Holy Water and Whiskey
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Holy Water and Whiskey

Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States | SELF

Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States | SELF
Band Folk Bluegrass




"Reviews From Prior Gigs"

“Holy Water and Whiskey” Recent Reviews

"Holy Water and Whiskey provided us a tangy mix of bluegrass, gospel and folk music -- they made familiar tunes uniquely their own. Their clear, rich and intricately woven harmonies inspired us all as the voices played the music and the instruments sang. They are welcome back any time they want to play for us!"

The staff of the Highlands Center for Natural History
October 2007

Once again, we thank you!

Nichole Trushell
Executive Director
Highlands Center for Natural History
1375 S. Walker Road
Prescott, AZ

Professors of biology, farmers, and musicians, these three friends play traditional folk, bluegrass, gospel and some “select” whiskey tunes. With a focus on beautiful vocal harmonies, they create a relaxing and enjoyable listening experience for audiences of all ages and are one of our most requested performers.

Roselie Johnston
Solid Grounds Coffee House
Albuquerque, NM
April 2007

Of all the groups that play at Smokehouse BBQ, this is one of our favorites. We can always depend on Maggie, Bruce and Scott for an evening of music and laughter. They are the consummate crowd pleasers, creating a comfortable rapport with the audience. It is the sort of feeling you would get if they were sitting around your living room, playing their wonderful collection of songs. The choice of music is eclectic, Folk, Gospel, Country, Bluegrass and whatever. As Bruce says, “We play what we like” and it seems that they like everything. No matter what they do it is done precisely with excellent harmony and instrumentation.
As a rule Bruce can be depended on for the laughter with some of his good Midwestern jokes. Oley and Lena were never funnier.
When you see them don’t forget to buy their CD, Better Late than Never. It is beautifully produced and captures their sound perfectly.

Rob and Jan Wilder
Smokehouse BBQ
Rio Rancho, NM
January 2007

The group, Holy Water & Whiskey" were a hit when they performed at the First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque. Especially enjoyed were the ethical and religious ideas expressed in the songs "Let the Mystery Be" and "One Voice." Everyone also enjoyed the a cappella part singing of traditional and folk songs. The blend was excellent. We hope that they can return.

Alan Stringer
First Unitarian Church
August 2007

Review of Holy Water & Whiskey

On August 10, 2007, the United Methodist Men (“UMM”) held a western barbeque fundraising dinner, featuring entertainment by Holy Water & Whiskey. For the first time, this fundraising dinner was completely sold out. There is little doubt that the reason it was sold out was because the UMM held the same event last year and brought back Holy Water & Whiskey. The Church congregation was delighted with the group in 2006 and was very anxious to hear them again. The congregation was pleased with the variety of music the group performed, from standard gospel music (Holy Water) to folk, to just plain fun music (Whiskey). The performers kept the congregation involved during the entire evening. Their gorgeous vocal harmonies, great comedic sense and fabulous instrumentation were a huge success.

Albuquerque United Methodist Church
September 2007



When Holy Water and Whiskey played at The Corrales Growers' Market, both the growers and the customers really got an unexpected treat. Far from background music, the sounds of this versatile group caused people to stand, listen and applaud. Familiar tunes like "Cool Water" and "The Wayward Wind" beautifully harmonized, set a comfortable tone for the market's laid- back Sunday morning scene. Original songs like "Laugh When The Sun Don't Shine" seemed familiar, homey and almost immediately "hummable". It's the kind of music that is uplifting, humorous, and so perfectly woven with guitar, bass and banjo that you wish it would go on forever. The vocals are exceptionally fine, with Maggie Washburne's voice soaring clear as a bell one minute, and then just as naturally joined by Bruce Washburne and Scott Altenbach's harmonies ; it's like hearing what you see when birds change formation in mid flight; seamless. These folks are the "real deal" for whom music is as natural as breathing. It was a great pleasure to have them play, and we feel really lucky to look forward to their return this season.

