Guitarist and singer Levi Platero is from Tohajiilee, New Mexico, part of the Navajo Nation. His family band, The Plateros, toured for over a decade and gained a strong following for their blues-rock before joining the band Indigenous. More recently, Levi Platero took a break from Indigenous to launch himself as a solo artist, forming his own band and touring with his music ,which has won awards from both the New Mexico Music Association and Native American Music Association.
This Friday (Jan. 12), Levi Platero comes to Taos to perform at the KTAOS Solar Center, 9 NM Highway 150. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $10. For more information, call the venue at (575) 758-5826.
Levi Platero's band includes Bronson Begay on bass, Royce Platero on drums, and Tony Orant on keyboard. The band formed in late 2016 and released an EP of original music written by Levi Platero called "Take Me Back." The title track won a New Mexico Music Award for Best Blues in 2016. The song also won Best Blues Recording at the Native American Music Awards.
"It was pretty awesome. I'm very proud of that," said Platero.
He explained that his new band plays a similar style of blues rock that fans are familiar with from The Plateros and Indigenous with a departure into territory influenced by American musicians, Doyle Bramhall II, Gary Clark Jr. and Robert Cray.
"People like my blues roots and that's the kind of stuff we play. That's the kind of stuff we're gonna bring out," said Platero.
He added, "When it comes down to lyrics, [I keep it] positive and I talk about struggles and everyday living and everyday adversity."
Levi Platero is coming out with a brand-new album that he expects to release in April or May of this year. He worked with John Wall of Sound Studios in Albuquerque on this latest project, which has eight tracks on it. Platero also plans to begin work on a new recording project this year.
In 2017, Platero became the official spokesperson for the Freedom in Music project that brings guitars to incarcerated youth in juvenile detention centers in New Mexico and Texas. He said he wanted to be involved with the project because he could relate to the troubled youth.
"I think at a young age … I had trouble listening myself... I figured music is a better alternative than using drugs and getting into trouble with alcohol. I found a common ground. I see myself in a lot of the troubled youth," said Platero.
In addition to being involved with the Freedom in Music Project, Platero said he is active in the music of his home church in Albuquerque, where he now lives.
For 2018, Levi Platero will continue playing with his own band as well as Indigenous. He said he aims to bring his band to more festivals and venues this year and would also like to take on some film projects.
For more information, visit leviplateromusic.com.