a mind reader,
For cryin’ out loud

Besides, now he’s got
A really cute nickname – Torso-Boy!
So what’s he complaining about?

Say, that reminds me of another amusing anecdote
This guy comes up to me on the street
And he tells me he hasn’t had a bite
In three days

Well, I knew what he meant,
But just to be funny,
I took a big bite
Out of his jugular vein
And he’s yelling and screaming
And bleeding all over,
And I’m like, “Hey, come on, don’tcha get it?”
But he just keeps rolling around on the sidewalk,
Bleeding and screaming, “Aaaahhhh! AaaaahhhhOhhhhh! Aaaaahhhh!”
You know, completely missing
The irony of the whole situation
Man, some people just can’t take a joke, you know?

Anyway, um…
Where was I?
Kinda lost my train of thought.

Uh, well, uh, OK, anyway,
I-I know it’s kind of a roundabout way
Of saying it, but,
I guess the whole point I’m tryin’ to make here is


That’s all I’m really tryin’ to say
And, by the way,
if one day you happen to wake up
And find yourself in an existential quandry,
Full of loathing and self-doubt
And wracked with the pain and isolation
Of your pitiful meaningless existence,
At least you can take a small bit of comfort
In knowing that somewhere out there in this
Crazy ol’ mixed-up universe of ours,
There’s still a little place
Called Albuquerque!
Albuquerque! (Albuquerque!)
Albuquerque! (Albuquerque!)
Albuquerque! (Albuquerque!)
Albuquerque! (Albuquerque!)

I said A! (A!)
L! (L!)
B! (B!)
U! (U!)
… querque! (querque!)

(Albuquerque, Albuquerque, Albuquerque, Albuquerque)
(Albuquerque, Albuquerque, Albuquerque, Albuquerque)
(Albuquerque, Albuquerque, Albuquerque, Albuquerque)

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AlHaj, Rahim

Rahim AlHaj ~ Albuquerque

rahimGenre: Worldbeat

AlHaj, virtuoso Oud musician and composer, was born in Baghdad, Iraq (1967) and began playing the oud (the grandfather of all stringed instruments) at age nine. Early on, it was evident that he had a remarkable talent for playing the oud. Mr. Alhaj studied under the renowned Munir Bashir, considered by many to be the greatest oud player ever, and Salim Abdul Kareem, at the Institute of Music in Baghdad, Iraq. Mr. AlHaj won various awards at the Conservatory and graduated in 1990 with a diploma in composition. He holds a degree in Arabic Literature from Mustunsariya University in Baghdad. In 1991, after the first Gulf War, Mr. AlHaj was forced to leave Iraq due to his activism against the Saddam Hussein regime and began his life in Jordan and Syria. He moved to the US in 2000 as a political refugee and has resided in Albuquerque, NM ever since. Rahim became a US citizen on August 15, 2008.

Rahim has performed around the world and is considered one of the finest oud players in the world. He has won many accolades and awards including two Grammy nominations. Rahim has recorded and performed with other master musicians of varied backgrounds and styles including genre-busting American guitarist Bill Frisell, modern accordion innovator Guy Klucevsek, Indian sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan and indy-rock pioneers REM. He has composed pieces for solo oud, string quartet, symphony and beyond. Rahim’s music delicately combines traditional Iraqi maqams with contemporary styling and influence. His compositions evoke the experience of exile from his homeland and of new beginnings in his adopted country. His pieces establish new concepts without altering the foundation of the traditional “Iraqi School of Oud”.

Rahim has released seven CDs. His March 2009 release, Ancient Sounds (UR Music), a duet recording with Amjad Ali Khan, was nominated for a 2010 Grammy® in the Best Traditional World Music Recording category. In November of 2009 he released a special recording Under The Rose with Ottmar Liebert, Jon Gagan and Barrett Martin, with all net proceeds benefitting Direct Aid Iraq. Home Again (UR Music, 2008), is a tour de force of touching and evocative original compositions portraying his trip to Iraq after 13 years in exile. When the Soul is Settled: Music of Iraq (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings) was also nominated for a Grammy® in 2008. His earlier recordings include Friendship: Oud and Sadaqa String Quartet (2005), a unique East and West musical collaboration, The Second Baghdad (2002) and the live CD Iraqi Music in a Time of War”, (2003). Rahim is featured in the 2009 documentary film on Smithsonian Folkways Records . Capping off an artistically fruitful 2009, Rahim was awarded the prestigious US Artist Ford Fellowship Grant on December 14th. Look for a new recording Little Earth: Voices For Peace in 2010. The project features Rahim’s original composition in collaboration with the likes of Frisell, Klucevsek, REM, Maria De Barros, Liu Fang, Robert Mirabal, Hossein Omoumi, The Santa Fe Guitar Quartet and many more including, of course, Little Earth Orchestra.

Rahim is a 2015 National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship recipient.

above: “Taqsim Maqam Sharqi Rast” by Rahim Alhaj, with Souhail Kaspar (eMusic)

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