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CW Ayon may call the Southwestern deserts of New Mexico home but his soul is deeply rooted in the Blues and grooves of the Mississippi Hill Country. With a rather simple kick/snare and tambourine setup he lays down solid beats while picking out some catchy hooks on anything from acoustic to resonator guitars. Sometimes dropping in a bit of harmonica for good measure. All the while building a sound and playing style that is deceptively larger than it seems.

Cooper “CW” Ayon has lived in various places around his beloved state New Mexico, but hails originally from Reserve. His wife, Carol, is a trained musician who taught him how to play the guitar. He excelled with this instrument before he could learn to read notes and joined a few Las Cruces bands in 2004.

In these bands, he played rock music and covers and — being a blues man — tried to add as much blues as he could. After the bands split, Ayon struck out on his own, literally, as his own drummer, guitar player and singer.

“I’ve been pretty fortunate in having steady gigs,” he said about the uniqueness of his sound. “I’ve been doing it for a few years now and it’s pretty constant.”

Since 2009, Ayon released original albums under the Solitary Records label out of Chicago every year. He took a recording break in 2013, but recorded a live album from the Rio Grande Theatre.

In 2010, he won a best blues award for his song “Seen My Baby” at the New Mexico Music Awards and another in 2013 for “End of My Rope.”

Ayon’s influences are Junior Kimbrough, R.L. Burnside, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters and Robert Belfour, just to name a few.