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The Heartbreakers

"Greetings From East L.A."- new CD by East L.A.'s legendary doo wop duo, The Heartbreakers.  Brothers Benny & Joe Rodriguez sound as good as they did in the early 1960s when they recorded their classic "Eastside Sound" hit "Cradle Rock."  "Greetings From East L.A." includes a new recording of "Cradle Rock."  It also includes the Mark Guerrero song "Baby I Love You So," in addition to songs by Chan Romero, Frank Zappa, Agustin Lara, and Larry Tamblyn of The Standells.  The CD captures the sound and style of the classic doo wop days of the early '60s.  For more info on "Greetings From East L.A. write to brodriguez424@gmail.com.

"Greetings From East L.A."
The Heartbreakers (2014)


Robert Lee Revue

"City of Smooth Jazz"- a smooth jazz CD by Robert Lee Balderrama, founding lead guitarist of Question Mark & the Mysterians of "96 Tears" fame.  Robert is a fine jazz guitarist and has an excellent band as a vehicle for his jazz side.  He still performs with ? & the Mysterians.  Click here to visit the band's my space page.

"City of Smooth Jazz"
Robert Lee Revue (2012)


Aaron Ballesteros

"Ilusiones de Mi Vida"- New single by Aaron Ballesteros, also the drummer for Chicano rock band Tierra.  Aaron is the songwriter, plays all the instruments, and provides the lead vocal.  This will eventually be a whole album of what he describes as "easy listening love songs," which are in Spanish.  The title track is now available as a download by itself at this link at cdbaby.com.

Aaron Ballesteros


Vudu Cafe

"Revelation"- Third and latest CD by a great Texas-based band led by singer/songwriter/guitarist Jesse Flores.  This album, which is bilingual but mainly in English, is filled with excellent original songs and great singing and musicianship. Highlights include the melodic, acoustic-based "Caroline," "Entregalo," a Latin rock gem, and Vudu Cafe's rendition of Malo's classic "Suavecito."  I highly recommend you check out this band.  For more info visit vuducafe.com.  

Vudu Cafe (2008)

Click here to go to the Vudu Cafe store at amazon.com

pc Muñoz

"Grab Bag"- Fifth and latest CD by one of my favorite current artists.  As usual, his song ideas and the poetry in his lyrics are great.  His previous CDs, with the exception of one haiku record, for the most part have funky music tracks behind the lyrics.  His haiku CD has the backing of unusual sounds, instruments, and effects without a backbeat.  On "Grab Bag," pc combines the two styles to create a sound he calls "art funk."  You get the funky grooves under an avant-garde aural atmosphere.  The concept is accurately described in the subtitle of the CD, "Otherworldly Sonic Adventures."  The cover and graphics for the CD are clever and fun.  pc has several guest artists, including Ingrid Chavez, who worked with Prince in the 90s.  My favorite tracks are "Archery," which has some cool poetry while being humorous, "All Out of Everything, and "Sturdy Heart."  Grab Bag" is on Talking House Records,  written & produced by pc Muñoz.  For more info on pc, see the review below and visit his website, pcmunoz.com.

"Grab Bag"
pc Muñoz (2008)


pc muñoz and the amen corner

"California"- pc is a mestizo Chamoru (Native American-Pacific Islander) from the San Francisco Bay area, who performs spoken-word poetry over funk, rock & roll, and hip hop musical grooves.  The Chamoru culture is from the island of Guam.  According to pc, 60 to 70 percent of Chamorus have Latino last names because the Spanish, who invaded Guam by way of Mexico, came in galleons that often included Mexicans as well.  Therefore, modern Chamoru culture has similarities to Chicano culture, with a  language that's a mix of the indigenous and Spanish.  pc's style is more in the spirit of Gil Scott Heron, rather than the style of most current rap artists.  According to pc's record company, "pc's music is more for listening than for partying."  That's true, but you can certainly dance to many of the tracks if you choose to because they groove.  His lyrics are intelligent, hip, and sometimes sprinkled with humor.  Many of his songs have choruses sung by guest vocalists and his band is versatile and very good.  His latest CD is called "California" and it's on Beevine Records.  My favorite tracks are "California," which features a chorus vocal by Jackson Browne, "Brunching Britney and the Homeboy," "I Didn't Steal Anything," and "Small Map."  "Brunching Britney and the Homeboy" is my favorite song on the cd.  It's about a homeboy whose got the hots for a white, good girl, cheerleader type.  The song addresses issues of race and class with a bit of humor thrown in the mix.  All this over a incredibly funky track.  pc muñoz is an excellent urban poet with a lot to say.  Check out his website, pcmunoz.com.

pc Muñoz (2004)

here to go to the pc Muñoz store at amazon.com


"There Will Be Signs"- new CD produced, composed, and performed by my cousin, Johnny Guerrero.  Johnny is a multi-instrumentalist, who plays all the instruments on this collection of reggae instrumentals.  Johnny was a member of reggae bands Christafari and Temple Yard and has performed with or on the bill with many major artists including Beyonce Knowles, Sheila E., and Big Mountain.  The only guest musician on the cd is guitarist Tony Chin of the Soul Syndicate Band (Peter Tosh, Dennis Brown, Lee "Scratch" Perry).  Click here to learn more about Johnny and his music on his my space page.  "There Will Be Signs" is available at amazon.com at the link below and at www.cdbaby.com..

