March 31, 2012: Tumbledown House

Tumbledown House

Gambling. Murder. Booze. Bicycles……

The music of Tumbledown House has been described as “gritty saloon jazz”, “modern speakeasy music”, and “Tom Waits in a cocktail dress”. Sultry vocalist Gillian Howe and the eclectic indie-jazz guitar work of Tyler Ryan Miller are Tumbledown House. Their music could provide the soundtrack for raucous, prohibition-themed parties and has “quickly ascended as one of the new, promising acts of the Rocky Mountain region” (Pop Rocket Press). I got to see their premiere showcase at Folk Alliance – I guarantee a rollicking fun time!

Tumbledown House has a brand new release (their second) called “Fables and Falsehoods”. The new album explores diverse subject matter (one song is based on the original story of Pinocchio written by Carlo Collodi in 1883, another describes the only consecrated shrine dedicated to unrepentant sinners, which still stands in Tucson, Arizona) and showcases the duo’s talent for creating something vintage and familiar, yet refreshing, distinct, and exciting.

Suggested artist donation $15

Music starts at 7:00 p.m. Socializing from 6:00 p.m.

Light refreshments provided, BYO wine and potluck refreshments to share are welcome.

For more information and an invitation, please contact Lee at 575-571-9178 or by e-mail at lasalturashouseconcerts (at)

Saturday, January 21, 2012: Hard Road Trio: Steve Smith, Chris Sanders and Anne Luna

Las Alturas House Concerts is proud to present The Hard Road Trio (Steve Smith, Chris Sanders and Anne Luna). Many of you are already familiar with the Hard Road Trio, or a least Steve and Chris. For those who have seen them recently, you already know they just keep getting better.

Steve is a virtuoso on mandolin, guitar and banjo and a fine singer and songwriter, internationally known as a performer and teacher. Chris is a singer and songwriter and guitarist and teacher, but that doesn’t convey the beauty of her soaring voice. Anne Luna is one of my favorite bass players, as well as a singer and songwriter. Her playing (on a full size acoustic bass several times bigger than she is) adds a rich, full sound to the trio, always tastefully supporting the music.

Steve, Chris and Anne are each fine musicians on their own. As a trio, they are even more than the sum of the parts. Regular touring over the last couple years has tightened up their playing. Beautiful harmonies, tight ensemble playing and blistering instrumental solos make for an exciting show.

We are looking forward to a great evening to kick off the last few shows at Las Alturas House Concerts. Please come share in the music and company. RSVP via email or phone and we will see you soon!


Saturday, January 21, 7:00 p.m.

Music starts at 7:00 p.m. Socializing from 6:00 p.m.

Light refreshments provided, BYO wine and/or potluck refreshments to
share are welcome.

Please RSVP to Lee at
or by phone: 575-522-5197.

Suggested artist donation $20


Saturday, September 24, 2011: Stephanie Bettman and Luke Halpin

Stephanie Bettman and Luke Halpin

Stephanie Bettman is a triple threat. An accomplished writer, she infuses her music with wit and wisdom, exploring the many facets of the human heart. Stephanie’s songs are sometimes sad, sometimes sassy, but always stunning. As a vocalist, she moves effortlessly from her up-tempo bluegrass originals (featuring her fiery fiddling), to a soothing honey-sweet ballad, to a rousing passionate anthem. While her first-rate fiddling combines elements of bluegrass and jazz, in her essence there is tribute to such masters as Stephane Grappelli, Byron Berline, and Johnny Gimble. One thing’s for sure, if Stephanie Bettman is on the bill, you are in for an unforgettable performance that will have you hooked from the first fiddle line to the last sweet harmony.

Touring with Stephanie is multi-instrumentalist Luke Halpin, who is equally adept on mandolin, fiddle and guitar. Inspired by the likes of Sam Bush, Tony Rice, and Mark O’Conner, Luke’s perfectly blended harmonies and his instrumental expertise together with Stephanie’s artistry and performance make for a dynamic experience audiences are discovering from coast to coast.

