Growing up, one of my first cassettes was of Los Hermanos Farias, a roots-style conjunto that had a lot of radio play in South Texas. All of a sudden, I started hearing about a “new” group called La Tropa F. It was just a more modern Hermanos Farias, but they hit it big during the 90s hey-day of Tejano music.
It was recently when I started seeing YouTubes of the two leads, David and Joe Farias, performing at various venues, and wondered if a big reunion was going to happen. Sure enough, we heard there was a reunion and a new CD in the works back in 2011. Back on Track is that project and after five years of not playing together, they have taken it back to their roots. David on the Acordeon, joe on the Bajo Sexto, another brother Juan with his distinctive “Tropa” drumming, and Oscar Garcia on the bass.
The new production opens with a Valerio Longoria classic, Los Albaniles, which lays the foundation for the rest of the music. One knows it will be a hard-core conjunto CD. The brothers waste no time in giving us a treat with Viejitas Pero Buenas Medley, which includes Cancion Mixteca, a classic which can never be overdone.
No strangers to cumbias, LHF follows it up with a corrido-turned-cumbia, Rosita Alvirez. El Sinaloense, a favorite huapango for mariachis, is turned into a rockin’ cumbia.
One gets a dose of “Tropa” stylings with El Muchacho Alegre and its familiar pasadita on the acordeon. And always experts on their boleros, David belts out Desde El Cielo, with Joe providing some nice harmonies. In fact, both share lead singing duties, which make them quite a versatile group. El Libre slows it down in this Bajo Sexto/Acordeon ballad, and Joe and David complementing each other.
Their musicianship really comes out in the instrumental El Viejito Special, which takes us through some classic polkitas. And you can’t go wrong with Joe’s intro. Piedras Del Campo is a Cuco Sanchez classic which is played to perfection as a polka ranchera.
Soledad, though, is an instant hit. With its intro effects and riffs on the bajo sexto and the sounds coming out of that acordeon, it will definitely be a crowd pleaser and dance floor favorite. David Farias belts out this tune solo.
With this production, the classic Farias sound returns. Of course, one might ask if David Farias will still be a Texmaniac, and all indications are that he is still committed to that project with Max Baca. But the Hermanos Farias have been busy promoting this CD, which is a must-have for the collection.
Recorded on RoRecords, you can find it on many online outlets for your enjoyment. If you want good roots music played by some hard-core pros, then this is your CD.