Having emerged from East Los Angeles in the late 1970s, it wasn’t until Los Lobos covered a selection of Ritchie Valens songs for the soundtrack to La Bamba that the ensemble earned the attention of the music world. And, as the film’s titled track soared to the top of the international charts, Los Lobos were quickly thrust into the global spotlight. Having released two previous recordings-How Will the Wolf Survive? and By the Light of the Moon-the band followed up their cinema-spawned success with La Pistola y El Coraz³n, an album of original and traditional Mexican songs. It was a brave move and the album sold poorly, but such is the beauty of Los Lobos’ work ethic. For almost 30 years, the band has blazed a musical path unlike any other. On Thursday, January 3, they bring their unique blend of rock ‘n’ roll, Tex-Mex, and Norte±os to the Chumash Casino. And while we could easily throw forth an endless list in their honor, here are just five reasons to dance the night away with Los Lobos.
1)2006’s The Town and the City: Yet again, the band released an album that challenges both fans and band members alike. Flavored by Los Lobos’ unique and infectious hybridized sound, their latest recorded venture confronts listeners as much it seduces them.
2)”Billy 1”: A gorgeous cover of Bob Dylan’s original contribution to the Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid soundtrack, Los Lobos’ version can be found on the soundtrack to the recent episodic Dylan biopic, I’m Not There.
3)David Hidalgo, Louie Perez, and Cesar Rosas: Arguably one of the strongest and most consistent writing ensembles in contemporary music. These are the guys who not only started the Los Lobos fire, but keep it fresh, vibrant, and relevant.
4)Live at the Fillmore: Recorded during two nights in 2004 at San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium, the band’s one-and-only live recording can be found on both CD and DVD.
5)Los Super Seven: The Latin American side-project-meets-super-group of Hidalgo and Rosas. In addition to featuring the two Los Lobans, the likes of Joe Ely, Raul Malo, Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, and members of Calexico have all served time in the Sevens.