Archive for the 'Latin Funk/Soul' Category

Ranchera Rock y Frontera Funk

So I’ve been digging through some of the very last 45’s in the KRMX collection (it’s taken like 7+ years) and I recently set aside about a hundred or so records out of the last few batches. The bulk of the records were regional Mexican music that I ended up selling. But rest assured, I still have well over 2,000+ 45’s that hopefully I can re-examine and post at one point. I would like to add that I sold most of the Tex-Mex music in my collection to people who actually live in Texas and I believe I sold some to a music museum in Austin. I’m sure they are in good hands and I’m happy they found a home where the vinyl is super appreciated.

To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the ranchera or Tex-Mex genres, but every now again I’d find gems like the 2 45’s in this post – great examples of something I’d keep rather than sell. The prerequisites were that they had to sound really good, they had to sound really odd/weird, artists playing music outside of their genre and/or most English/Spanish cover songs. Anyway, Laredo Texas’ Rene y Rene are probably the most popular band in this post and Los Mayans’ do a nice cover of the Mexican folk song “Cuatro Milpas“.

If you haven’t noticed I am posting more than usual – effectively my baseball season is over, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing more posts from me. Go Oakland A’s. Enjoy!

1. Los Mayans: Cuatro Milpas

2. Rene y Rene: Mi Corazon Esta Llorando

70’s Peruvian Funk-Rock with Zulu

Not quite sure how to classify this type of music. In fact, I couldn’t find much information about Zulu for that matter – it seems that the band came and went as quickly as their only self titled release. What I did gather was that the group was fronted by Lima native Miguel Angel Ruiz Orbegozo and that the song “Candela” appears on the Vampisoul compilation “Back to Peru Vol 1“.

I read other articles from Peruvian blogs which weren’t sure of the music’s origin. One author thought it might be Huayno rock (Native Peruvian) and other people argued that it’s possibly Landó rock (Afro-Peruvian). So people in Peru were just as baffled as I am. But apart from sounding like mellow 70’s rock/funk, if you listen to the last part of “Candela“, I can see where someone might think it’s Landó – which is an Afro-Peruvian/musica criolla drum driven form of music. I did find a photo of Miguel Angel Ruiz Orbegozo, but I ain’t even gonna try to determine his roots. Not going there. The music is great nevertheless. Enjoy!

1. Zulu: Candela

2. Zulu: Sueño De Amor

Day 21: Jeanette – Porque Te Vas

Probably the hugest hit for half-Belgian/half-Spanish/English-born/American-raised singer Janette Anne Dimech – aka Jeanette. Initially recorded in 1974 while living in Spain, Porque Te Vas (because you are leaving) became a global sensation when the song was used in Carlos Saura’s 1976 acclaimed Spanish film Cría Cuervos.

This song used to annoy the hell out of me – I first heard it as a cover song in 2002-3 by the US/Mexican indie group Los Super Elegantes (remember them, anyone?). Usually dead pan, bratty sounding females singing in Spanish would make me cringe. But I’m actually liking this song right now – what’s the world coming to? Anyway, Porque Te Vas would go on to be covered by many others bands and even attained cult status in Russia in 1979 – so at least I’m not the only person thats liking this song. Please Enjoy!

1. Jeanette: Porque Te Vas

Day 3: Ron & the Embracers + 1

Ron & the Embracers were a semi-obscure group from East Los Angeles, CA.  That’s about all that I know of them. “Latin Blood” is the A-side to their highly sweated Brown-eyed Northern Soul tune “You Came Into My Life” on Spectrum, and it’s a heavy instrumental complete with nice keys, a reverbed-out guitar and loud horns a la Los Vampiros.  I’ve personally been jamming this out all winter, since it has a nice vibe to it that suits this time of year.  Perfect for a crisp, sunny winter day in California.

Now for the Northern Soul tune.  The horns on this track are what it’s all about for me here, but really it has a lot going for it.  For one, Ron’s voice is like butter over the backing soul music. I’ve never heard of this fellow named Al Maldonado, who apparently produced both of the songs on this 45, but I’d love to hear anything else he had a hand in!

- Adam Dunbar

1. Ron & the Embracers: Latin Blood

2. Ron & the Embracers: You Came Into My Heart

Thanks for the great songs Adam. Be sure to check out Adam’s blog Musica Del Alma – not only has Adam been a guest here before, but he’s the type of guy who’ll come to your house with a bottle of whiskey and bag full of records I’ve never seen or heard before. He is a gentleman and a scholar.

For the last 2 years I’ve been trying to somehow fit the Prime Mates 45 “Hot Tamales” into these February sessions. The thing is, if I put this song into the mix, I am kind of straying Super Sonido’s path of all things “Latin”. But if Alan Toussaint (you can hear him playing piano) didn’t have a production credit or if it wasn’t on the Sansu label, I probably would assume that it was some obscure East L.A. garage band doing this number. Also, to the credit of Mr. Dunbar and the amazing instrumental “Latin Blood”, I would have never thrown up this comparable gem. Nevertheless, this is my blog so I can do whatever I want – Latin or not. Toussaint, the Meters, Art Neville (organ?), fuzz guitar, and hot tamales? I’m sure I can be forgiven. Enjoy!

- Sonido Franko

3. Prime Mates: Hot Tamales Part 1

4. Prime Mates: Hot Tamales Part 2

Texas Flavored Latin Boogie with Brown Sugar

Super rare cut from Eddie Aleman’s Omega label out of San Antonio Texas. It seems that Mr. Aleman was part of the whole Tex-Mex rock/soul movement that arose out of Texas in the 60’s. For the most part, I haven’t had much luck with music on the Omega label, mostly ranchera and corrido numbers – so it was awesome to find this brown-eyed boogie funk track. Not much else is known about these guys, but it appears that Aleman had something to do with the ultra rare San Antonio labels CG Production and Mr. G – all which seemed to have disappeared into obscurity. This one is going in my rotation. Enjoy!!!

- Sonido Franko

1. Brown Sugar: Yo Te Quiero Mucho

I Can’t Stop Loving You – Chucho Avellanet

A great fuzzed out rendition of country singer/song writer Don Gibson’s “I Can’t Stop Loving You”. The song would go on to be covered by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and immortalized by Ray Charles. I think that Pucho and His Latin Soul Brothers even does a version. But for singer Chucho Avellanet, “Jamás Te Olvidaré” scored a massive Latin American pop hit. Apparently he would go on to adapt more pop standards into Spanish on the United Artists label in the 1970’s. Also popular for being a comedic actor in this native Puerto Rico and continuing his success with a string of romantic hits in the 1980’s. From the looks over everything else Chucho has done – it doesn’t get any better than this. Enjoy!

1. Chucho Avellanet: Jamás Te Olvidaré

Tex-Mex Soul With Carlos Guzman

I just got back from Nicaragua which can account for the lack of posts lately (sorry I didn’t dig for any records while there – hung with the family). Luckily for the listening audience though, I’ve been trying very hard to avoid a social life since I’ve returned. To pass the time, I now devote my life on reading, working, playing video games, and going through the tens of 1000’s of 45’s I have yet to listen to. Here is one 45 I found last night. I have no idea who Carlos Guzman y los Fabulosos Cuarto are – but their song El Tren (the train) is totally awesome. Enjoy!

1. Carlos Guzman y los Fabulosos Cuarto



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