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