There’s been a lot of good toe-tapping music dropping recently. Here are a few that hit my radar this week.
Destiny Navaira – Si No Fue Amor – Destiny is riding high on the release of her new album, Dime Como Se Siente. The album has a variety of genres, showing her versatility as well as the trust of her producers. Working out of Monterrey, Destiny stated in a recent interview with my friend AC Cruz (Podcast) that the move has opened doors for her that would not have opened if she had stayed in Texas. I’d have to agree that Monterrey has a great love for Tejano artists that spreads to all points. This new Tejano-styled ranchera is already a hit while keeping that Navaira legacy going strong.
Irany & David – Besos – Irany is one artist who caught my eye on Instagram with her accordion-playing abilities, but I had not really listened to her music. Well, this artist from Mexicali, along with her brother David, have dropped this really good ranchera and are showing that Norteño/Regional Mexican music can still be fresh and exciting. At 18, she has a long, successful road ahead of her, especially since she is on Pepe Aguilar’s Machin label. More on her here.
Oscar G – Porque No Te Importo – The alum of DLG University, all of the former David Lee Garza vocalists, dropped this tune recently. The Eagle Pass native and educator has continued his career in one way or another since his popularity was at a high in the 90s. He’s always a welcome attraction at DLG y Los Musicales reunion concerts. This new tune is simple and to the point, but it’s his recognizable voice that really brings it home. Enjoy!
It’s Easter Weekend and we are in need of good music. Here are a few that hit my radar this week. The hits keep comin’!
David Marez – Cuando Vivas Conmigo – I’ve heard this Jose Alfredo Jimenez classic with various vocalists and various styles. But David Marez’s horn-heavy bolero coupled with his Voz de Oro just knocked me out. Give it a listen.
Roel Martinez – Rayito de Luz – Back in the 90s, Martinez got a lot of airplay while trying to compete with the big name bands. He held his own as a vocalist and always had some of the best musicians backing him up. This single is no different, which includes one of the top drummers in the industry, Aaron Holler.
El Holandes – Silencio – You all know El Holandes, Dwayne Verheyden, as the acordeon prodigy from The Netherlands. He dropped this cumbia single a couple of weeks ago and it’s a good one.
We’ve got great new music this weekend. Enjoy it at your weekend BBQ.
Intocable – Si Me Duele Que Duela – Intocable dropped its newest single, a cumbia, on Friday. Once again produced by the legendary Don Was (producer for Rolling Stones) and written by Pablo Preciado of Matisse, Intocable offers up some powerful vocals from Ricky Munoz, a tough cumbia beat back-ended by Rene Martinez, Sergio Serna, and Felix Salinas, and dueling bajos from Alex Gulmar and Johnny Lee Rosas. It’s a really hooky tune that all will enjoy. Intocable is also providing a “How we made it” vid to accompany the release.
Joss Favela – Gato de Madrugada – Joss Favela also dropped a new tune on Friday on the Sony label. This Norteño-infused ballad penned by Favela is poweful with its soaring vocals, amazing guitar playing, beautiful acordeon, and a tough bottom beat. Enjoy!
Wences Romo – Tu Gordito – I’ve been following Wences ever since I saw him in a Siggno video…as an actor. I wondered who this bearded dude was. Turns out, he’s a Mexico-based Norteno artist whose music doesn’t fall far from the Tejano genre. This new tune which dropped a couple of weeks ago has more of a Country feel with a line-dancing beat. Wences even throws in some Ingles making it a bilingual hit. Check it out.
It’s the weekend after the Democratic Primary election, so, of course, you need new material on your playlist for those weekend cookouts.
Ricardo Castillon y La Diferenzia – Para Que – From the metropolis of La Pryor, TX, Ricardo Castillon drops this new tune after quite a few years without new material. He’s my FB friend, so, I know he’s been looking for opportunities to produce new material with some of the best out there. Castillon still has that unique voice which he is not afraid to punch up at just the right time on a song–and he does it on this one. FYI – Known for his ability to switch genres at the drop of a hat, he also does this tune in a mariachi format. I’m looking forward to more from Castillon.
