Pickmania New Mexico

What do you get when you pair hundreds of fans together with amazing acoustic talent in a ghost town in the Black Range Mountains of New Mexico? Picamania, of course! This Woodstock-like festival, albeit on a smaller scale, brings musicians and enthusiasts together the second weekend of September each year for three days of blues, folk, blue grass, and Americana music that will get you clapping, stomping and having one heck of a time! So let’s take a closer look!

Humble Beginnings by An Amazing Man

From Farm to Stage

Pickmania New Mexico

Founded by Bill Bussmann in a garlic shed on his family farm in the mid 1980’s, the first Picamania event drew fewer than a hundred guests yet laid the foundation for a legacy that has continued to this day. By the early 1990’s, this wildly popular annual event had grown to the point that the family farm simply couldn’t accommodate the crowds, so the venue shifted to Silver City, New Mexico and then, in 2017, to the stage at the Black Range Lodge in Kingston, New Mexico.

The Founder:  Bill Bussmann

Pickmania New Mexico

A man with a quick wit and an unbounded love for music, Bill Bussmann lived along Animas Creek in Caballo, New Mexico, where he and his wife, Susie, ran an organic garlic farm. His farming efforts may have fed his family but it’s music that fed his soul. Even in his earliest years, Bill loved music, and by the time he graduated from high school, he was a very accomplished electric bass player. Through the years, Bill played with friends and various local bands every chance he had, even forming a group with his wife and two children. And when a group of musicians and guests joined him almost forty years ago for a “backyard party” in his garlic shed, Pickamania was born.

Worldwide Fame

Pickmania New Mexico

Who would think that one who lived in a rural, rather isolated setting would be known around the world for his expert craftsmanship in making mandolins? The fact is, Bill Bussmann was, indeed, so noted. So how did a garlic farmer get into crafting mandolins?  It happened quite by accident. A friend, both talented in fiddling and fiddle making, suggested that Bill try his hand at it. Bill actually took it seriously, eventually enrolling in a fiddle making apprentice program. That experience got him thinking that he could make several mandolins in the same time as one fiddle, so he shifted gears, honing his luthier skills and making some the best mandolins the world had ever seen, all from that same garlic shed from which Picamania was born.

Under the brand name Old Wave Mandolins, Bill’s one-of-a-kind creations, which totaled roughly 600, included electric basses, dulcimers, and steel string guitars, along with various types of mandolins. And even in his crafting of these amazing instruments, his humor shined through in variations that included bass guitars shaped like fish, mandolins in the shape of watermelon with a bite taken out of them, a mandolin shaped like Swiss cheese, and an upright bass that Bill crafted from a Pontiac gas tank!

A Great Loss

Pickmania New Mexico

In May of 2023, family and friends from across the nation mourned the loss of a man who filled their lives with love, laughter and music. Sadly, Bill has passed, but his legacy will live on indefinitely through the indelible mark he left in the hearts of those who knew and loved him, through all the Pickamania musicians and guests who come together year after year, and through Bill’s exceptional hand-crafted instruments that will be treasured for countless years to come.

Pickamania 2023

A Tribute to Bill Bussmann

Pickmania New Mexico

Pickamania 2023 saw crowds like never before, which is not surprising since the festival served as both a tribute to and celebration of Bill’s life. Friends from all over the country made the trek to Kingston to honor Bill’s memory.  Tears, laughter and memories were interwoven with three days of fabulous acoustic music that resonated through the foothills of the Black Range. The third day of the event was particularly inspiring as the entire day was dedicated to Bill.

The Venue

Pickmania New Mexico

The setting for Pickamania is a bit out of the ordinary and definitely off the beaten path, 26 miles west of I-25 at the Black Range Lodge in Kingston, New Mexico. Once a robust mining community, Kingston is designated as a New Mexico ghost town, home to only a few dozen residents today. Nestled in the heart of the Black Range Mountains, the lodge and surrounding mountains offer a most unique backdrop for this one-of-a-kind event. It’s only fitting that the lodge serves as the official venue for the festival since it’s been welcoming guests since the 1880’s! Plus, the lodge’s outdoor pavilion, stage and shade trees make an ideal setting for musicians and guests alike, with plenty of food, desserts, beer, and wine to keep everyone refreshed and happy.

An Unforgettable Lineup

Pickmania New Mexico

With the support of the Sierra County Arts Council (SCAC), Pickamania 2023 was a huge success. Friday night kicked off with original folk music by Ryan Dilts and Gabrielle Louise, a singer/songwriter from Colorado. The evening concluded with the bluegrass, folk and country songs of Wil Maring, accompanied by Nashville musician Robert Bowlin on the guitar and fiddle.

Saturday’s lineup included bluegrass tunes by Albuquerque’s Duke City Swamp Coolers; the soulful bluegrass music of banjo virtuoso Tim Weed; southwestern bluegrass music by Peter McLaughlin and Chris Brashear; and a Super Jam, with Pickamania’s super stars merging their talents for a unforgettable evening of memorable music.

Sunday’s tribute to Bill Bussman began with Gospel Hour, followed by a community potluck and an open mic to share memories of Bill. The event concluded with the Hard Road Trio, the Hassle Family, the 24/7 Blues Band, the Miner’s Garage Band and more, including Ezra Bussmann, the very talented son of Bill Bussman whose musical expertise includes the mandolin, fiddle and dobro. 

Conclusion

This not-so-ordinary three-day event is well worth putting on your calendar, particularly if you enjoy the acoustic sounds of guitars, banjos, fiddles and mandolins in combination with a stunning mountain setting. So plan ahead, mark your calendar, and prepare to enjoy a most relaxing and beautiful environment while experiencing three days of exceptional music at Pickamania 2024! Details will be available at www.sierracountyarts.org.


