Gearing up for the 2017 Music on the Mesa

Article Contributed by Janie Franz | Published on Monday, May 22, 2017

In two weeks, the high desert mesa near Taos will once again rock the mountains looking down at it. Music on the Mesa Festival is known for the high quality of the artists it books and this year is certainly no exception. Headlining the 2017 Music on the Mesa festival are Railroad Earth and Robert Randolph and the Family Band!

There also are some glorious combinations of musicians, coming together for this festival.  Drew Emmitt, who is a founding member of Leftover Salmon and who recently toured with the Traveling McCourys, along with other members of Leftover Salmon and Jeremy Garret of the Infamous Stringdusters are guaranteed to bring down the house on the first night of the fest. Then the Cheesedusters will explode on stage Sunday night. The Cheesedusters are comprised of Bill Nershi and Michael Travis from The String Cheese Incident, Andy Hall and Chris Pandolfi from the Infamous Stringdusters, and John Cowan from the New Grass Revival and the Doobie Brothers.

And that’s not all. Returning are the multitalented Elephant Revival, rockabilly great Wayne “the Train” Hancock, and singer songwriters Kelly Mickwee who used to sing with the Trishas and sultry, sexy Grace Askew.

Sprinkled between these acts is a roster that is sure to please every single musical bone in your body! Singer songwriters like funky Ry Taylor, jazzy Patrice Pike, gutsy bluesy Alice Wallace, southern rock/blues artist Chris J. Arellano, the Americana/folkies The Harmaleighs, and Americana legend James McMurtry.

Then there are the varied combos and bigger bands. The Sweetwater String Band will bring their cello driven soulgrass to the stage. Haunted Windchimes offers old-time flavored tunes for today.  And Gipsy Moon will enthrall festival-goers with their unique approach to folk that has Irish and Eastern European flavors. Others include Americana band The Battlefield with their great harmonies, jammers Coral Creek, funk masters The Greyhounds, the folky girl duo Rising Appalachia, spiritual pop group The Giving Tree Band, the disco funk band Last to Know, country band Western Centuries, the sensational jazz funkers The California Honeydrops, and Durango’s own jammers Liver Down the River (I heard these guys last year at Rhythms on the River. Dynamite!).

All this goodness on three stages. The amphitheater stage is a bigger venue for all of your dirt dancing desires. The smaller outdoor stage is for more intimate listening while enjoying the beautiful New Mexico sunshine. And the indoor stage with a wooden dance floor just waiting for happy feet.

Hosted by the Taos Mesa Brewing Company, there will be lots of different beers to choose from, with usually a couple new flavors for festival-goers to experience. Food is available on-site to please those carnivores among you, as well as the vegetarians.

Camping space is available at the Starlight Campground next door for those with tents or RVs. And this year the brand new Hotel Luna Mystica will be open for festival-goers to book into. This hotel really is a unique idea there on the mesa. It is lodging in vintage Airstream and Aristocrat trailers. Last year I wrote a bit about this idea when it was merely in the idea stage, though management had already begun to purchase trailers. I’ll be living out of one of the smaller ones this year and giving you a full report.

The schedule is listed below. You can purchase tickets and camping passes and find out more information about Music on the Mesa on their website.

And you can find out more about Hotel Luna Mystica with photos of the grounds and the trailers here.


Ry Taylor

4:00-5:00  (Amphitheater)

Sweetwater String Band

5:00-6:30 (Patio Stage)

Haunted Windchimes

6:30-8:00  (Amphitheater)

Gipsy Moon

8:00-9:30  (Indoor Stage)

Elephant Revival

9:30-11:00  (Amphitheater)

Drew Emmitt and members of Leftover Salmon with Jeremy Garrett of The Infamous Stringdusters

11:00-12:00am  (Indoor Stage)


The Battlefield

11:00-12:30 (Amphitheater)

Patrice Pike

12:30-1:30 (Patio Stage)

Coral Creek

1:30-3:00  (Amphitheater)

Kelley Mickwee

3:00-4:00 (Patio Stage)

The Greyhounds

4:00-5:30  (Amphitheater)

Grace Askew

5:30-7:00  (Indoor Stage)

Rising Appalachia

7:00-8:30  (Amphitheater)

The Giving Tree Band

8:30-9:30  (Indoor Stage)

Robert Randolph and the Family Band

9:30-11:00  (Amphitheater)

Last to Know

11:00-12:00am  (Indoor Stage)


Chris Arellano

11:00-12:00 (Patio Stage)

Western Centuries

12:00-1:00 (Amphitheater)

Alice Wallace

1:00-2:00  (Patio Stage)

Wayne The Train Hancock

2:00-3:30 (Amphitheater)

The Harmaleighs

3:30-4:30  (Patio Stage)

James McMurtry

4:30-6:00  (Amphitheater)

The California Honeydrops

6:00-7:00  (Indoor Stage)

Railroad Earth

7:00-9:00  (Amphitheater)

The Cheesedusters Bill Nershi  &  Michael Travis – From The String Cheese Incident Andy Hall  &  Chris Pandolfi  from The Infamous Stringdusters, 
John Cowan  – From New Grass Revival and The Doobie Brothers

9:00-11:00  (Amphitheater)

Liver Down the River

11:00-12:00am  (Indoor Stage)