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New Mexico's Cumbres & Toltec Railroad announces 2014 entertainment schedule

Ed Stabler, singer and guitarist
Cumbres & Toltec Railroad

The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad recently announced the 2014 Summer Entertainment Series, Saturdays, July 19 through September 13, 5 – 9 p.m. The romantic and scenic Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad Sunset Dinner Trains traverse some of the most beautiful and remote areas in the southern Rocky Mountains. Riders will enjoy the cool, crisp mountain air as the train climbs the 10,015-foot Cumbres Pass. The Sunset Dinner Trains include an onboard alcohol service, a scrumptious dinner at the summit of Cumbres Pass, an opportunity to enjoy some of the most beautiful sunsets in the West, and great music.

The 2014 Sunset Dinner Train Entertainment schedule is:

Saturdays, July 19 – Sept. 13, 2014

July 19: Ed Stabler, San Angelo, Texas

July 26: DJ El Norteño, Tierra Amarilla, N.M.

August 2: Bishops 10, Antonito, Colo.

August 9: Jake Vigil, Bad Attitude Band, Antonito, Colo.

August 16: DJ El Norteño, Tierra Amarilla, N.M.

August 23: Jake Vigil, Bad Attitude Band, Antonito, Colo.

August 30: Labor Day Weekend, DJ El Norteño, Tierra Amarilla, N.M.

September 6: The Syd Masters Duo, Albuquerque, N.M.

September 13: Mariachi Río Grande, Taos, N.M.

Saturday, July 19: Ed Stabler, San Angelo, Texas

Ed Stabler is a singer and guitarist well known for his rich singing voice and smooth, finger-picking guitar style. A Colorado ranch background and the gift of a guitar at age ten got him started singing old cowboy songs early in life. In the 1960s he sang in folk clubs and coffee houses, and always included cowboy songs with what was then “mainstream” folk music. Ed has recently returned to his folk music roots and is reviving many of the great songs he sang years ago. The subject matter of the songs he sings is as broad and varied as his life has been, and he has added some blues and old standards to his song bag.

Stabler has been a deputy sheriff, television news anchor, radio DJ, steam-locomotive engineer, full-time Western musician, and is now semiretired so that he can play a little music and enjoy life. Music is the thread that has held his life together. In 1996 he was nominated for eight awards by the Academy of Western Artists, including Entertainer of the Year. The Western Music Association nominated him for Instrumentalist of the Year in 1997 and 2000. He released “Fast Freight,” a CD of railroad and hobo songs, in 2012. He also played guitar on Lorrie Newman Keating’s new CD, “In the Booth.” In January 2010, Ed and bassist Kelly Henson released their CD, “Ed Stabler with Kelly Henson: Wind in the Wire.” Ed’s available solo recordings also include “Partner of the Wind” (cassette only) and “Long Roads, Legends and Lies.”

July 26 & August 16: DJ El Norteño, Tierra Amarilla, N.M.

The famed DJ El Norteño, from the Chama Valley, will play a mixture of all sorts of regional music.

August 2: Bishops 10, Antonito, Colo.

Bishops 10 is a rock band from Colorado. The band consists of multi-instrumentalist and backing vocalist Michele Trujillo, lead singer and guitarist Mike Trujillo, and percussionist Rennie Stevens. All members sing lead and harmony interchangeably. Their music is primarily classic rock in origin, with a slight inflection of blues, and their unique style of harmonies reflects the mystic sounds of the Lydian and Algerian modes, a musical structure commonly found in the Middle East and the Himalayas. www.bishops10.com

August 9 & 23: Jake Vigil, Bad Attitude Band, Antonito, Colo.

Country, Southwestern, and Classic Rock.

September 6: The Syd Masters Duo, Albuquerque, N.M.

Syd Masters is an award-winning singer and songwriter of traditional Western music who takes pride in keeping the Old West alive through traditional cowboy music and songwriting. Combining classic favorites with colorful songwriting, Masters’ melodies branch out from his accomplished musicianship, and his adoration of the mountains and prairies he calls home. The Syd Master’s Duo is highly talented, thoroughly funny, good-time cowboy band who will inspire many Sunset Dinner Train riders to dance and sing along.

Masters is the author and recording artist of the official state song of New Mexico and winner of the 2011 Academy of Western Artists award for Male Vocalist of the Year. The Western Music Association, Academy of Western Artists, and the New Mexico Music Industry nominated him for more than 40 awards over the past 15 years, and he has won in the categories of Vocalist of the Year, Country Song of the Year, Best Album, Best Band, Most Humorous Song, and Best Song. The U.S. Department of State named him a Cultural Ambassador for his work entertaining the secret-service departments of 26 foreign countries in the Diplomatic Security Antiterrorism Assistance Program. Masters has also appeared in TV commercials and billboards throughout the West as a spokesman for the Powerball Lottery Campaign. His original compositions have been used in numerous film productions, ranging from documentaries and television broadcasts to the recent Universal Studios motion picture “Paul,” in which he also appeared as an actor. http://www.sydmasters.com

September 13: Mariachi Río Grande, Taos, N.M.

Nick Branchal is well known and loved throughout northern New Mexico for introducing many young people to the world of mariachi music. He founded a mariachi program in 1981 in the Taos Municipal Schools. The music Branchal and his band will perform for Sunset Dinner Train passengers celebrates their Hispanic culture through sharply contrasting sounds: sweet violins against brilliant trumpets; the deep guitarrón against the crisp, high voice of the vihuela; and frequent shifts between syncopation and on-beat rhythm. The resulting sound is the heart and soul of Mexico.

Cumbres & Toltec Sunset Dinner Train, Saturdays, 5–9 p.m., July 19 through September 13
Entertainment: 6:30–7:30 p.m. at the Pavilion
Parlor: $185 adult • Deluxe Tourist: $145 adult, $69 child • Coach: $99 adult, $49 child
All trains depart from the Chama Depot. The dinner includes prime rib or chicken, and salad.

CUMBRES & TOLTEC INFO: 888-286-2737, www.cumbrestoltec.com

Information courtesy: Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad