By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer
A melting pot of influences will be enjoyed at the next Yellow City Sounds Live concert.
Hard Road Trio will perform at 7 p.m. Friday in the Panhandle PBS studio, 2408 S. Jackson St.
The concert — a joint production of Panhandle PBS and FM90 — is free. Seating is limited, and tickets, which are available at the link, are required. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
The concert will be streamed live on FM90 and on kacvfm.org, then broadcast later on Panhandle PBS.
Life-long musicians Steve Smith (vocals, mandolin, mandola and guitar) and Chris Sanders (vocals and guitar) are joined by emerging artist Anne Luna (vocals and bass). They combine with influences of bluegrass, choral singing and New Mexican tunes.
"Musically, what makes it click is that we all come from different backgrounds," Smith said. "Anne is a lifelong country and bluegrass player, and Chris started playing piano at 4 and got her masters in voice and piano. ... We've got all sorts of influences."
Smith himself is an acclaimed mandolin player who grew up playing banjo and guitar, as well.
“The Hard Road Trio’s website says that they live at the "crossroads of bluegrass and Americana,” and that’s a good start, but to truly understand you need to see them live,” said Mike Fuller, FM90 program director. “If you are unfamiliar with them before the show, you will be a fan when you leave.”
The New Mexico band began as a duo for Smith and Sanders 13 years ago. After a few years, they added Long, who studied at South Plains College in Levelland.
Smith said the band is looking forward to the listening-room vibe at Yellow City.
"I like a smaller audience," he said. "It can be more challenging because they're on top of you ... looking you in the eye. ... But I can look out and draw that energy back.
"You're really speaking to people. You can really make a connection with people," he said. "I just like that."