Tag Archives: tejano music

Interesting Project for Jay Perez

Hector Saldaña of the San Antonio Express-News gives us a look into some upcoming projects for recent Latin Grammy nominee Jay Perez.

Thanks to a newly inked deal with Freddie Records in Corpus Christi, a career-spanning new album (“Back in the Day”) and anthology project are in the works as follow-ups to the Latin Grammy-nominated “New Horizons,” Perez’s first on the label.

“Back in the Day” is due in November.

With [producer Gilbert] Velasquez’s help, Perez not only re-recorded essential hits — from his early solo career, with Latin Breed and David Lee Garza y Los Musicales — but meticulously re-created them.

“The concept was to do something old school and fresh,” said Perez. “I wanted something for the fans, especially younger one that aren’t familiar with those groups.”

Since he didn’t own the original master tapes, he had no other choice for such a collection.

I must say that I’m excited. I’ve been a fan of Perez ever since a friend of mine loaned me a cassette of Latin Breed’s “Breakin’ the Rules” back in the late 80s. Soon after, Perez appeared on a Tejano Music Awards program fronting the legendary band and belting out some classics–and quite well, I might add.

Two albums with David Lee Garza y Los Musicales later, he had basically solidified himself as a premier Onda Tejana vocalist. And much like others had done after some success with “DLG,” went on to a solo career.

I had the opportunity to check out one of his early solo shows when he played at one of the barns behind the Freeman Coliseum in SA during their Rodeo. He blew the crowd away, even with gaudy pink lights backstage that spelled out “J A Y.”

Along with the new project is a “Behind The Music” kind of DVD.

The VH-1 “Behind the Music”-style DVD is nearly finished.

“For someone that’s a real fan, it’s great. Freddie’s got the right idea,” Velasquez added about the upcoming anthology.

As to why Perez deserves his Tejano nickname, “The Voice,” Velasquez didn’t mince words.

“It’s his ability to sing. He’s got that classic thing. He was able to combine the Tejano sound with the R&B sound with his voice,” he said.

And that’s why the rest of us are big fans of Jay’s.  It’s definitely the voice.

Again, check out the rest of the article for more on Perez and his musical stylings.

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DC Reviewed Music Among Latin Grammy Nominees

I’ve been watching the announcements from various musical performers who have been nominated for a Latin Grammy this year and I finally checked the entire list.  It turns out that among the nominees are Tejano and Regional Mexican artists that DosCentavos reviewed. Congrats to the DC Reviewed nominees, including:

Best Mexican Regional Album 
Intocable – En Peligro de Extincion (DC Review)
 
Best Tejano Album
David Lee Garza – Just Friends (DC Review)
Los Texmaniacs -  Texas Towns and Tex-Mex Sounds  (DC Review)
Jay Perez – New Horizons (DC Review)
 
Best Regional Mexican Song
Jay Perez – Tu Ultima Cancion (Songwriter: Adalberto Gallegos)

And a special congrats to Adalberto Gallegos. On top of being one of the best vocalists in the industry, he can write some amazing songs, too. All that’s left to be said is…can I pick ‘em or what?

adalberto

Tejano Music: The Onda Continues

I need to give a tip of the DC sombrero to Vicente Arenas at KHOU for a great report on the resurgence of the Tejano music genre.

The early style of Tejano was wildly popular in Houston  until the mid 90s.

It was during that time that Tejano went off the radio airwaves in Houston. Artists just couldn’t sell the music, all because of a lack of star power.

Selena’s death left a gaping hole in Tejano music and since then, things have never been the same.

Fans, though, are hardcore and refuse to let it go.

“The music—the musicians—we are still here. It’s the support mechanisms that are not there anymore, but things are changing now,” said Jesse “Jumpin Jess” Rodriguez, a Tejano expert.

The 90s were an awesome time for the genre, no doubt. Corporations like Capitol Records, Sony, and others had taken over La Onda, signing up some of the biggies like Little Joe y La Familia, Mazz, La Mafia, Emilio, Selena, Johnny Hernandez, Laura Canales, David Lee Garza, Ram Herrera, and other showbands. But they went further and gave other smaller-name bands a shot. With it came some new touring opportunities, cash, a lot of distribution, and some marketing that these groups had pretty much done on their own previous to this boon.

Some would argue, though, that perhaps there was a lot of saturation of the market, too. While the biggies had paid their dues, some of the younger bands perhaps were still working on perfecting their talents. Still, after the death of Selena, it seemed the market waned, then the Gringos and “non-Tejano” execs who had squeezed every profitable penny out of the industry declared it dead, thus, big radio stations like Houston’s KQQK went away or changed genres. The big money people weren’t giving Tejano music a shot anymore because it wasn’t profitable for them. The musicians still had a talent to show off, and they still had to make a living. For the fans, the thirst was still there–for the music, for the culture. And as Jumpin’ Jess states, none of these bands left, the tours continued, though, with their own management. The big record companies kept a few big names, but their heart wasn’t in the marketing anymore. Even supergroups like Intocable went indie and managed themselves.

