Art & Culture

Hammond Ranch hosting outdoor concert with award-winning duo

Mitch Hammond aims to teach people about San Benito County’s ‘huge, rich’ cowboy history.
Allegretto performing at a small invitational concert at the Hammond Ranch. Photo courtesy of Mitch Hammond.
Allegretto performing at a small invitational concert at the Hammond Ranch. Photo courtesy of Mitch Hammond.
Mitch Hammond and Gary Allegretto. Photo courtesy of Mitch Hammond.
Mitch Hammond and Gary Allegretto. Photo courtesy of Mitch Hammond.
The cover for the duo's album Allegretto/Espinoza. Photo courtesy of Gary Allegretto.
The cover for the duo's album Allegretto/Espinoza. Photo courtesy of Gary Allegretto.

The evening of Sept. 10 is set to be a night of rich entertainment as the Hammond Ranch off of Panoche Road in Paicines hosts Grammy-nominated Gary Allegretto with Ian Espinoza for “A Concert on the Ranch,” at 7 pm. 

Allegretto and Espinoza are Academy of Western Artists Will Rogers award winners for Duo/Group of the year and acclaimed artists. The duo have continually demonstrated their vocal talent and instrumental mastery, topping the charts for Western Music Radio and earning positive comments from various publications such as Western Way magazine, American Cowboy magazine and Western Horseman. 

The performance setting will bring together the ambiance of the rural venue with the artistry of the entertainment, pairing the historical feel of the ranch with the broad history of the blues and cowboy music Allegretto and Espinoza are known for. 

“It’s going to be out on the ranch with the cattle, not a building in sight, being serenaded into the night by two very talented musicians,” said Mitch Hammond, property owner and event coordinator. 

“It just fits like a glove,” said Allegretto. “We’ll be playing a wide range of songs, songs that fit the atmosphere.” 

Hammond first encountered the duo’s music when he saw them perform in Elko, Nevada, at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, an event that celebrates a variety of western, folk and cowboy art forms. 

“The two of us together tell stories, paint pictures and make people laugh. I love humor in music and my stories are often humorous,” said Allegretto. “I think you need to balance stories out between humor and stories that touch you deep in your soul.”

Allegretto and Espinoza both hail from Southern California, in a region that holds years of music making and entertainment history, bringing forth artists like the Doors, the Eagles and western film stars like Tom Mix. 

“I stretch into all kinds of music, American music, including cowboy music,” said Allegretto, “99% of what I do is all original so putting me in a genre is pretty tough to do. Cowboy music is not one thing; it’s deeply steeped in the blues and I love that about it because that gives cowboy music its soul.”

Allegretto and Hammond both acknowledge the importance of the history threaded through their repertoire, from the post-Civil War influence of the blues on cowboy ballads to California’s deep agricultural roots. 

“We have a huge, rich cowboy history in this state and I’m hoping to inspire people to learn about that in lots of different ways,” said Hammond. 

Hammond indicated that the plan is to continue to develop the ranch to provide a more expansive experience through an enterprise called The Ranch Retreat, which aims to include more concerts like this one. 

With more moderate temperatures forecasted for Sept. 10th and a full moon in the sky that night, the performance promises to be what Allegretto calls “a very enjoyable evening of songs and storytelling.” 

Admission is $40 at the door and it’s recommended to RSVP to Mitch Hammond at the contact info below. Bring your own refreshments or food to enjoy. 

 

 

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Jenna Fields

Jenna is a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Agriculture Communications. During her time at Cal Poly, she became heavily involved in the Young Cattlemen's Association, Beef Unit, and Bull Test, both managing and handling marketing for the Bull Test for two years. Coming from six generations of cattle ranching, her interest and passion lies heavily within the agriculture industry and rural communities. In addition to writing, Jenna is a portrait and livestock photographer, avid reader, and runs commercial cattle with her family.