Tag Archives: michael guerra band

DC Reviews ~ Michael Guerra Band

Some may know accordion ace Michael Guerra from his days with Los Texmaniacs, Ruben Ramos, Rick Trevino, the Tex-Mex Experience, or his session appearances with Los Lobos, the Texas Tornados, Los Lonely Boys, or others. His recent work with Raul Malo and, now, The Mavericks, are what caught my attention in recent years. The guy is just plain good, as he’s been playing accordion since his mid-teens. Beyond that, he can play several other instruments, truly making his stage presence known.

Guerra and his band just released their debut and self-titled CD. Guerra has produced a style all his own, yet, one cannot help but notice the various influences, be it conjunto, rock, blues, mariachi, or country. It’s all in this eclectic production which fuses into something better than most attempts at “latin fusion.” This one has a special vibe to it.

Kicking off with Voodoo Lady, one notices the rock influences, with Robert Ybarra’s haunting guitar blending with Guerra’s accordion. One may think Los Lonely Boys, thus making the tune quite Texican, but it’s all Guerra and his band. The country tune, My Love’s Too Big (To Fail) caught my attention with the title (I’m in politics, sue me!). In this tune, one immediately notices Guerra’s San Anto influence.

The Los Lobos’ musical influence pops out with La Prietita Loca, with its cumbia rhythm. Of course, the hook, “La Prietita baila muy suave…pero cuando se junta con las chicas se pone muy loca,” is quite catchy. Dreams Gone Blue has a country-mariachi-trio feel to it with some excellent lyrics–and it sounds like it could have been picked up off the cutting-room floor of a Raul Malo CD and given its own flavor.

Let’s Try seems to have a style all its own with a slow rock groove, and is a good introducer to The Who’s Mama’s Got a Squeezebox. The Who could have used a Michael Guerra back then, who really shows off his technique on this tune, as done Ybarra on the guitar solo. On the next tune, Guerra returns to a country-esque/mariachi style with Break Away. The old-style music with modern lyrics make this a favorite.

Guerra does not forget the music that put him on the map–conjunto. And Que Viva Mi San Antonio provides a nice tune with quite the visual of partying in San Anto. Showing his partiality to trio/mariachi stylings, Guerra belts out the classic La Barca backed up by his acordeon, guitars and requinto, showing off his vocal abilities.

The bluesy-rock tune You Set Me Free shows off Ybarra’s guitar again, while telling the story of being set free by a woman who seems to have made the wrong choice.  Ain’t it always the way?

Guerra’s biggest influence and the reason for his music career is his dad Elias. Mike began toiling on various instruments before picking up the instrument that set the path for his career–the acordeon. That said, Mike brings in his dad for the final tune, Dame Un Nuevo Corazon, a gospel song with an acordeon-heavy bolero feel.

It is safe to say that this production is a venture through Guerra’s various influences, yet, it is his signature accordion which sets it apart. This is a great first full production for Guerra. Of course, he’ll have a hard time touring to support it since he’s working hard with The Mavericks at the moment. No doubt, he is going through some career-building experiences.

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Thoughts on Viernes…11302012

Thanks!

In case you don’t follow me on Facebook, you may have missed the news that my sis, Sylvia, underwent major brain surgery on Tuesday for a meningioma. Thankfully, and as they usually are, it was benign, and after a couple of post-op days of hospital food, she is back at home. I just want to thank all of our friends, family, and my readers for their good thoughts, prayers, and everything! Some give Facebook and social media a bad rap, but it was a huge help that kept us all sane during this period.

Of course, my sis being on the mend from something so major and so quick can be credited to health insurance and the good doctors at Mischer Neuroscience Institute at Memorial Hermann. Those without health insurance would have a much tougher time, no doubt.

Republicans Still Don’t Get It on Immigration Reform

Today, the Republican-heavy House voted to expand a foreign student visa program. Great! They have avoided the immigration issue completely! In other words, nothing new, but some call it “testing the waters.” I call it being a bunch of chickenshits–as usual–trying to fool people into thinking they are softening. Republicans need to get on board with sensible immigration reform with a path to full citizenship. Anything less, or any piecemeal approach, is just plain chicken-shitted avoidance. Get it done in 2013!

Michael Guerra Releases CD

Hector Saldana at the SA E-N has a good article on accordion ace, Michael Guerra. Guerra is a member of the recently reunited Mavericks and has been playing for a couple of years with Raul Malo. Well, he’s produced an eclectic CD with a mix of conjunto, latin rhythms, country, and other stuff. I’ll be writing up a review for Monday. Stay connected!

Enjoy the weekend!