WhenAl Huracán died on October 22 at the age of 81it could have been the first timeeverthat the music of New Mexico fills the pagesWashington Post,Noviyork times, Associated Press and other national publications. It is the forgotten folk music of America, a bilingual genre whose beginnings go back centuries.romanceUweighSpaniards who colonized the Land of Enchantment at the end of the 16th century, and whose descendants are called Hispanics.
Gradually the genre picked up pueblo, Mexican, R&B and other American sounds. At the nimble fingers of Hurricane (born Alberto Sánchez), New Mexico music has been modernized into what it is today: Nashville meets Memphis in Albuquerque. Brilliant trumpets, soul singers and rock guitars punctuate the country-western rhythms, and the bands can go from "Jambalaya" to "La Puerta Negra" while their audience dances without missing a beat.
This is a regional style that is alive and well. The Hispano Music Awards will be 27 years old this Januarynew mexican music,show that airs weekday noon and Saturday mornings on Albuquerque's NPR station, KANW-FM 89.1, is always the station's most popular show. But unfortunately, the music of New Mexico never gained national exposure like Tejano or Zydec, orgabachochampion (see Ry Cooder and Buena Vista Social Club). So the great ambassador became Hurricane, a colorful character who wore an eyepatch, had the best haircut in music since Frankie Valli and defined New Mexico music for 50 years. As a famous ethnomusicologistElijah Wald pointed this out in his obituary, "Very few people invented a musical genre," and Hurricane was one of them.
Alivassense of the immensity of the music of New Mexico, I highlight some things historical, some old and some contemporaryrolas, in. And one big caveat: the best examples of New Mexico OLD SKOOL music aren't on YouTube. If you really want to learn history and read hundreds of old poems, find copiesLatin American Popular Poetry in New Mexico(Arthur Leon Campo, 1946.), i magistratSpanish Folk Music of New Mexico and the Southwest: A Self-Portrait of the People, compiled by legendary musicologist John Donald Robb.
"Wet Dress", Al Hurricane
Al's signature song could have been played at the Grand Ole Opry or acharreadabased solely on rhythm. But Al owns it with his gentle voice, his family's backing vocals and brilliant guitar riffs that owe more to rock and roll than anything country. And that one piece suit is STRAIGHT David Bowie.
"Pepito", drink Gaby
Al's brother, Baby Gaby, recorded this new song, which has a complicated history. I don't like sneaking around, butI talked about his story in a column from 2013: “The real name of the song is 'Shame and scandal in the family', and it is most likely that Gaby covered the version sung by the Mexican-American artist Trini López. Lopez then joined legendary American acts such as the Stylistics and Johnny Cash on a cover of "Shame and Scandal," recorded by ska and reggae titans ranging from the Skatalites to the Wailers (with Peter Tosh on vocals). the role). They, on the other hand, originally opted for the calypso classic.includingSir Lancelota 1940-ih.
It is a favorite in New Mexico, especially for its Spanish lyrics and José Jiménez's accent. I have no idea who submitted the song to the old racist Mickey Mouse cartoon in the YouTube clip shown here, but good for them!
"Rosita Alvarez", Sparx
It wasn't until I was older that I found out that Sparx wasn't Mexican, but a quartet of sisters from New Mexico. And it wasn't until I wrote this article that I found out that they were Tiny Morrie's daughters,bratAl Hurricane and Baby Gaby - What a family! The Sánchez sisters and their brother Lorenzo Antonio have been singing across Latin America since their teenage days, but have become better known forthe halls sing, a 1996 compilation of Mexican standards and famous originals that played non-stop on Mexican Immigrants' Kenwood system throughout the 1990s. I still don't know who told the sisters to do that synchronized swing in this music video or that off-the-shoulder blouse with ankle-length skirts (it was the 90s back then), but their angelic voices rise to "Rosita Alvirez," one of the Mexican classicsLOOP.
Religious chants continue to play an important role in New Mexico, where Catholic traditions go back centuries. this is hauntedimport(a subset of New Mexican music distinguished by its use of native rhythms or themes) pays homage to a Latin American Christmas performance celebrating the conversion of colonial New Mexico's most formidable enemy: the Comanche.
This version was included in the early 1990s as part of the Smithsonian Folkways EssentialsMusic of New Mexico: Latin American Traditions
"El Corrido del 720," Los Reyes del Albuquerque
Unlike most mariachis, New Mexicans have actively created and incorporated new melodies into their performances, from Debbie "La Chicanita" Martínez in the 1970s to Los Reyes de Albuquerque, who fuse trio vocal harmonies with the sound of New Mexican trumpets. Mexico. . The subject is the New Mexico Army National Guard's 720th Transportation Company that went off to fight in the Gulf War, with many soldiers carrying copies of the album to remind them of home.
"La Julia", Cipriano Vigil
Stanovnik El Ritais a one-man treasure trove of traditional Spanish music, publication of the book in 2014 (New Mexican Folklore: Treasures of a City) and released 21 CDs of songs recorded since 1960. This rare song was also part of the Hispano Smithsonian Folkways compilation.
"To My Northern Friends", The Blue Ventures
This number owes moregruperonorthern Gulf of Mexico in the 1970s than anything in New Mexico, but it's still a hoot. Soaring voices, sparkling organ and expert guitar playing evoke the heartland of Hispanics in northern New Mexico: Chimayó, Española, Alcalde and the ever-impressive New Mexico mountains.
"La Llorona Loca", Forty to five
A favorite spot for easy party music, Cuarenta y Cinco mixes cumbias with rockabilly and other dance beats. And in this edition, they take the Latin legend La Llorone and make her happy for the first time in human history.
"A Little Piece of Heaven" by Darren Cordova
Sing this song in English and it will be played in honkytonks all over Oklahoma. And that is the genius of Córdoba. He will be headlining this year's New Mex Music Fest in Pueblo, Colorado on December 2nd (with his brother Daniel in front of him), delighting the crowd with ballads and barnstorms. This is a fresh country song and also showcases Cordova's experimentation: accordions are rarely used in New Mexico music, but he uses them to flawless, moody results.
"La Calandria", Pedro Infante
MexicanpharmaLegend premiered this Manuel Hernández song in 1954, which anthropomorphizes a woman as a lark (from calandria) who uses false promises of love to deceive the gullible sparrow (mali go) free her from the golden cage. But did Hernandez base his classic on a tune from New Mexico? fieldsLatin American Popular Poetry in New Mexicohas a longer and slightly different version of "La Calandria", noting that "no other ballad of this name" is recorded in Spanish and American collectionsLOOPIn that time. And then there's a longer version of Charles Fletcher Lummis' 1893 ode to New Mexico, "Land of Poco Tiempo." He placed its origin in Sonora, but only because "the sparrow is not a New Mexico bird." Homeboy was an excellent folklorist, but a poor ornithologist - the land of enchantment has more than 30 species of Mexican birds from around the world.