Prescott Now: How long have you guys been playing together?
Palomino: Mike and Ann Marie were in another band (Cadillac Ranch) for a while in 2016-2017 and also played together for several months pre-pandemic with Travis Crow at The Windsock.
When things started opening up in fall 2020, Mike and Ann Marie got together with Darin Mahoney for a few jam sessions that were the sparked Palomino. Ann Marie and Darin played some gigs in early 2021 as a duo, but the trio came to fruition in spring and into the summer of ‘21.
We added John Regalado on upright bass to round out the lineup in early ‘22. John had played in a bluegrass band called Peaceful Outlaws with Darin previously.
Prescott Now: What genre or genres of music do you play? What about them inspires you?
Palomino: We are an unabashedly country band, leaning heavily into the cowboy and western flavor of the genre. But we also love to play the fun and crowd-pleasing ‘80s and ‘90s country hits. We’ve also been known to reimagine a few noncountry hits to fit the Palomino style.
Country music is simple, accessible, and at its very essence, true to the human spirit and experience.
Prescott Now: What is the key to being a successful musical act in Prescott and Northern Arizona?
Palomino: You have to define
for yourselves how you measure your success. When we set off making music as a group and talked about what we wanted from this, we luckily all seemed to be very much on the same page. We wanted to play regularly without it eating too much into our home lives and family time.
But most of all, we wanted to have fun playing music with people we enjoyed hanging out with; we bring the audience along for the ride.
Prescott Now: What’s the smallest audience you’ve played for; the biggest?
Palomino: Darin and Ann Marie played a duo gig for a comic book convention in Chino Valley, and while there were a decent number of people in attendance, never
was there a less interested or attentive group.
Mike and darin have had some serious successes in their own musical careers playing for some really big crowds. (Darin recently played his instrumental guitar compositions to a sold-out house at the MIM in Scottsdale.) But our biggest show would probably be when we played recently at Whiskey River Tavern for an event with Forrie Smith from the Yellowstone TV show. The place was jam-packed and lively!
Prescott Now: What brought you to Prescott?
Palomino: Ann Marie is a native Arizonan who moved to Prescott from Chandler at 9 in 1988. Her family moved to the area looking for a more slow-paced life. She married another longtime Prescottonian. Together they’ve raised and are raising five of
Darin had been coming to Prescott since his rodeo days (starting in ‘81). He first moved to Chino Valley in 1995 training horses, but cancer took him down to the Phoenix area. He and his wife Amy moved back to Chino in 2017.
Mike used to hunt the area with his dad, and his dad always said he wanted to move to the area someday. His dream came true in the early ‘80s, and not long after, Mike finished school and followed his parents to Prescott. He met his wife Darby here, and they have raised their family here.
John came through Prescott on his motorcycle on his way back from Sturgis in 1994. He fell in love with the mountains and the small-town western feeling. He moved to the area upon his retirement in 2019 with his wife, his dog and his horse.