David Lee Garza y Los Musicales – Brindo y Me Rio – DLG finally released his latest album after riding on a couple of singles for a year or so. Fronted by Cezar Martinez, they offer up a bold production, including this tune. With an old school Tejano organ base combined with the traditional DLG sound, this one keeps one on their toes. I don’t know if this is the latest single, but I found it on the tube. One thing is for sure, this album is available at the DLG website and store. I’m not allowed to post it on here, but you can listen to it here.
Irma Aguilar f/ Los Texmaniacs – Arrepentido – This one came across the radar this week and I liked it. Check it out.
Chavela Chapa – Homenaje a Ruben Ramos – It’s about time someone wrote an homage to El Gato Negro Ruben Ramos. The Grammy winner, a Sugar Land original, is still kickin’ ass. A few years ago, he went through some health issues, but came roaring back. I like this tune.
The world of music lost a legendary performer this past week. Joe Bravo’s sixty-year career is emblematic of the ups and downs of Tejano music performers and Bravo experienced it all in his career. From a beginning working with El Zarape Records to a 90s hey-day comeback under the guidance of Manny Guerra, to once again working with the Legends of Tejano (Agustin Ramirez, Freddie Martinez, Carlos Guzman, Sunny Ozuna, and Carlos Miranda), he never lost his fandom or his unique voice. I remember meeting him at a performance at Chicano Park in Austin in the 90s–I even got his autograph. Such a gentleman. I was glad I got to see him perform a few weeks before the pandemic hit at the Freddie Records 50th in SATX.
So, here are a few tunes that I enjoyed beyond his huge hit, Que Casualidad. Actually, there are too many, but these are on my mind this morning.
And one of the last songs here recorded with Avizo.
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The music continues to drop with some long-awaited tunes making it on to digital platforms and radio. Here are a few tunes to get you through this weekend.
Isabel Marie – No Me Mires Asi – The singing sensation has gone off on her own and with a great production team to produce this powerful cumbia penned by Latin Grammy winner Juan Treviño. She has been developing her talent for a long while and seems to keep finding her sound. Check it out. Also, check out some of her pandemic creations with keyboardist/producer Mario Ortiz.
Emanuel J – Pensando En Ti – Another young vocalist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, Emanuel J finally released his sophomore album, Numero Dos. He’s been busy. Ever the journeyman musician, he’s worked with artists, such as Bobby Pulido and David Lee Garza while developing his talent. He’s another artist who kept working in the studio during the pandemic.
David Lee Garza y Los Musicales – Solamente Tu – DLG and the band are set to release their next production, Solamente Tu, and this title track has been out for a few months. The album, voiced by Cezar Martinez, will include a really good medley of 80s-era DLG/Emilio tunes and a lot of new material. For now, enjoy this catchy cumbia.
New music means an updated playlist. Here are the newest tunes on my radar.
Destiny Navaira – Vacia – Destiny Navaira and her brother Rigo continue the Navaira legacy with some high-quality music. She has some amazing musicians on this new cumbia track, including her brother Rigo on Bass, Lalo Morales on Acordeon, guest bajista, Aaron El Pantera Martinez, and guest vocalist Myrza Maldonado. It’s sure to get some airplay in the US and Mexico. I’ve always liked Destiny’s voice and performance chops, but she leaves little doubt as to how much work she has put into perfecting her craft.
Dwayne Verheyden y Los Holandeses Norteños- Los Laureles – Dwayne is that acordeon phenom from The Netherlands. He spends half his time at home and the other half in Mexico (and a few trips into the US) while touring and making a name for himself. While he’s put out a few hit albums, it’s his home recordings that put him on the map and this old classic, Los Laureles, is performed perfectly.
