Los Cenzontles, a group acclaimed for their bold exploration of Mexican roots music and one of the most important groups responsible for promoting Mexican culture and traditions, presents their first all-traditional album ‘Alma Campirana’. The album is comprised of traditional Mexican songs interpreted by an acoustic quartet.
This new album marks the first all traditional album for Los Cenzontles after having recorded a number of collaborative and cross-cultural projects with renown artists such as: David Hidalgo (Los Lobos), Jackson Browne, Ry Cooder and Taj Mahal, to name a few. To dateLos Cenzontles have released 23 albums, three documentaries and hundreds of full-length videos.
And the good news keep coming for Los Cenzontles, as they just received the Silver Medalfor the song ‘The Dreamer’ on behalf of the of the Global Music Awards in two different categories: Lyrics / Songwriting and Listener Impact: Content / Message Delivery.Â
This composition was co-written by Eugene Rodriguez with legendary singer Jackson Brown and talks about the plight of a “dreamer” youth whose future is in limbo because of her immigration status.
Thus Los Cenzontles presents ‘Alma Campirana’Â a delightful collection of rancheras andcorridos popular not only among Mexicans but all Latin Americans who enjoy the rich musical culture of Mexico. According to music icon Linda Ronstadt,Â Alma CampiranaÂ is: “…like abuela’s meals, the songs of ‘Alma Campirana’ are slow cooked, organic and healthy (from before we used those terms), nourishing and delicious.”
Further, as Eugene Rodriguez, leader of Los Cenzontles, explains: Â “We wanted to embrace the essence of old-style rancheras and corridos using only voices and guitars.” Vocalist Lucina Rodriguez adds: “The lifestyle that created this music from Mexico’s countryside is disappearing. Fabiola and I grew up with these rancheras and corridos.Â We hope that this album can rekindle memories and introduce new generations to its beauty and power.”
After the success of singles “La Rielera” and “Pelo de Oro”, Los Cenzontles continue promoting their new album with an album release party at Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse Berkeley (California) this Saturday October 17thÂ (8 PM) and October 24th in Los Angelesat the Plaza de Arte y Cultura.
To listen to Alma Campirana:
About the songs on ‘Alma Campirana’:
Is a storytelling corrido that dates back a hundred years to the Mexican revolution. Many legendary singers have recorded “La Rielera” including Lola Beltran, Lydia Mendoza and Linda Ronstadt, among others.
A classic corrido composed by Felipe Valdez Leal about love and murder. It has been recorded by many great artists including Los Cadetes de Linares and Los Tiranos del Norte.
Translates to “the swing” and it is about the ups and downs of life. Â It was composed by Cornelio Reyna and is a classic ranchera sung by many including Los Rieleros del Norte.
Originally a Colombian song composed by Manuel Salvado Bedoya Gonzalez. Â It has been part of the Mexican songbook since it was recorded by Vicente Fernandez accompanied with mariachi. Â Los Cenzontles perform “El Polvorete” as a son abajeÃ±o using traditional maraichi guitars, the vihuela, a guitarra de golpe as well as the bass and a 12-string guitar.
“A La Luz de Una Vela”
Made popular by female vocal duet Las Palomas, “A La Luz de Una Vela” was composed by Margarito Estrada.Â It is a poignant reflection on a lost love.
“El Sepulcro de Zapata”
The moving story of a veteran of the Mexican Revolution standing at the graveside of General Emiliano Zapata. Wearing his vintage uniform he decries the plight of Mexico’s poor and the exploitation of Zapata’s legacy and pledges his eternal allegiance. It is composed by Pedro D’Avila.
“Pelo de Oro”
Fabiola learned this song from her grandfathers who used to sing it when she was growing up. It is a cautionary corrido about an ambitious woman who is betrayed by her drug lord lover.
“Mejor Me Voy”
Los Cenzontles’ version of this classic, which was made popular by Chelo, features Fabiola Trujillo singing this song, one of her grandfather’s favorites. It was composed by Jose Lorenzo Morales.
A pastoral and upbeat love song made popular by Las Palomas, “Ojitos Verdes” was originally composed by Pepe Albarran.
Composed by the great Jose Alfredo Jimenez, “Paloma Querida” has been recorded by numerous talented artists including the opera singer Placido Domingo. Los Cenzontles takes a folk approach to this ranchera love song.