If you heard them on one of their earlier visits to Las Cruces, you already know all of this. So mark your calendar and come join us. If you haven’t heard Stephanie and Luke, you are in for a remarkable treat.!/stephaniebettma!/lukehalpin

Suggested artist donation $15

Music starts at 7:00 p.m. Socializing from 6:00 p.m.

Please bring potluck food and wine to share.

For more information, please contact Lee at or by phone: 575-522-5197

Saturday, May 21, 2011: Big Wide Grin

BWG Postcard
Big Wide Grin is the right name for this trio! When you hear them, you will have your own big wide grin! Their music and performance is joyful and uplifting, a mix of traditional and original music. This bi-coastal trio of Karl Werne, Elaine Dempsey and Lawrence Lambert from California and Virginia, bring diverse backgrounds of experience, music and theater together to form a rich, soulful blend of character and deep harmony. They are constantly on the move- whether at festivals, concert series, shows, or select house concerts and have shared the stage, collectively, with such artists as Janis Ian, Harriett Schock, Lowen & Navarro, Richie Havens, Bruce Hornsby and toured with legendary blues man Keb’ Mo’.

I saw Big Wide Grin in their Premiere Showcase at FAR-West (Western Region Folk Alliance) and was blown away by their performance. The opportunity to host them came up as the result of their being one of the winners of a contest sponsored by Concerts in Your Home. 30 artists submitted videos of their songs and 45 house concert hosts reviewed the entries and in multiple rounds, narrowed the top submissions down to 3 artists, each of whom won merchandise, cash and a house concert tour. Big Wide Grin’s tour is in the southwest, including Las Alturas House Concerts.

Born on the Mississippi, raised on the James, educated on the Appomattox and the Boneyard; Elaine has lived most of her life on the the Chesapeake and San Francisco Bays. She moved to the San Francisco Bay area from her home in Virginia with a desire and dedication to write. As a singer, songwriter and performer Elaine blends a background of folk, rock, gospel and blues to create a dynamic vocal and acoustic guitar style truly her own.

Raised on a farm in rural Virginia, Lambert started singing as a child with his twin brother and older twin brother and sister. Although the group could never replace the “Jackson Five,” it was a great way to spend those quiet nights in Pungo, Virginia. Music has always been a big part of Lambert’s life. Early piano lessons lead to the tenor sax and finally the show choir in high school. He found his voice again and the power of a well written song. Lambert continued to pursue his interests in music and theater at the University of Virginia. Although Lambert has developed the nickname “the Voice” for his unique vocal style; he wants nothing more than to write the kind of music that ‘helps someone to get over that broken heart; music that will make a difference and make the world better place.’ But, if you asked his mother, she would say that he should sing more in church.

Karl Werne has been entertaining the Hampton Roads area of Virginia Beach since he was 16 years old. Eight years with The Lewis McGehee Group and four years with his own Instant Karma have made Karl a local favorite with his versatile guitar work and smooth hypnotic vocals. Highlights of those years include touring as the opening act for Bruce Hornsby’s Grammy winning ‘The Way It Is Tour’ and numerous recordings still receiving airplay. When not on the road with BWG, Karl can be heard these days playing with saxophonist Eddie Williams and electric guitarist Curtis Eley.

“Big Wide Grin … Good singing. Great songs and the hardest working band in folk music.” Keb’ Mo’

“Take three supremely talented performers, throw in a generous portion of intelligent and heartfelt songwriting, add a dash of wit and charm, then sit yourself down to a spellbinding evening of top-notch entertainment with Big Wide Grin … guaranteed to put one on every face.” BJ Leiderman, theme composer, National Public Radio

“Big Wide Grin is well named. Their groove and their vibe will put a big smile on your face and in your heart.” Freebo, singer/songwriter, formerly Bonnie’s Raitt’s bass player

Suggested artist donation $20

Music starts at 7:00 p.m. Socializing from 6:00 p.m.

Light refreshments provided, guests are welcome to bring wine or refreshments to share.

Attendance is by invitation only. For more information, please contact Lee at 575-522-5197 or by e-mail at lasalturashouseconcerts (at)