Category Archives: Reviews

43rd Festival Chicano – The Schedule is Out!

My heart skips a beat whenever the schedule for the Festival Chicano is released. Three days of the best Tejano music in a great venue with an amazing sound system. And it’s FREE! thanks to some great sponsors, the City of Houston, Miller Outdoor Theater, and efforts of local legend Mr. Daniel Bustamante and volunteers.

The King of the Brown Sound, Little Joe has played in everyone of the festivals, except one, during his storied 60 year career. He never disappoints and the crowd will definitely sing-along. Jay Perez is currently touring in support of his Freddie Records release, El Maestro. Elida y Avante is one of the top live acts en la onda on her Block Party Tour. Pasadena’s own La Fiebre is supporting its latest album Historico and puts on the equivalent of a Tejano rock show. David Farias of the famous Hermanos Farias brings his own band while also supporting his latest album, Volando Alto. Finally, The Most Wanted Man, Ram Herrera is touring with his new band of top flight musicians and a new album, Back on Track. This is a pretty hard-core line-up ready to give folks new and classic hits.

Here’s the release from the FB event page:

The “43nd Annual Festival Chicano” is a reflection of the artistic creativity that has developed in the Chicano cultural experience after centuries of influence from native peoples, Mexico, Europeans, and the U.S.A..

Chicano music has been historically shaped by many diverse styles such as Mexican rancheras, corridos, mariachi, orchestra, tejano, conjunto, big band, rhythm and blues, country, rock and roll, and many others.

The festival is a celebration of culture through the musical expression of countless generations of artists. It is truly a unique, original American sound.

Thursday, Oct. 6

Jay Perez
David Farias Band

Friday, Oct. 7

Elida Reyna y Avante
La Fiebre

Saturday, Oct. 8

Little Joe y La Familia
Ram Herrera

All performances at Miller Outdoor Theatre are FREE!

The Friday, October 7th Performance Will Also Be Livestreamed.

It’s also a ticketed event, so get yours here: http://www.milleroutdoortheatre.com/get-tickets

Photo Credit: DCMedia/Stace Medellin

Tacho’s Sabado Playlist

It’s time for some new music for your playlists. These got on my radar recently and one is a lyric video of a tune previously on the TSP. Enjoy and have a good weekend!

Pepe Aguilar f/ Intocable – No Me Hablen De Amor – Previously on the TSP, this new collab which is on Pepe’s new album is a great tune, well-written, and powered by Grupo Intocable. Intocable has been on this collab kick recently and that they made it on to Pepe’s new album is a huge deal. Check it out.

Pio Treviño y Majic – Mucho Miedo – Freddie Records has released the newest single by the legendary Pio Treviño as a lyric video. A conjunto tune penned by another legend, Freddie Martinez, the tune features Mariano Herrera and Mike Flores on acordeon and bajo. Pio’s first album on Freddie had several tunes that got on my radar last year. Enjoy this one. A little tristeza, though, the lyric vid features a group photo that includes the late Pepper Gonzalez, the Majic guitarist who passed away during the pandemic. #QEPD

Zereno f/ Little Joe – Con El Agua Hasta El Cuello – One of my fave bands from the 80s is an RGV group by the name of Zereno. Featuring Carlos Aleman on vocals, me and a buddy thought he was one of the best voices of the time. Well, the band is still around and keeping busy as they have released this collab with the King of the Brown Sound, Little Joe. LJ y La Familia made this song famous on his La Voz de Aztlan album in 1977. It’s been retouched up as a ranchera and sounds great.

Tacho’s Sabado Playlist

Have you run out of new music to add to your playlist? Here are my recent favorites.

Selena – Como Te Quiero Yo A Ti – The long anticipated release of the newest tune from the Queen of Tejano dropped and it did not disappoint. Being a Selena fan since she was 12, I do remember this song and I even had the cassette. It was more of simple ballad that seemed like a filler back then, but her brother AB has made this into a full-fledged hit with a mariachi backing the vocals. He has also digitally “aged” the voice to make her sound in her 20s and not in her original teens, but one can’t even notice it. She always had a huge voice. No surprise that it is trending on YouTube. I look forward to the full album. It’ll be on CD, too!

La 45 f/ David Lee Garza and Cezar Martinez – La Embarcacion -My friends from La 45 have been busy working on various projects and this one is a big collab with David Lee Garza and Musicales vocalist Cezar Martinez. This is a classic tune from the days of Miguel Aceves Mejia and has been recorded by numerous artists in as many genres. La 45 gives the tune its big band sound with an acordeon interlude by DLG. Cezar lends his vocals to duet with La 45 bandleader Mike Torres, III. Give it a listen. [Also, wishes of good health to La 45 co-leader and trumpeter John Ontiveros!]

Frankie Caballero, Jr. – Legends Medley – I’ve been a fan of Frankie’s dad for ages, so, when Jr. showed up on the scene, it was easy to enjoy his music, too. This tribute medley to legends Chacha Jimenez y Los Chachos and Esteban Jordan includes Nunca Nunca Nunca, Te Recomiendo Esa Ingrata, and Falsa y Mancornadora. Great dancing music made by great musicians.

Tacho’s Sabado Playlist

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!

Tacho’s Sabado Playlist

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.

Tacho’s Sabado Playlist

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.

Tacho’s Sabado Playlist

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 Joe Bravo Sabado Playlist – QEPD

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.

Tacho’s Sabado Playlist

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.

Tacho’s Sabado Playlist

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.