Album Review

Texas-Mexican Border Music Vol.1 [coll] – [Arhoolie Records Inc.]

ArtCrimes   2/4/2009   12-inch, International

Chris Strachwitz’ Arhoolie label has issued more Tex-Mex archival collections than anyone else worldwide. This LP on his Folklyric reissue label was one of his earliest collections of this genre, the first of a multi-volume series of LPs. This one is a generous overview of Border styles — Ranchera, Corrido, Polka, Huapango, Mariachi, Jarocho, and some lovely harmony singing are all present here, covering a period of about 30 years. He’s picked some of the most famous (Lydia Mendoza) and some of the most obscure (El Ciego Melquiades), and perhaps a couple because of their incredible band names (Los Tremendos Gavilanes).

Much of the music here is driven by small combos with accordeon and/or fiddle, but there are also large brass (Banda Tipica Mazatlan) and string groups.

Find out tons more about this genre: http://digital.library.ucla.edu/frontera/
and http://arhoolie.pagepointhosting.com (crimes)

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