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Pagosa favorites Holy Water and Whiskey in concert Friday

Holy Water and Whiskey performs at 7 p.m. this Friday, March 9, at The Ross Aragon Community Center.

The beer/wine cash bar opens at 6:30 p.m. Come early and socialize. You’re invited to bring a dessert to share at intermission.

Advance tickets, for $12, are still available at the community center or Boulder Coffee Cafe. Tickets at the door are $15. Young people, 18 and under, are admitted to the concert free of charge.

Come experience a great band that genuinely believes music and laughter are universally healing — and see why they keep getting invited back to perform concerts in Pagosa.

Reminiscent of American folk music, gospel, Old English street songs and just a hint of old Bostonian sailing music, Holy Water and Whiskey is known for its beautiful vocal harmonies and solid instrumental style. The Albuquerque group’s performance tomorrow evening at the community center will have you smiling from ear to ear from their very first note.

The trio’s vocal harmony is like hearing what you see when birds change formation in mid-flight: seamless. Their third CD “Miners, Outlaws, and Other Relatives” was released in December 2010 and was nominated for five 2011 NM Music Association Awards, and won in two categories — best vocal and best western song.     

Holy Water and Whiskey consists of Maggie Washburne on bass, Scott Altenbach on guitar, and Bruce Washburne on guitar and banjo. All three began performing professionally in the 1960s, earning money to put themselves through college.

Bruce and Maggie met in a band in Hawaii in 1977, were married, and have been playing music together ever since. In 2003, they started singing with Scott, a Colorado native and musician, and Holy Water and Whiskey was formed.

Maggie and Scott are biology professors. Bruce is a social worker in charge of a VA program assisting blind veterans. The Washburnes operate a farm in Cuba, N.M.

Altenbach lives on his off-the-grid, self-sufficient farm in the south valley of Albuquerque. Altenbach owned the world’s largest collection of rattlesnakes and is the foremost photographer of bats, having published his own book of bat photos as well as having them published in National Geographic. Altenbach is into old steam engines and has a steam tractor and steam mine hoist that he rebuilt.

“We are interested in music, our kids, horses, steam engines, trains, farming, humor, small towns, meeting interesting people and family,” says Altenbach. “There’s nothing like harmonies and some good jokes to restore sanity, if you had it in the first place.”

The doors open at 6:30 p.m.

For further information, call the community center at 264-4152. The Ross Aragon Community Center is located at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. The Ross Aragon Community Center produces this concert in collaboration with Elation Center for the Arts.

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