Los Monarcas – Te Quedaste Adentro – Local conjunto royalty, Los Monarcas, is at the top of their game. They put on one of the strongest live shows, musically. So, when I saw that a new tune was added to YouTube, I immediately gravitated to it. I first heard this song by Fandango (USA) in the 80s, so it was a real treat for me. Check it out.
Welcome to 2022! While Omicron seems to be affecting some of the live music scene, the industry goes merrily along. There’s much excitement about OmicRodeoHouston as Journey has made it to the line-up. And a few others, too. Unfortunately, No Tejano Day is now Norteño day, so the OmicRodeo folks have made their disdain for Tejano music even clearer now. So be it. There’s still plenty of Tejano to be enjoyed, even if it is digital. So, here are a few new tunes that hit my radar.
Marcos Orozco – Cada Dia Mas – Marcos Orozco is back with brand new material from his Intimo album. It’s been a while but Orozco is one of David Lee Garza’s alumni who went solo years ago. He has quite the following for his simple and down to earth style of music–nothing flash, just good music. Cada Dia Mas kicks off the new album, which also includes classics, such as Y Ahora Te Vas (Los Bukis) and an old standard, Cuando El Destino. It’s a good album to kick off 2022.
Samoyedo – Lupita – Grupo Samoyedo is an outfit from Guadalajara, MX who has gained a following from recording old-school Tejano classics, but in their own progressive conjunto style. Lupita is their newest, although they did release a David Lee Garza tribute medley featuring DLG himself (an Val Maltos on sax).
AB Quintanilla/Ricky Rick/Neto Pena/Yoss Bones – La Kumbia Buena – ABQ3 drops this versatile cumbia collab. Check it out!
As long as new music is released, my playlist will continue to grow, as will yours. Congrats to El Plan on the Tejano Latin Grammy they won. Still think La Fiebre and/or Ram Herrera should have won since they had original material, but I don’t make the Latin Grammy rules. I think they’re still made by the Estefans or something. Anyway…
South Texas Homies – Por Fin Decidi – STH dropped a new single which will be on their new album. If you want to know what kind of music STH plays, think of the original sound of the Hometown Boys. And we do need more acordeon-based conjuntos.
Mike Torres, Jr. Presents Trio Meets Tejano – Diganle (f/ Johnny Hernandez) – I had heard that my friends at NextGen Latinx Records were cooking up this album of trio-based tunes featuring classic songs performed by the original artists. This rendition of the Johnny Hernandez (y La Familia) classic in trio format blew my mind. Check out the whole album on YouTube, which features Ram Herrera, the late Jessy Serrata, and even Johnny’s brother, Joe.
Gabriel Zavala – Yo Te Adoro – Zavala is one of my favorite producers because he’s innovative, creative, and willing to take his productions to the next level. This cumbia is fire and #1 on Tejano Gold Countdown.
Posted onNovember 5, 2021|Comments Off on Joss Favela Gets A Turn at NPR Tiny Desk
Regional Mexican artist Joss Favela recently put on a 17-minute performance that was quite impressive on NPRs Tiny Desk Concert (at Home) series. It was a history-making performance as he was the first Regional Mexican artist to appear on Tiny Desk. Kudos to NPR for that effort.
Favela, from Sinaloa, MX, is a 30 year old composer, musician, and vocalist whose Latin Grammy-nominated music (Llegando Al Rancho) usually lands in the “banda” category as he is backed up by a Mexican horn band at his performances and on his albums, though he does take his music to the pop genre, too. By age 27, he had already been chosen as ASCAPs Songwriter of the Year. In fact, I didn’t know about him until Grupo Intocable recorded some of his tunes on their album, Percepcion. Soon, I found out his songs and videos had thousands and thousands of views and that he was in fact “a thing.” I’ve become a fan even though banda is not my thing.
This performance on NPR, though, took more of a Norteño pop feel as he belted out some of his popular hits backed by acoustic musicians, like Pienso En Ti and Me Vas A Extrañar. The former was originally recorded with pop star Becky G. My favorite is El Alumno. Favela’s guitar playing is also pretty impressive. Here’s his performance:
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