Bernalillo is a small rural town just north of Albuquerque.
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 the Bosque, a cottonwood forest, flow through town on their way to Mexico.
By the freeway, on the South Hill frontage road, is the Kaktus Brewery.
The brewery itself has taken over an old fashioned 1950’s house and modified it to fit the business needs of a 2019 craft brewery. What used to be someone’s bedroom has become a brewing area. In the bar, through what used to be a living room door, I can see an older group of pony tailed fans, men and women, drinking. The blues jam is happening in the back 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, but mostly party.