Featured Listings

Lakeway Shopping Center – Space #1900 Available For Lease

1900 N Date St, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901, USA

Space for lease #1900 in the Lakeway Shopping Center. 17,185...

  • 17185 sq ft
1900 N Date St, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901, USA

    402 San Andres Dr, Elephant Butte, NM

    $229,000.00For Sale
    402 San Andres Dr, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901, USA

    Welcome to 402 San Andres Dr, Elephant Butte , NM,...

    • 3 beds
    • 2 baths
    • 1350 sq ft
    402 San Andres Dr, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901, USA
      $229,000.00 For Sale

      10 Monterry Point, Truth Or Consequences, New Mexico

      $2,500.00For Rent
      10 Monterrey Point, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901, USA

      10 Monterrey Point features 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and 2500...

      • 4 beds
      • 4 baths
      • 2500 sq ft
      10 Monterrey Point, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901, USA
        $2,500.00 For Rent

          Lakeway Shopping Center – Space #1850 Available For Lease

          1900 N Date St, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901, USA

          Space for lease #1850 in the Lakeway Shopping Center. 10,452...

          • 10452 sq ft
          1900 N Date St, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901, USA

            Lakeway Shopping Center – Space #1810 Available For Lease

            1900 N Date St, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901, USA

            Space for lease #1810 in the Lakeway Shopping Center. 2,813...

            • 2813 sq ft
            1900 N Date St, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901, USA

              Available For Sale – Vacant Land 4.89 Acres

              $8,107.00Terms Available
              Sanders Unified District, AZ, USA

              There is So Much to Do on This 4.89-Acre Lot Available...

                Sanders Unified District, AZ, USA
                  $8,107.00 Terms Available

                  Available For Sale – Vacant Land 160 Acres

                  $160,000.00Terms Available
                  Alamosa School District RE-11J, CO, USA

                  160 acres of vacant land available for sale. Available on...

                    Alamosa School District RE-11J, CO, USA
                      $160,000.00 Terms Available

                      Available For Sale – Vacant Land 1.25 Acres

                      $4,752.00Terms Available
                      Alamosa School District RE-11J, CO, USA

                      Live A Truly Off-Grid Life on This 1.25-Acre Lot in...

                        Alamosa School District RE-11J, CO, USA
                          $4,752.00 Terms Available

                          Available For Sale – Vacant Land 40 Acres

                          $32,000.00Terms Available
                          Sangre de Cristo School District RE-22J, CO, USA

                          Imagine all the things you can do with 40-acres. You...

                            Sangre de Cristo School District RE-22J, CO, USA
                              $32,000.00 Terms Available

                              Available For Sale – Vacant Land 1.42 Acres

                              $4,800.00Terms Available
                              Alamosa School District RE-11J, CO, USA

                              Let’s go Off-Grid with this Luxurious 1.42-acre Paradise in Alamosa,...

                                Alamosa School District RE-11J, CO, USA
                                  $4,800.00 Terms Available

                                  Available For Sale – Vacant Land – 5.43 Acres

                                  $15,680.00Terms Available
                                  Sangre de Cristo School District RE-22J, CO, USA

                                  Live a luxurious lifestyle when you build your home on...

                                    Sangre de Cristo School District RE-22J, CO, USA
                                      $15,680.00 Terms Available

                                        Hwy 179 & 51, Truth or Consequences, NM

                                        E. Third Avenue, Truth or Consequences, NM, USA

                                        Vacant Land up on the hill borders Bureau of reclamation...

                                          E. Third Avenue, Truth or Consequences, NM, USA

                                            618 S Broadway St, Truth or Consequences, NM

                                            618 S Broadway St, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901, USA

                                            This well-maintained commercial property is located in the heart of...

                                              618 S Broadway St, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901, USA

                                                  Mirada Del Lago, Sierra County, NM

                                                  5R6V+H2 Truth or Consequences, NM, USA

                                                  Imagine owning a beautiful, secluded piece of land in the...

                                                  • -1 beds
                                                  5R6V+H2 Truth or Consequences, NM, USA

                                                    Alamosa Ranch Entitled – Subdivision 54 Lots

                                                    87 Alamosa Village Rd, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901, USA

                                                    This 54-lot subdivision is located in Sierra County, just north...

                                                      87 Alamosa Village Rd, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901, USA

                                                        Alamosa Ranch – 600 Acres

                                                        109 Alamosa Village Rd, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901, USA

                                                        This 600-acre vacant land in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico,...

                                                          109 Alamosa Village Rd, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901, USA

                                                              Coleman St, Truth or Consequences, NM

                                                              Coleman St, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901, USA

                                                              Are you looking for a unique investment opportunity in Truth...

                                                                Coleman St, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901, USA

                                                                  820 Grape St, TorC, NM

                                                                  For Rent
                                                                  820 Grape St, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901, USA

                                                                  This charming 2-bedroom, 1.5-bathrooms, single-family home is located in the...

                                                                  • 3 beds
                                                                  • 2 baths
                                                                  • 1400 sq ft
                                                                  820 Grape St, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901, USA
                                                                    For Rent

                                                                      Engle Road Acres – 162 Acre Land Near Spaceport

                                                                      3X6V+H6 Engle, NM, USA

                                                                      This 162-acre vacant land is ideally situated for a variety...

                                                                        3X6V+H6 Engle, NM, USA

                                                                          609-611 Van Patten St, Truth or Consequences, NM

                                                                          609 Van Patten St, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901, USA

                                                                          Two Charming Cottages in the Heart of Truth or Consequences...

                                                                          • 1 bed
                                                                          • 1 bath
                                                                          • 600 sq ft
                                                                          609 Van Patten St, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901, USA

                                                                            Similar Posts