Tag Archives: los musicales

Festival Chicano Saturday: Shelly Lares, Ram Herrera, and David Lee Garza

culturaThe final night of Festival Chicano brought out a lot of people, as always, but I’d never seen the Hill at Miller Outdoor Theater as packed as it was. The crowd, the energy, and the talent on Saturday made for a pretty special night.

shellyTejano icon Shelly Lares, still looking as young as when she started, reminded us that she was about to celebrate 34 years of being in the biz. It reminded me that I’d been a fan pretty much from the beginning of her recording career, at about the same time that another young talent was about to take the business by storm–Selena. They were buds, by the way. Lares and her band started out strong with a medley of cumbias, and she peppered the set with medleys of ranchera hits along the way. Tunes from the 90s through today were strong on the set-list:  Soy Tu Amor, Ganas de Besarte, Es Que Estoy Enamorada, Mil Besos, Yo Quiero Saber and more. Volver Volver brought the house down, while her show-closing rendition of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ was impressive. Lares showed much appreciation for the fans–and in this industry it’s the fans that keep the music alive.

ramherreraTejano crooner and David Lee Garza y Los Musicales alum Ram Herrera took the stage with The Outlaw Band and provided a powerful show of new and classic hits from his solo and Musicales career. Already on year 35 of a storied Tejano music career, Ram Herrera still has that magical voice. Amor Querido, La Mancha, Rosas Para Una Rosa, Ahora Dile, Entre Cantina y Cantina, Tragos Profundos, Tejanita, Yo Soy, The Chair, Amor y Besos…you know them all. He also offered up a couple of new tunes:  Eres Mi Todo and Donde Estara. With a solid band backing him, he kept the crowd excited and singing along.

davidleecezDavid Lee Garza is credited with launching the careers of Ram Herrera, Jay Perez, Marcos Orozco, and the late Emilio Navaira. Lately, he’s offered up a series of young vocalists who keep the band busy. Cezar Martinez has a unique voice that stays strong throughout a performance and last night was no different. From singing the early hits that were voiced by Herrera and Navaira to the 90s smashes of Perez and Orozco, Martinez delivered impressively. Los Musicales, in business for over 40 years, provided some amazing play that not many bands can equal live. New hits like El Privilegio (which included songwriter Juan Treviño on the bajo) and Niña Coquetera were positioned among classic tunes like Cuatro Caminos, De Que Te Quejas, Me Vuelvo Enamorar, Paloma Sin Nidal, Hasta Cuando, Dos Corazones, oh, the list goes on. We’ve come to love these guys because they’re humble, talented, and all about the music. And that’s exactly what they gave another packed house at Festival Chicano.

Congrats to Daniel Bustamante and the Festival Chicano crew on a 37th feat of musical awesomeness. No doubt, thousands of Chicanos were happy with the end-product, and we anxiously await the 38th. If anything, you may want to add a Sunday tardeada next year. (Kidding!) We just can’t get enough of our cultura.

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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.

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