On page 19 of 36 of the press release, one will find the nominees for Best Tejano Album for 22nd Annual Latin Grammys. Some of the nominees I have heard of, others not so much. I had to test out the music to see if they fit the definition of Tejano. Here are the noms:
El Plan – Pa’ La Pista y Pal Pisto. El Plan appears to be a Monterrey-based band which gives its own sabor to la music Tejana. In fact, Monterrey loves Tejano and brings the best bands to perform at some of their major clubs. A sample of El Plan’s abilities include a medley collab with Bobby Pulido of hits La Rosa and Flecha Envenenanda. Good job.
Ram Herrera – Back on Track. Ram Herrera’s newest project has had quite a few singles, including Te Traicione and Tu Eres. Also included is a remake of his David Lee Garza-era hit, Especialmente Para Ti. It’s a pretty good album that keeps one on their toes. Produced under an indy label, Ram stays committed to an ever-evolving style that put him on the map in the 80s.
La Fiebre – Historico. Based at Freddie Records, the Pride of Pasadena, TX, La Fiebre, is one of the 90s hey-day Tejano hair bands that can still rock a joint. Seriously, some of their tunes can put a rock band to shame with their tough sound. Historico is a well-produced album that experiments with different sounds–rock, Tejano, conjunto, cumbia–all with a big horn-based sound. Two hit singles include Cuidala and Mendigo.
Solido – Incomparable. I would have expected Solido to be in the Regional Mexican category because of their accordian-based music. But, whatever. They are here and they have a strong sound that is reproduced live quite well. Hits on this album include Todavia No Sabe and Si Fuera Facil. The album is produced under the Good I Record label, owned by the good folks at Grupo Intocable.
Vilax – Un Beso Es Suficiente. Now, Vilax I had never heard of, but with a combo of keyboard, bajo sexto, and acordeon, as well as a female vocalist, they may have gotten into the genre under the radar. The title track is a standard cumbia, but a recent ranchera single, a collab of a tune of music’s past, with Alicia Sifuentes, Cosas Del Amor, has a Norteño sound and not even close to Tejano. But I don’t work at the Latin Grammys, and the debate about what constitutes Tejano has a mind of its own.
Click on the links for the songs on youtube.
At this point, I’m rooting for La Fiebre and Ram, with El Plan as honorable mention for a good effort by a Monterrey-based band attempting Tejano-stylings. La Fiebre’s is a full-fledged and professional production that seems to have pulled out all the stops in the studio. Ram Herrera’s is a truly Tejano production that gives one that vibe one feels dancing vueltas at a local ballroom where Tejano music has its roots.
For true Tejano fans, the debates will continue. Perhaps the Grammy folks need to listen before they kill the genre.
We shall see how the academy votes.
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