Roosevelt Collier 2.21.19

Tumbleroot Brewery & Distillery
Santa Fe, NM

Words & Photos by J. Picard

"It's an incredible room!" "You're going to love it!" "It's very vibey!" These are just a few of the things that folks at Meow Wolf told us the previous night about Tumbleroot. We ate breakfast at The Pantry, a great little diner on the outskirts of Santa Fe and loaded into what was indeed a beautiful venue. There were multiple tears, live edge tables, couches, coffee tables and large log beams stretching across the adobe building. We were in the southwest and we were excited to kick off the three night run of shows!

We ordered beers brewed in house and some incredible food while the band sounchecked and rehearsed. The room sounded great and there were a decent amount of pre-sales for the evening! Post souncheck folks started arriving and coming over to say hello and meet Rosie. With it being his first time in the market people were basing their presence on word of mouth, what they heard on the radio and the anticipation was high. Around 7:45 PM the band hit and jaws were on the floor almost immediately. Rosie encouraged everyone to hit the dance floor and hit the dance floor they did as Roosevelt's steel guitar screamed. He ripped through some songs from his album Exit 16, as well as a couple of covers, with Joel Searls booming on bass and Neal Evans going all out on drums, people were hooked. At one point Roosevelt broke a string on his pedal steel and switched right over to his newer lap steel that had a monstrous tone.

About an hour after they began, we took a setbreak and headed backstage to unwind for a few minutes before returning for a second set. At one point there was a knock at the door and Tim, the promoter, said there was someone who wanted to meet the band. Though it was setbreak and maybe not the best time, we obliged and in walked Luis Guzman. "No fucking way," I said as I hopped to my feet to greet him. "Is this really happening?" Rosie exclaimed. So many of my favorite movies and shows flashed through my mind in that moment. It was surreal. He hung out for a few minutes taking pictures and telling the band how awesome they were. "I'm going to hang out. See you after the show," he said as he sauntered over and took a seat at a nearby table.

The band shifted gears and returned to the stage jumping into covers of Prince's "Kiss" and Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel." Smiling faces basked in the excitement of familiarity and many others in the technical prowess of the output. At one point Luis was getting down, pulled out his phone and went live on Instagram, to which his fanbase responded with enthusiasm! Highlights of the show for me were Rosie's original "Spike" and Herbie Hancock's "Spankalee." Even the staff was out on the floor throwing down as the vibe turned into more of a party! Around 10:30 PM the band concluded and came out to take pictures with new fans and hang for a bit with Luis, who was also taking photos with fans.

The night ended with everyone filing out until it was pretty much only the band, the staff, Luis and his party. There was some mention of breakfast with Luis, but I didn't put much stock in that as we packed up the car and headed back to the hotel to reflect on night one. The next morning I got a text from Rosie letting me know that we would be meeting Luis for breakfast at 8:30 AM. We got ready and headed to a place called The New Baking Co. where Luis already had a table for us. The next couple of hours were spent telling stories, laughing, learning about Luis' past and how he used to be a social worker. He told us about how he got started and how grateful he was every day. He showed us pictures of his kid's art and invited us to Vermont to visit. Even as we were leaving breakfast Luis was posing for photos and obliging anyone who wanted to engage in a conversation. It was a special experience that I won't soon forget and it was off to Taos for night two!


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