Anita Walsh
Corrales Grower’s Market Coordinator
Corrales, NM
May 2008

We just love the great songs, harmonies, acapella singing, and fine guitar and banjo playing of Holy Water and Whiskey. We first heard them at the 2007 Albuquerque Folk Festival and knew it was a group we wanted to hear again. Since then, we have heard them give excellent performances in bars, at wine festivals and at folk festivals, but our very favorite is the house concert they performed for 30 of our friends in our living room earlier this year. The Holy Water and Whiskey house concert was a memorable event enjoyed by all our friends, most of whom have never seen Holy Water and Whiskey before. But they enjoyed the trio so much that they have gone on to see them in other venues.
Bruce, Maggie, Scott and Marie are friendly people. Between sets they fit right in with our guests and very much added to the discussion and camaraderie. What a special event the house concert was for all of us.
Jim Negro – Albuquerque April, 2008

Last Friday night Holy Water and Whiskey packed the house again. It seems that everyone loves that group and for good reason. They gave us another night of great songs, flawless harmonies and some of Bruce’s jokes (where does he get them?) It was a night of music, laughter and even a few tears.

4/23/08 – Jan Wilder
The Smokehouse
Rio Rancho, NM


"Holy Water and Whiskey won over our audience with their immediately
appealing performance. This is a highly professional group whose
presentation is seamless; their music, jokes and stories were very
well received. They kept our audience fully engaged throughout a
thoroughly entertaining show. Opportunities to hear skilled vocal
ensembles such as Holy Water and Whiskey are extremely rare these
days. This group is a delight to work with. We'll certainly have them

Paul Roberts
President of Elation Center for the Arts in Pagosa Springs Colorado

“Holy Water and Whiskey”, what more can you say! Appearing at Deming Performing Arts Theater here in Deming was a pure treat for those in attendance. The harmony, both a cappella and with instruments is crisp and clear, a delight to the listeners ear! Maggie’s powerful voice, Bruce’s stories and Scott and his tales seem to become one when the music begins. I guess the operative word for “Holy Water and Whiskey” would be “WOW!”

They have two CD’s out and both are excellent, a great buy for sure. They are welcome back anytime. We must not forget Maria, keeper of the sound system!

Glenn Kruger, President
Deming Performing Arts Theater
Deming NM

We recently had the pleasure of sponsoring a concert by Holy Water and Whiskey as part of the Rio Rancho United Methodist Church Performing Arts Series. To describe the concert as a treat would be a vast understatement. Three well trained, highly complimentary voices combined with outstanding instrumental talent will delight any audience. Reminiscent of American folk combined with a dose of Appalachian country, gospel, old English street songs and just a hint of old Bostonian sailing music, this band's style will have you tapping your feet no later than 10 seconds into their opening number. They play acoustical guitar, bass and banjo with a variety of traditional techniques. They balance their voices and their instruments naturally - you can just sit back and soak it all in.

They showed early, the sound check was sheer pleasure and they were professional in every manner. They engaged (or better said, embraced) the audience and drew them into the concert. I have worked with some seriously talented people over the years and I cannot speak highly enough of this group. A real joy to work with. Five stars out of four!

Gordon Moore
Rio Rancho Performing Arts Series

Holy Water & Whiskey is the greatest band in the State of NM. The music is Outstanding and the performers are Wonderful! The Humor, Wisecracks and Smirks are 100% Celtic.

Thanks for making the world, especially O'Neill's Pub, a better place for everybody to enjoy life to its fullest.

I look forward to seeing and hearing you soon.

Take Care!

Tom McHugh.
O’Niell’s Pub


We have seen these words broadcasting a fun, bluegrass style band to play at everyone's favorite Albuquerque pub for many years now. Holy Water and Whiskey has been a trademark band at O'Niell's since back in the days of the mid Nob Hill location. Their soothing harmonies and fun loving banter always draw a crowd of music lovers and families of young and old alike. The talented band covers old gospel tunes, classic drinkin' songs, and they even write some great ditties of their own. A truly enjoyable time will be had when you come hear the delightful sounds of Holy Water and Whiskey at everyone's favorite pub!

