Recorded within the intimate confines of the Big Apple's City Winery in December 2012, Disconnected in New York City finds Los Lobos' simultaneously recognizing, anticipating and celebrating its fortieth anniversary as a band. Little wonder the performances are so sparkling on the three discs within the 'Deluxe Edition,' potent beyond their somewhat abbreviated duration. The main recording is also available as a single cd, and carries comparably more force by dint of its length alone: a baker's dozen cuts totaling approximately an hour's duration. Los Lobos' customarily impeccable sound quality highlights the purity of the acoustic textures (as ...read more
In the twenty years since the release of Kiko, Los Lobos has made albums equally brilliant--The Town and The City (Mammoth, 2006) for instance--but it has never made one better. This eighth album from the East Los Angeles band, in fact, stands as a template for all subsequent Los Lobos albums (hear 2011's Tin Can Trust) in its seamless blend of eclectic musical styles, evocative lyrics, creative production and the savvy, seasoned musicianship.The album is a unified song cycle which has few equals in the annals of rock, but even so, the release of three separate pieces (in a variety ...read more
Los LobosKiko: 20th Anniversary EditionShout! Factory2012Looking over the punk-era rise of Los Angeles roots rock, reveals an embarrassment of musical riches. The prototypical outfit was The Blasters, a literate working class rockabilly-tinged barband whose songs (written by Dave Alvin) were knowing, compassionate stories of real American life, and they inspired a movement of imitators. Then there was X, fronted by the husband/wife team of John Doe and Exene Cervanka, whose punk aesthetic also drew on a wealth of American roots music, from Woody Guthrie to rockabilly and beyond. It seemed at the ...read more
With a career now well into its fourth decade, and with a discography heavy on hits and light on misses, there are still sure to be certain recordings that stand out amidst a growing catalog. Yet, when Los Lobos released Kiko (Warner Bros.) in 1992, it had an album that not only stood out--if for no other reason than completely reinventing what the group was capable of and raising the bar for every album that followed, right up to its recent Tin Can Trust (Shout! Factory, 2011)--it had a recording that was as important to this band of largely Hispanic ...read more
Prolificity ain't all it's cracked up to be. With but a dozen studio releases in three decades, Los Lobos' discography may be small, but combines substance and style. Since the breakthrough How Will the Wolf Survive? (Slash, 1984) and massive radio hit--a re-visioning of Richie Valens' classic La Bamba," from the 1987 bio-pic of the same name--Los Lobos has been mining a distinctive and unfailingly honest nexus of roots and rock. They may not sell as many records as Eminem, but with each new release--the last being, ignoring the sidestep Los Lobos Goes Disney (DisneySound, 2009), the very fine The ...read more
Los Lobos Boarding House Park Lowell, Massachusetts September 1, 2006
Los Lobos should be honored as a national treasure. Appearing in the home of Jack Kerouac near the end of the Massachusetts city's summer music series, this band from East LA displayed an affectionate enthusiasm for their audience that, combined with musical diversity and instrumental chemistry at their command, provided an ever so rare means of inaugurating the autumn.
Outside in the cool late summer early fall air in the middle of Lowell, Lobos let rip right from the start. ...read more
The Town And The City is music for the head, heart and soul. Its sound is deeply atmospheric, its songs emotionally resonant and its concept keenly intelligent. This is the work of a great band uniting its musical and cultural roots in a song cycle imbued with universal relevance.
That might sound pretentious if Los Lobos themselves weren't such down to earth musicians and The Town and The City (titled the same as Jack Kerouac's first major novel) so understated. In fact, some listeners will find the song cycle a challenge, in a negative sense, for that very reason. Instead ...read more
Los Lobos are a joy to behold, especially when you see them live. There is absolutely no artifice with this great band from east LA, which is why a performance such as the acoustic set in New Hampshire, might well rank among the happiest concert experiences you are likely to have.
The abbreviated first set of approximately thirty-five minutes consisted of authentic Mexican-flavored material much of it, like the titlesong culled from the group's 1988 roots album La Pistola Mi Corazon. Between the sweeping acoustic rhythmic guitars, full-throated vocals and knowing smiles from the band members, it was hard ...read more
Fans of Los Lobos and rock in general should applaud the release of Live at the Fillmore. But don't turn to the compact disc package thinking it's a companion piece to the DVD of the same name released last fall: it does not contain all of what was on the DVD and then some--only a portion of it, in fact. On this compact disc you'll find Lobos eschewing the heavier rock and riff songs for more subtly rhythmic, melodic tunes that highlight their Spanish and Mexican heritage.
The pair of tracks not on the video counterpart are notable for establishing ...read more
Los Lobos The Ride Hollywood/Mammoth 2004
In contrast to the authoritative blues, rock and soul leanings of Los Lobos’ last two albums, The Ride is a much more eclectic affair, which is in keeping with the plethora of guests that appear throughout its fourteen tracks. It may simply be a matter of taste whether this rootsy affair is more or less satisfying than those recent projects that flirted with the mainstream, but there’s no denying that Lobos itself is a background presence here: while their music has always taken precedence over their own collective ...read more
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