Bernalillo is a little rural town just minutes north of Albuquerque on the way to the Santa Ana Casino.
The town has some dirt roads, manufactured homes in disrepair, livestock grazing in back yards, Obama signs in front yards.
The Rio Grande River and Bosque, a cottonwood forest, run through town on their way to Mexico, New Mexico and Mexico have never lost touch and stroll, hand in hand, along the river on warm spring nights,cotton ball flowers dropping into their dark hair.
By the freeway, on the South Hill frontage road, is the Kaktus Brewery and a Wednesday night Blues Jam.
The brewery has taken over an old fashioned 1950’s house modified to fit the business needs of a 2019 craft brewery. When you enter what used to be someone’s living room, the brewing area is visible through a side door. In the bar,an older group of pony tailed fans, men and women, drink. The blues jam is happening in an outside patio area where previous owners barbecued ribs and listened to Mozart.
Blues, as I usually think of them, belong on a front porch in Mississippi on a hot humid evening. An old black man sits on the edge of his porch, guitar strings sticking up like copperheads from the river. He hits a few chords and then his sad story comes out. The old man’s old favorite hound lays on a corner of the porch, his tail tapping the wood deck as his master’s knarled fingers move across the guitar frets.
Women light the place up tonight and their blues are always about sex and love getting in each other’s way.
The vibe at the Kaktus tonight is partly spiritual, partly venal, mostly party.