Nowadays, you see the big names like David Lee Garza and Joe Posada running their own independent recording companies. The tried and true Freddie Records, owned by the legendary Freddie Martinez, is still around, too, and with a stellar line-up of bands. No, the music and the culture never died. It’s the cash infusion and big media marketing that died out. I guess that’s what happens when you allow big money interests to basically buy your culture without some stipulation that it preserve it somehow.

Yes, I remember that 90s heyday. I remember well when El Grupo Mazz recorded their live album before 9,000 fans at San Antonio’s Rosedale Park–I was there! But I also remember this past Spring and the 6,000 fans at the Humble Civic Arena. And hell, I also remember the sell-out crowds at Miller Outdoor Theater every year for Festival Chicano. Yes, you still have those small nightclub crowds, and some bands still run risks between charging a percentage of the door or a set fee. But the touring continues. All one has to do is search them on Facebook, how in touch they are with their fans, to know that, while they are trying to make a living, they are still in it for the music and the culture. And to hell with the big money interests! These bands and the fans are owning their music.

No, the genre is not dead. Technological advances in recording, the ability to self-distribute and upload music to iTunes, and a strong surge in online Tejano stations help, too. And Arenas’ report about a home appraiser who wants to make sure the next generation keeps the music and culture going by running a school for Tejano music is just one story of many that is occurring at the moment. Thanks to the Texas Folklife Resources, we have the Big Squeeze Competition for squeezebox playing kids to compete for cash and recording contracts. Thanks to Juan Tejeda and the Tejano-Conjunto Festival in San Antonio, there is an outlet for this music for all ages.

No doubt, there will always be profiteers. If it happens on Wall Street, it will happen in ballrooms and nightclubs, too. But La Onda is very much alive, and given all of these advances, quite savvy, too. Will it be another 90s heyday? Who cares? It is our music, and as long as we retain ownership of our culture, it will continue to live and prosper.

DC Reviews: David Lee Garza Presents… ~ Just Friends

DavidLeeGarza.JustFriendsRecently, David Lee Garza added a new vocalist to what is now called DLG U–the “university” which has given the Tejano music industry some of the best vocalists in all of Latin music. Juaquin Cura is a young gun that is already hitting it out of the park in live performances. DLG has put him on his new CD, Just Friends, but he has also invited an all-star line-up to show-off their chops al estilo de DLG and Los Musicales–all rancheras that will keep one on the dance floor.

I must admit, I had to re-play the first track a few times before listening to the rest of the production. Adalberto Gallegos leads off with the Fabulosos Cuatro classic, No Me Trates Asi, and his distinctive vocals just made me click “replay” several times. The musical styling is puro Musicales and sets the foundation for the rest of the production.

The iron-throated Jessy Serrata is up next with Amorcito del Alma, while Joe Posada hits a home-run with Eres Todo Mi Ser, which also includes a smooth solo from the saxmaster. El Hermano Farias–David Farias–gives us the tried and true, Ya Pa’ Que, which I hadn’t heard since Carlos Guzman recorded it in ’82. The next student of DLG U, Joaquin Cura, also gives it a go with Ella Sabe, with Los Musicales’ signature sound. Cura has a lot of potential to be “the” new voice in the industry.

Recently, producer Bob Gallarza discovered a new vocalist who gained a lot of radio play with an old classic, Amorcito Corazon. On the DLG CD, Gabriel Olvera pumps out another standard, Mi Cariñito. If you’re a Pedro Infante fan, then you’ll enjoy this one. La Voz de Oro, David Marez, also gets a turn with Me Bastas, which matches his style more than DLG’s, but the acordeon and the faint bajo sexto in the background keeps the track smooth and danceable.

DLG has a bit of a reunion with one of his graduates, Marcos Orozco. Orozco belts out Soy Del Amor Un Sonador. And El Borrado de Eagle Pass, Gary Hobbs, shows some first class crooning with the classic, La Barca. And if all of these vocalists weren’t enough, the world-famous Jon Ramirez (in the morning) from KXTN in San Antonio debuts on The Radio Guy. I was quite impressed with his vocals on this ranchera, actually, and it looks like he has some intro music for his radio show. Eddie Perez’s Tu Tienes La Culpa is a good addition to the CD–a little different from his West Side Horns music, but definitely a great delivery.

Of course, DLG cannot go wrong by adding an acordeon polka instrumental, Tony’s Favorites, which showcases his musicians, not to mention his acordeon.

There is no doubt that this is quite the collection of music with some of the best Tejano crooners in the business. And there’s no doubt DLG will be asked, “why not this guy, or this female vocalist?” So, let’s push him for a volume 2. For now, I’m back to over-playing this production during my drives around town, especially Track #1.

