Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

The Buckarettes: Buckie Personnel

Katie Gill - Vocals, Guitar

Katie Gill grew up in Roswell, NM where she participated in church opera and musical events, High School Choir and musicals, solo and ensemble festivals and All State Choir. She graduated from Eastern New Mexico University in Portales with a Bachelor of Music, Vocal Performance emphasis. She has lived in Albuquerque since the 1970's, performing in hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, craft fairs, private parties, etc. Her unique and versatile voice spans folk, pop, country, rock, and jazz. She works as a soloist, accompanying herself on the guitar, as well as being involved in numerous groups and bands playing a variety of genres. Her formal vocal/classical training has allowed her to appear in both opera and light opera productions in New York City and in New Mexico. Her voice has been heard on jingles for radio and TV throughout the United States. A big feather in her cap was competing her way up to representing New Mexico in the annual National Wrangler Country Starsearch held in Nashville, Tennessee and nationally televised in 1982. She has performed all over New Mexico with a children's opera company, "Opera Unlimited", and has brought both music appreciation and education to elementary age children in a fun and creative format. In 1999, she appeared with Susan Clark at the Kerrville Folk Festival Main Stage in Kerrville, Texas. She has been seen on local public television stations (KNME & Channel 27) and recently appeared on a TV pilot of the Scott Connor Show performing her original music.

Her song writing capabilities manifested in high school and since then she has gained numerous awards for her singing and writing talents. Katie has one CD out, while currently working on a second and third. Her first, entitled "All in Good Time", has a variety of styles ranging from pop-rock to newfolk, featuring a tasteful blend of acoustic and electric guitar, acoustic and electric bass, drums, piano, fiddle, dobro, harmonica, sax and cello. The title song was bestowed the honor of Best Musical Production in the Adult Contemporary category in the 1996 New Mexico MIC awards. In 1999 she won in the same category again with "The Painter", which is on her forthcoming album.

Her present group, The Buckarettes, has been heard around the world on radio stations in Germany, France, England, Australia and Japan along with our United States. A Christmas album released in 2004 took them by storm as CD's could not be produced fast enough for demand. Their third CD, "Cowgirl Serenade" has gotten world wide attention, winning awards and receiving positive acclaim from DJ's who love "spinning" their songs on their playlists. They perform in concert form and in dance venues in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, receiving rave reviews wherever they go. Katie has had her hands in producing the three albums that the Buckarettes have and has original songs on each of them.

Teaching has always been a part of Katie's musical regimen. She has taught private voice and guitar lessons for many years. Some of her students have gone on to teach and/or perform themselves and to share the wonderful gift of music. Since harmony is one of her favorite things, Katie occasionally leads workshops on how to sing harmony from the beginner to the advanced. This is a much needed tradition to uphold the tuning of the ear to the heart and to sing what is there with ease, confidence and freedom --and to have fun with it all at the same time!

Katie continues to delight audiences with her energy and talents. Through her performance, Katie brings a unique, soulful and fun conversation with her audience. She has always been given wonderful reviews, with enthusiastic requests for encore appearances.

Debra Jean Parker Harris - Vocals

Debra Jean (DJ) has been a household name around Albuquerque for more than two decades! She has sung in many country bands which include DJ Cookin', Dave Ain't Here, DJ and the Cruisers to mention a few. She is one of the founding members of the twelve year old all girl band, the Buckarettes. She learned how to vocalize on her daddy's ranch outside of Moriarty by singing to the sheep!

She has gone on several USO tours to entertain the troops abroad. Her favorite tour was Hawaii--we wonder why.....

She has a long trail of broken hearts behind her, but has settled down with her husband of 20 years. She has a son and a soon-to-be daughter-in-law who has a daughter. Instant grandma! Her family keeps her busy and she still lives out in the country with chickens, horses, roosters, barn cats and dogs to keep the coyotes and snakes at bay.

Amy Blackburn - Vocals, Violin/fiddle

Amy Blackburn was trained as a classical violinist and played violin and viola in the New Mexico Symphony in the late Pleistocene. She started a BA degree in music at UNM but wandered off to California in the middle of a semester with a cute guitar player. She played in several country and western swing bands in the 1970s and '80s, and she has played with the Celtic Fringe in Socorro for many years.

In the late '80s, she took a little break from professional music to actually finish a BS degree and to make some money for a change, writing computer manuals and designing user interfaces for Hewlett-Packard. (Really, what happened is she followed another man to California.) The little break from professional music lasted about 15 years. When she moved back to New Mexico in 1998, the man followed her this time. They got married and lived happily ever after until death did them part in 2008.

Over the first decade or so back in New Mexico, Amy's income went steadily down with each new career choice. She worked as a programmer/analyst for PNM, she taught bilingual science and math at Ernie Pyle Middle School, and she taught remedial math at UNM. The biggest pay cut was yet to come, when she would joyfully and gratefully return to the music scene.

One day in 2007, Amy decided to go to the Albuquerque Folk Festival. She thought she would bring her fiddle, then she thought she wouldn't, then she thought she would, then she thought she wouldn't, then she did. This changed her life. She signed up for the “band scramble,” where you put your name and instrument in a hat, and volunteers arrange the names into bands. One of the members of Amy's impromptu band was Katie Gill of the Buckarettes. It was love at first sight. Amy was invited to jam with the Buckarettes. Sensing that this was an important opportunity, she listened to their CDs and crammed over the next week so as not to make too big a fool of herself on stage. She was deeply honored to be inducted into the Buckarettes as a permanent member.

In the same series of fortuitous events, Amy was playing at the governor's mansion with the Buckarettes one night when Margaret Armstrong of Mariachi Azteca asked if she would be interested in playing in a mariachi band. Sure! (More cramming.) Several weeks later she passed the audition and is now a permanent member of Mariachi Azteca.

Amy's latest musical endeavor is the exciting new trio, Jeez LaWeez, with Katie Gill and Nancy Harvin. Each having paid her dues in her own way, these three women are now doing whatever they want, from original songs to covers of the Beatles, the Talking Heads, and Elvis Costello.