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Saturday , November 17 2018
Home | Tag Archives: rio grande

Tag Archives: rio grande

El Barrio del Diablo: FastForward to the Music – A Li’l Band From Texas Says ‘Hello’

All the way from Nottingham, England, Ten Years After had a date with a well-behaved EP audience that got a heavy dose of British-styled blues rock.

But first, the opening band.

Here was a nondescript trio that appeared like local regular guys. Sort of. The lead singer and guitarist wore a sports coat and jeans, his glasses resembling the classic round frames that John Lennon wore in his later years. The bass player had a beard and wore a modest beige-colored cowboy hat. The drum kit brand was Fibes, and rested on a riser that was draped with a colorful sarape.

The logos on the speaker boxes had a small palm tree with the words: Rio Grande.

Without any introduction, the moment they hit their first few notes these three guys punched out some boogie blues music that immediately turned heads and shut up the small talk around me.

Before ZZ TOP became the weird beards: Dusty Hill, Frank Beard and Billy Gibbons – circa 1969
Before ZZ TOP became the weird beards: Dusty Hill, Frank Beard and Billy Gibbons – circa 1969

Harmonizing on tunes like Francine and Chevrolet, they rocked the house with others like Backdoor Love Affair and Just Got Paid. We were witnessing the early look and stripped-down awesome sound of ZZ TOP.

They played such a memorable set, the promoter booked them six months later to headline another EP show, with local band “Gorilla” opening. Tickets for that show were $2. That is not a typo.

It would be the beginning of a decades-long relationship between the little ol’ band from Texas and countless Coliseum audiences (including the Civic Center crowds in 1974, for the Fandango tour.)

The first time I heard Ten Years After’s live version of “I’m Going Home” from the Woodstock soundtrack, I thought I had peed my pants. Alvin Lee’s one minute and five second pyrotechnics in just the intro alone, is nothing short of a guitar clinic.

This 12 minute rock classic is a relentless and frenetic 4/4 time rocker with a ridiculous 119 beats per minute; and entertains the most hardened music critics still out there.

So after witnessing a hot little no-name band light-up the Coliseum stage, one wondered what Ten Years After had in store. It was something entirely different.

tenyearsafterTaking a page from their album at the time, Cricklewood Green, the band walked on and started nice and easy with “Love Like A Man”, creating an ethereal, bluesy atmosphere in the cow barn. Maintaining the vibe into their set with several other slow numbers, the band took their time getting to the rough stuff.

Then, “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” and “I Can’t Keep From Crying”, turned up the volume to eleven. During one solo, using the mike stand as a slide, Alvin Lee showed the audience his prowess with his trademark Gibson ax.

After killing it at the end of the show with I’m Going Home, the crowd rose to their feet for the encore as TYA gave the lone star state a nod with “Sweet Little Sixteen” ( “Deep in the heart of Texas, and round the Frisco bay”).

The Coliseum had welcomed and cheered on two new acts that had not played EP before, and thanks to the promoter TYA returned two more times. Once more at the Coliseum ’71 and another at the Civic Center in ’74.

The lights went on and as I walked up the ramp from the main floor to the corridor that separated the stands from the exits, I stopped and looked left after something had caught my attention.

At the end of the corridor was a makeshift barrier in front of the dressing room door. From a distance I saw Ric Lee and Leo Lyons leaving. I got closer and waited.

After a minute, Chick Churchill walked out, then Alvin Lee. I reached out to shake his hand and he stopped for a moment. I thanked him for an awesome show and he humbly and quietly said, “Thank you”.

And the little ol’ band from Texas? They continue touring to this day. Those boys were born to boogie!

Next: an impromptu meeting with Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath!

Jose Oswaldo RicoDo you recall any rock shows from that era? Leave a comment! I’d like to hear from you.

José Oswaldo Rico, Guest Contributor

Previous  columns HERE

Video+Story: Rio Grande Water Arrives in El Paso

El Paso received its first allotment of water from the Rio Grande Monday; the first flow of what will eventually total approximately 50,000 acre feet of river water for this season, or 40 percent of total water demands.

Via a Facebook post, EPW Officials said, “The amount of water we receive from the river plays a critical role in our water management strategies. The more water we receive, the less we need to pull from the local aquifers. It allows the aquifers to recharge, which makes us better prepared for any future drought conditions.”

A video shows water reaching the Jonathan W. Rogers Water Treatment Plant Monday afternoon.

In total, the plant will receive approximately 20 million gallons of water in just one day.  This year’s allotment is comparable to last year.

Officials add, “We have seen a steady increase in our total allotments but still remain below pre-drought levels”

According to EPW’s Website, El Paso Water Utilities supplies about 90% of all municipal water in El Paso County.  Surface water is supplied from the Rio Grande.  The Rio Grande flows that are diverted in the El Paso area are primarily derived from snowmelt runoff in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico.   Spring runoff is stored in Elephant Butte Reservoir in southern New Mexico before releases are made for irrigation and municipal use in southern New Mexico and the El Paso area.

The allotment will run from April through the end of September.

Water Returning to Rio Grande, Expected to be in El Paso Area Monday Afternoon

According to social media posts by the National Weather Service in Santa Teresa, Borderland residents should see the river begin to flow once again.

As of Sunday Afternoon, according to the NWS’s post, water was released from Caballo Dam had passed the gauge at Leasburg, but had yet to make it to Mesilla.

Officials added, “The current forecast indicates water reaching El Paso (near Sunland Park) by Monday afternoon, though this might be a little optimistic.”

Earlier this month, forecaster at the National Weather Service put out their monthly Flooding Outlook, which includes snowpack information for the Upper Rio Grande area.

Their tracking indicated that snowpack for the river was running above normal, as was the runoff for both the Upper Rio Grande and the Pecos River Basins.

Those readers who would like to”track” the progress of the water, can do so by checking the hydrographs.