From local backyards to the backcountry, Moab Grassroots Music Exchange (MGME) members often gather together to share the things that inspire them.
The MGME was born out of this community tradition. It aims to create a space and series of events that engage, nurture and share these connections. With music as its centerpiece, the MGME welcomes enthusiasts from all desert-inspired outlets to engage and participate, according to MGME co-founder Jenna Talbott.
The first of these series of events, free Leave-No-Trace campouts, will be held on Tuesday, April 28, at the MGME venue on Area BFE, just 15 minutes south of town.
Campers and show-goers are welcome to arrive to set up camp and enjoy the area any time during the day. The show will begin at 6 p.m.
Talia Keys, the frontwoman of the band Marinade, will be looping live funk, soul, reggae and rock, in support of MGME’s featured artist, Andrea Burggraf.
The evening will include supporting local musicians, live painting, fire spinning, drumming and local arts presentations.
Burggraf, of Salt Lake City, was selected as the first featured artist for these series of events. Burggraf is a singer/songwriter in the folk tradition, with alluring twists and electric accompaniment from Chad Biddle, also of Salt Lake City.
“She’s perfect for what we are aiming to do,” said Talbott, who co-founded MGME with Emily Ahrendt. “We are looking to feature musicians who are engaging, dynamic and eager to grow in their creative processes.”
Burggraf only recently entered the musical world of composing her own songs, recording and performing live.
“I grew up playing classical violin,” Burggraf said. “And then in 2013, when I was in Costa Rica, I only had five-hundred dollars and almost everything stolen from me. But I still wasn’t ready to go home. I spent my last hundred dollars on a cheap violin, then I traveled with a group of Mexican street performers, collaborating with them to make enough money to stay for the next six months. From there, I got interested in learning how to play the guitar and started singing.”
Burggraf found songwriting to be a more interesting way to reflect, process and document stories from the road. She attributes her rapid musical development to the support of other musicians and friends from all over the world.
“I started recording way before I was ever ready,” she said. “I am so grateful to Chad for his patience.”
Since then, Burggraf has launched a Soundcloud account with a number of original tracks. These can be found under her current project name, Andrealien, at https://soundcloud.com/andrealien-1.
“Andrea has something powerful going for her. Her voice is deep and soulful, her lyrics are colorful, intriguing, and full of heart, and her rhythm and technique carry influence from her travels,” Talbott said. “And then there’s Chad … I’ve never heard anything like what he does … You’ll just have to come and listen.”
The MGME will be filming the show on April 28, and hosting Burggraf, Biddle and Keys, for several days afterward.
MGME launches free music and arts series on April 28 at Area BFE
“We are looking to feature musicians who are engaging, dynamic and eager to grow in their creative processes.”
When: Tuesday, April 28 at 6 p.m.
Where: Area BFE. From downtown Moab, drive south on U.S. Highway 191 for about 13 miles. Just after the uphill passing lane ends, take the first left. Follow the maintained dirt road and signs for about three miles to the cleared parking area on the left.
To find out more about how to get involved in hosting, or for more information about the event, go to www.facebook.com/moabgme.