Muzzle Guitars Hosts Live Music Events in Rio Rancho

Manager Jenna Zaste, owner Eddie Cantu, center, and assistant manager Misael Herrera are excited to launch music store Muzzle Guitars in Rio Rancho because it can help strengthen the area’s music scene. (Matt Hollinshead/Observer)

Owner hopes store will strengthen Rio Rancho’s music scene

Eddie Cantu is planning more than supplying this next go-to store for musical instruments and clothing.

The owner of Muzzle Guitars Music Shop, which opens Saturday at 701 Unser Boulevard, wants to bolster the Rio Rancho area’s music scene by making it another hub for live performances.

He said he would start by giving up-and-coming bands a stage to play music and wanted to help organize live shows in larger venues.

Cantu said the store will welcome fans of all genres, from country to jazz, although the city’s hard rock and metal community has quickly embraced Muzzle Guitars.

“When I first saw the ad for the page on Facebook, I was over the moon. I was like ‘finally, a music store that’s actually here in town.’ And I don’t have to drive downtown (Albuquerque),” said assistant manager Misael Herrera, a native of Rio Rancho. “Music is a big part of people’s lives, especially here in New York. Mexico We are very passionate about music… We are like a crucible (regarding music) The fact that we have a music store here, it will help to develop that.

Greatness potential

Cantu said Muzzle Guitars will be hosting live shows on Friday and Saturday nights so local bands can hit the stage for free and also have a place to hang out.

The store will create a “wall of fame” for live performers and hand out T-shirts that say, “I killed it at Muzzle Guitars.”

“I wish when I was growing up, someone would have done something like this for me,” he said.

Herrera, who plays in two metal bands, said just having a stage for live performances helps boost the motivation of up-and-coming artists.

Although the main instruments that will be sold initially are guitars and basses, Cantu said that Muzzle Guitars will add drum sales later.

Cantu said the store will add merchandise such as t-shirts and posters to inventory, noting that the money generated from these products will go directly to the bands to ensure they continue to make a name for themselves. Cantu said he and his friends would make the t-shirts using printing materials.

Cantu added that he wants to bring in musicians to do guitar clinics with the youth and plans to host a one-day music festival in a setting like the Rio Rancho Events Center or the Isleta Amphitheater in South D. ‘Albuquerque in the near future. It could be as early as late fall or early winter, he said.

“We’re going to put this place on the music map,” he said.

The passion restored

The Cleveland, Ohio native worked in the music industry, including guitar building, for nearly 20 years before COVID-19 hit the scene in 2020. Tired of COVID-19 restrictions, he was preparing to move to France and live there for a couple of years with a friend.

Cantu pretty much walked away from music.

“I just burned out for everything, I wanted a change and I was ready to go,” he said. “I had bought the ticket and was almost on the plane.”

Cantu then met his girlfriend, originally from Chimayó, and was introduced to Rio Rancho. Soon after, Cantu researched the area as he sought a new occupation. From there, his passion was restored.

Seeing that all the action involving music was in downtown Albuquerque, Cantu decided to address that and bring something special to the younger City of Vision market.

“There really wasn’t anything (in Rio Rancho) to cater for people who want to improve (by playing music) or want a place to play,” he said. “And with COVID, groups just sprouted everywhere because they had nothing else to do.”

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