New Mexico band set to perform at Derby’s
■ Jesse Vivanco / Contributed
The C.W. Ayon band will be appearing at Derby’s Bar and Grill in Hemet for one night only on Friday, Feb. 1, during its current national tour. Although Cooper “CW” Ayon operated as a one man band out of New Mexico for years, the band has been a duo since 2017 with the addition of a Willie Dixon styled assist by Felipe Toltecatl.
The band, based in the southwest deserts of New Mexico, has the reputation and sound of the Mississippi Hill Country blues. With a simple kick/snare and tambourine setup, CW lays down solid beats with his feet while picking out catchy hooks on guitar. Meanwhile Felipe’s upright bass holds down the low end while adding a bounce to the beat with double and triple slaps, infusing a bounce to the beat. The sound seems to explode into that of a more respectable group.
Not generally known, CW’s wife taught him to play the guitar. His fingers captured the frets and strings before he learned to read the notes. He cut his musical teeth with local Las Cruces bands playing rock and covers. He became known as the guy who inserted as much blues into the music as he could get away with. Ayon is also known to include the beats from his Native American roots. He claims influence from the likes of Junior Kimbrough, R. L. Burnside, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters and Robert Belfour who are considered to be the parents of hill country and blues. Not a bad crowd to have as guiding muses. “I’ve been pretty fortunate in having steady gigs,” says CW.
The show on Feb. 1 will begin at 9 p.m.; this will be a free event open to the public. The band will perform at Derby’s Bar and Grill located at 2860 West Florida Avenue in Hemet.