Farmington's DDAT will premiere new video during Food for Love benefit concert
Bandleader Delbert Anderson says group is working on musical theater production
FARMINGTON — A Farmington jazz, funk and hip hop quartet will debut the video for a new single during the Food for Love virtual benefit concert Feb. 13 that features such performers as The Chicks, David Byrne, Lyle Lovett, Steve Earle and Jackson Browne.
Farmington's DDAT will be featured in a video for the single "Coming Home," one of the songs off the group's "Born in an Odd Time" album that was recorded in August at Frogville Studios in Santa Fe.
DDAT leader Delbert Anderson said the video is scheduled to run sometime between 6 and 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 13. The concert begins at 5 p.m., but viewers may stream it until midnight on Feb. 15.
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Anderson describes "Born in an Odd Time" as a concept album, one that follows a character on a voyage of self-discovery. It chronicles the adventures of a Native dancer named Nat'âanii who decides to leave his village, only to become disillusioned and return home, where he finally finds peace.
Anderson said DDAT bassist Mike McCluhan developed the concept and basic story for "Born in an Odd Time" while the rest of the group helped flesh out those ideas. The video captures a live studio performance of "Coming Home" and was shot by the group's video crew that chronicled the making of the recording.
"Born in an Odd Time" has not been released yet, but the disc already has taken on additional life. Anderson said the album has evolved into a full-fledged musical theater production that is tentatively slated to make its debut in 2022.
Anderson, Desiree Henderson and DDAT drummer Nicholas Lucero have teamed up to write the script, which follows the story outlined over the course of the album. Anderson and the group are working on mounting a traveling, independent production that will feature a small group of regular core actors with local actors being recruited for the secondary roles at each location. The music of DDAT will play a major part in the production.
Anderson said he has applied for several grants to help get the production off the ground, and he expects to begin receiving word about whether those proposals were successful in March.
"If we're awarded those grants, the production would probably be ready by the end of this year," he said.
If those grant proposals are rejected, Anderson said that would only slow down the production's schedule, not sideline it.
"So it's going to happen either way," he said.
Anderson said six to seven venues across the country already have expressed interest in playing host to the production, and he hopes to begin signing contracts finalizing those commitments over the next several months.
"Born in an Odd Time" was originally conceived as an album, not a musical theater production, and Anderson acknowledged that projects of this nature don't usually evolve in that order.
"I don't know how to tell you how hard it was to have it inspired by the music itself," he said, laughing and explaining that an album usually follows in the footsteps of a play, not the other way around. "We knew we were going to run into that, but we were up for the challenge."
Anderson hopes his group's inclusion in the Food for Love benefit concert draws some additional attention to the project. Even though his band's profile has been growing steadily over the past few years with coast-to-coast performances, he said he was delighted to have his group featured alongside so many well-known international artists and groups. The lineup also includes Shawn Colvin, Nathaniel Rateliff, Rodney Crowell, Delbert McClinton, Jack Ingram, Marcia Ball, Joe Ely, Robert Earl Keen, Ryan Bingham, John Doe and Farmington's Chevel Shepherd, along with many others.
There is no charge to stream the concert, but viewers are encouraged to make a donation. All proceeds raised from the event will benefit the New Mexico Association of Food Banks, which includes the food bank operated by the Economic Council Helping Others Inc. in Farmington.
The concert can be streamed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lZwMy5BFto&feature=youtu.be, and donations can be made online at foodforlove.org.
Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or email@example.com. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.