O’Niell’s Pub

Holy Water and Whiskey is the gentlest folk group I have ever heard,
during my 50 years in the music business. Their harmony epitomizes
the essence of spirituality-in-singing. The effect of their music is
immensely mesmerizing and truly healing. For me, healing through
music is more than a concept. Having worked as a music therapist in
psychiatric hospitals I have observed dramatic healing effects music
can have on people. The music of Holy Water and Whiskey - the sound
and blend of their voices, their instruments and their personalities
- has a softness and healing quality which has a profound effect on
the listener. The elegance and grace of their music and their genuine
approach to communicating it to their audience is definitely
something the world is crying out for.

Paul Roberts
President of Elation Center for the Arts in Pagosa Springs Colorado

Dear Bruce, Maggie & Scott,

Well, we're still in party-mode...and can't shake off the smiles
of JOY from our 50th wedding anniversary celebration on 6/12.

Many thanks to you three for enlivening our entertainment.
I especially appreciated the "circle of life" dance that
you engineered. In your own inimitable way, you got
almost all the "old people" (and everyone else) out on
the floor. Way to go!

We've received several notes commemorating the occasion,
and praising our entertainers--that's you! Words that described
"Holy, Water & Whiskey" were: FABULOUS; WONDERFUL;
GREAT ENTERTAINERS...some friends listened to your CD's
on the way home, and loved 'em.

So--keep up your good works--good voices--admirable awards,
and sweet smiles. You make the world sing!

With much appreciation....thank you! thank you! thank you!

Ilona and Fred Schwabb

Dear Maggie, Bruce, Scott, and Maria,
Thanks a million for the great music you provided at the Family Cancer Retreat a few weeks ago. As one of the participants said, you hit just the right tone! Other comments we received from our participant surveys were: Fantastic! Excellent! I loved it! Holy Water and Whiskey were absolutely wonderful! As you know, participants come to the retreat from all over New Mexico, bringing with them all of the burdens that accompany a recent cancer diagnosis. Your music lifted their burdens for a while and gave them something to sing, dance, and laugh about.
Dr. John Trotter Family Cancer Retreat Coordinator Cancer Services of New Mexico 10/1/11

Wildlife West Nature Park has an amazing Chuckwagon Dinner Show that features Holy Water and Whiskey as the featured entertainment. Every Saturday from the middle of June until Labor Day weekend we serve up tasty BBQ and then have live entertainment by the Holy Water and Whiskey band. The music is dance friendly, with a variety of bluegrass, western swing, folk and great crowd pleasing entertainment. Since this band has performed at the Chuckwagon shows our attendance has gone up and people are staying longer. We are very pleased with their shows and their willingness to work with us including their networking on our behalf. We highly recommend them to others. Please call me anytime for references if you would like a personal recommendation.

Roger Alink
Wildlife West Nature Park
Edgewood, NM
Executive Director
- As noted

"Review of "Spirits of All Kinds" CD"

Review of “Spirits of All Kinds” CD
Western Music Association Magazine
The Western Way
Rich Huff
Winter 2012

These folks are ferociously popular in New Mexico and spreading into other reaches of the southwest. The band may have been founded by some teachers and a scientist, but they are musical gardeners who like cutting Bluegrass and some Western. Thematically Holy Water and Whiskey is a blend of just that…some Atonin’ and some Carousin’! It’s from a ways back, but this CD has the most Western content among their releases, so we’re traveling back for it.
Bruce & Maggie Washburne, Scott Altenbach and Maria Globus (sound person) don’t necessarily look the part…but who does?!! Maggie lends kind of a “Mother Maybelle” effect to the proceedings as they romp through music that by their own definition “resonates with people”. Among the fifteen tracks on this release are some good strong Western resonators (”Wayward Wind”, “Cool Water” and a wonderful acapella harmony treatment of “Goodnight Loving Trail”).
Otherwise you find “Jordan”, and “It’s Me Again Lord,” but get to wash it down with “Whiskey Before Breakfast!” This group does what it does to perfection, and the rousing reaction of their fans attests to it.
CD: $13 through www.cdbaby.com – Rick Huff
- Western Way Magazine