Get your copy today!

 

 

 

 

 

DCs Top Posts of 2012

Music Reviews – Top 3

The Mavericks – Suited Up and Ready

Los Texmaniacs – Texas Towns and Tex-Mex Sounds

Johnny Hernandez – Gracias…Por Los Exitos!

Political Posts – Top 10

Did Ann Just Lose The Other 30% of Latinos? (Romney Mouth)

Dude, This Election Makes No Sense (Post-Primary)

Tacos and Votes – To Protect the Vote (Latino Vote)

Endorsement:  Vote FOR the City of Houston Bonds

RIP – Texas Senator Mario V. Gallegos

Helena is Doing What and With Whom? (City Council)

Tacos and Votes ~ All About Engaging the Community

Fort Bend Dems Open HQ

Finally, Let’s Move Toward November (Post-Primary)

Dos Centavos Endorses in Dem Primary (Post Primary)

Top 3 Posts w/ Staying Power (Pre-2012)

Celebrating 40 Years of La Raza Unida Party (by Carlos Munoz)

DC Reviews ~ Intocable – 2011

2010 Profiles ~ Kathy Cheng for the 209th Court

Top 5 Cultura and Community Posts

Tejano Music Awards Fanfare is Coming

FIEL Announces Deferred Action Assistance Program

RIP – Shaun Chapa

Houston – 33rd Annual Festival Chicano

RIP – Mike Kelley

DC Reviews: Jay Perez ~ New Horizons

The Voice, Jay Perez, is back with a new production, New Horizons. The 12-song release is quite the piece of work, produced by Grammy-winning Gilbert Velasquez and supported by Freddie Records. Perez’s recent works have been on mostly indie labels, but his new label provides a lot of backing in regards to marketing and promotions. The tried-and-true Perez style is not lost as Velasquez has worked with Perez many times before–even being a part of his original band.

Kicking off with Tu Ultima Cancion, Jay’s fans immediately hear the signature ranchera sound–keys, sax, acordeon and a hard-driving beat, and some great lyrics giving someone the kiss-off. Known for his slowed-down,  acordeon-driven zapateadas, Perez does not disappoint with the first single, Lo Tengo Que Admitir, an ode to the girl who gave him everything.

And the cumbia stylings do not disappoint, either, with their R&B flair. Demuestrame, with it’s catchy chorus, and Vivir Sin Ti, will definitely be live favorites. Especially Vivir, with some awesome percussion providing the rhythm.

Perez brings out a horn section, a-la Latin Breed, to give us a fine ballad, Tu Amor No Me Pertenece. The guitar, horns, and acordeon provide a smooth foundation on which Perez provides a soaring vocal.

Perez offers up plenty more signature rancheras to keep toes tapping and feet on the dance floor. Tengo Miedo and Dos Caras with some powerful lyrics and smooth rhythms are some personal favorites. But Perez also dusts off a couple of songs previously done by the late Laura Canales during her comeback in the 90s. Amor Escondido,with a driving sax solo, and Yo Quiero Que Vivas Conmigo are very welcome by this Laura Canales fan.

Finally, Quien Te Dijo and Tu Partida close out the catalog on rancheras, showing Perez is very committed to keeping La Onda Tejana alive and kicking ass. Partida with an excellent sax/acordeon solo, and Quien Te Dijo with a driving ranchera rhythm. Finally, Perez closes the release with an R&B tune, All of Me, which shows off his vocal abilities.

Providing the power behind all of the tracks was Perez with some of the best vocals I’ve heard from him. The man just knows how to deliver lyrics in a way that makes the listener feel their meaning. Combined with a tight band, he is also able to deliver these songs live like few can.

Get your copy at just about any store that features Latin music, or online at Freddie Records.

Thoughts on Viernes…12072012

 

No Tejano Grammy Nods?

After being very well represented in the Tejano category of the Latin Grammys, the newly combined Mexican/Tejano category of the GringoGrammys has NO Tejano artists. I call it disrespect of a genre that is still quite strong, especially when it comes to the quality of musicianship. Who’s in charge? The HoustonRodeo people?  Anyway…

The Latino Vote in Harris County

Kuff has a great breakdown of how the election went in Harris County’s predominantly Latino districts. Needless to say, the Dems did well, while the Ted Cruz factor caused little crossover by Latinos. Had Paul Sadler been better funded, perhaps that would have put a dent in the number of Cruz crossovers who probably did it for the name or the “historic first” factors. Latinos in Harris County are still strongly Democratic voters, and this can only improve with the continued levels anti-Latino sentiment in the GOP–let’s face it, their attempts to soften have flopped, big-time.

Music Break – Los Texmaniacs Live in LaFayette, LA