by Mary-Ann Brandon
RATON — The Fourth Annual Gate City Music Festival in Raton is preparing to bring northern New Mexico a great Labor Day weekend event. Adding significantly to the emerging music scene in southern CO and northern NM, this festival is heavy on outstanding vocal artists this year.
Headlining the festival, Restless Heart is a band that has been together for 35 years. Their accomplished career has included 25 chart singles and 6 consecutive #1 singles, four certified “Gold” albums and a plethora of awards. This band stays around because they are really that good. Restless Heart was one of the early artists to emerge from Nashville in the 1980’s, with a production and songwriting style that drew heavily from the pop and AOR well. Their astonishing success helped to essentially turn the sound of country music in a new direction, thus opening the door for other previous pop vocal groups to enter the country field.
It is not an easy feat to deliver live vocal harmonies as intricate as this band puts on record. Live circumstances vary so wildly and it takes seriously top-notch pros to step on stage, night after night, and perform with the precision that this band does. With truth I can report that I have seen them live and they sound as strong as their studio recordings.
If you are a fan of contemporary Christian/country music, Crystal Yates will surely provide a dose of beautiful music to soothe your soul. She has a smooth, gorgeous voice and her songs speak with a message. It’s clear that this woman sings from her heart.
Reminiscent of a young Sheryl Crow, Kylie Rae Harris is yet another excellent singer songwriter that is lined up to perform. A strong guitar player, Harris is popular on the Texas music scene.
Another act to appear on the festival is the Dewey Paul Band. Dewey Paul describes his music as “lyrically driven folk rock with splashes of improvisational jamming”. This band promises to offer an eclectic Americana vibe.
Other acts that will round out the festival are 380 West Band, Ben Marshall Band, Ernestine Romero, Secondhand, Colfax Reunion and Jonathan Castillo Y Profundo.
The festival begins on Saturday, September 1, at 10 am at Raton Main Street, 145 South 1st St. Raton, NM and wraps up on Sunday night at the Historic Shuler Theater with a concert by headliners, Restless Heart, supported by Will and Crystal Yates.
Tickets for the event are available at the Old Pass Gallery, Solano’s, First National Loan Production Office or visit the festival website at www.gatecitymusicfestival.com.