"NM Magazine Review - 2009"

New Mexico Magazine
Music Review- October 2009
Holy Water & Whiskey
"Spirits of All Kinds" CD

Genre: Bluegrass, Gospel, Folk
Story by Emily Drabanski
Spirits of All Kinds is a clever title for this CD, which has high spirited songs that run the gamut from a traditional ditty called “Whiskey Before Breakfast” to a selection of gospel tunes. All of the tracks have an old-timey feel that makes you long for simpler days. The Albuquerque-based trio offers pristine acoustic arrangements, but it’s the gorgeous vocal harmonies that will grab your ears. Imagine Peter, Paul and Mary if they’d decided to play bluegrass, and you’ll get an idea of what Holy Water & Whiskey sounds like.
The band is a family affair. Maggie Washburne (bass) and her husband, Bruce (guitar and banjo), played together in a band in the 1970s, took a 20-year hiatus to raise a family, and now are back sharing their first love—music. Scott Altenbach plays guitar, and his wife, Maria Globus, helps with the sound. Besides music, all of these folks have another love in common: farming. The Washburnes own and operate a farm in Cuba, New Mexico, and Scott runs his own farm in Albuquerque’s South Valley.
Spirits of All Kinds features several tunes by Maggie, as well as the band’s interpretations of traditional and other songs. Maggie takes the lead on her own gospel song, “Grandma’s Angel,” in an angelic style reminiscent of Iris DeMent’s. The trio concludes that track with a stirring a cappella chorus.
Of their adaptations, some of the standouts are of the Sons of the Pioneers favorite “Cool Water,” and country singer Guy Clark’s ballad “The Cape.” Westerners will enjoy the a cappella rendition of “Goodnight Loving Trail.”
For info: (505) 265-3218, www.holywaterandwhiskey.com, www.cdbaby.com
- New Mexico Magazine


Holy Water and Whiskey has released three successful CD's, all are available on CD Baby:

"Better Late Than Never" released in 2006.

"Spirits of All Kinds" released in 2008.

"Miner's, Outlaws, and Other Relatives" released in 2011.



Reminiscent of American folk combined with a dose of Appalachian country, gospel, old English street songs and just a hint of old Bostonian sailing music, Holy Water and Whiskey will have you smiling ear to ear from the first note that they play. Their music is infused with spirit, beautiful melodies, intricately woven harmonies, class-act musicianship, humor and stories.
The group consists of Maggie Washburne on bass, Scott Altenbach on guitar, and Bruce Washburne on guitar and banjo. Bruce and Maggie met in a band in Hawaii in 1977, were married, and have been playing music together ever since. In 2003 they started singing with Scott, Colorado native and musician, and Holy Water and Whiskey was formed.
They all got their start playing and performing during the folk movement of the 60's, and their musical tastes have evolved since then to include many other acoustic styles. Their first CD "Better Late than Never" reflects these varied interests. Their second CD "Spirits of All Kinds" was released in July of 2008 and it continues their tradition of fine harmony singing and an eclectic and interesting selection of songs. Their third CD "Miners, Outlaws, and Other Relatives" was released in December, 2010 and was nominated for five 2011 NM Music Association Awards, won in two categories (Best vocal and best western song).
Their beautifully rendered bluegrass gospel tunes and other tunes with spiritual themes sometimes earn them invitations to perform at church events, but they are just as much at home playing those and their other tunes at pubs, festivals, parties, fund raisers and other concert settings. Audiences can expect a fun, interactive evening, as the band genuinely believes that music and laughter are universally healing.

Band Members