"There Will Be Signs"
Warriorland (2008)


Batista the Latin Rock Experience

"The Element"- new CD-EP by the L.A. Latin rock band, led by Joe Batista.  It's a bilingual four song collection of Santana inspired Latin rock featuring some fine vocals and instrumental ability by the band.  "I Feel Like I'm Flying" is a standout track and the last cut, "Ritmo From With-in" is an instrumental that allows the players to let loose and let it fly.  For more info on the band, click here to visit to their my space page.

"The Element"
Batista The Latin Rock Experience (2008)


Greg Esparza

"Just Enough To See the Sun"- new CD by singer/songwriter Greg Esparza, who has in recent years also been a vocalist with classic East L.A. groups Cannibal & the Headhunters and Thee Midniters.  In his solo debut Greg's music is being compared to the current sounds of artists such as Audioslave, Oasis, and Incubus.  Some of the tracks also have shades of the Verve and Toad the Wet Sprocket.  At times his vocals have a hint of John Bon Jovi.  Greg is an excellent singer whose voice and vocal ability are better than the majority of alternative/pop rock vocalists currently on the charts in my opinion.  Greg Esparza wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on this CD.  For more information and to order the CD, go to myspace.com/gregorio.  For information of Greg Esparza in regards to his "Eastside Sound" musical activities visit myspace.com/cannibalandtheheadhunters.

"Just Enough To See the Sun"
Greg Esparza (2007)


Los Lonely Boys

"Los Lonely Boys"- an excellent young band from Austin, Texas made up of three brothers named Garza.  Henry on guitar, JoJo on bass, and Ringo on drums.  Yes, his real name is Ringo.  They all play and sing very well and their harmonies are strong.  Henry is a great guitar player, whose style shows influences of Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, and Stevie Ray Vaughn.  They write their own songs which are mostly blues-based, but there are several with Latin elements.  Lyrically, most of their songs are in English, a couple in Spanish, and some are bi-lingual.  Willie Nelson calls them his favorite local band and guests on acoustic guitar on what's probably my favorite song on the album, "La Contestacion."  Their debut self-titled cd is on Epic Records, a division of Sony Music.  I saw Los Lonely Boys play on a late night talk show recently and was impressed with them.  Many Chicano rock veterans, besides me, are taking notice of Los Lonely Boys.  John Valenzuela, my former fellow guitar player from my 70s A&M Records band, Tango, gave me Los Lonely Boys' debut CD with a good review.  He liked them so much, he went to see them live on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," a national late night television show, and was impressed with their performance.  Manuel Valdez, former lead guitarist with 80s punk rock band Los Illegals, himself a great guitarist, also likes the band.  He particularly likes the guitar playing of Henry Garza.  If these guys keep their heads together, they should be around for a long time.  For more information, check out their my space page: myspace.com/loslonelyboys.

"Los Lonely Boys"
Los Lonely Boys (2004)

here to go to the Los Lonely Boys store at amazon.com

Zarate Pollace Project

"Soul Redemption"- new cd by guitarist Abel Zarate and keyboardist Michelle Pollace.  Abel, who was a founding member of 70s Latin rock band Malo, describes the music as "Afro-Brazilian global beat jazz."  Abel Zarate displays his guitar artistry and songwriting ability on this set of instrumental tracks.  One can hear shades of some of the artists who have provided him with inspiration over the years such as Carlos Antonio Jobim, Gabor Szabo, and Wes Montgomery.  Michelle's keyboard and writing style is a great stylistic match for the talents of Abel Zarate.  The cd also features first rate guest musicians:  John Santos on conga and percussion, Paul van Wageningen on drums, Curtis Ohlson on bass, and Anthony Blea on violins and violas.  "Soul Redemption" is produced by Abel Zarate, Michelle Pollace, and Greg Landau.  Abel Zarate is an important figure in Latin rock history.  His songs, arrangements, and guitar playing appear on Malo's first two albums and he was a co-writer of their mega hit "Suavecito."  He's also recorded and performed with Coke Escovedo and  Willie Bobo.  For more information on Abel's career and the Zarate Pollace Project, visit zaratepollace.com.

"Soul Redemption"
Zarate Pollace Project (2005)


Michelle Pollace

"New Beginning"- new CD by Bay Area Latin jazz pianist, Michelle Pollace.  In 2005, Michelle teamed up with founding member of Malo, Abel Zarate, on a CD called "Soul Redemption."  Pollace's new CD demonstrates she's also a formidable solo artist.  Most on the songs on the CD are written by Michelle, with the exception of a Latin-tinged version of Harold Arlen's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," "Onda Do Mar, co-written with Abel Zarate, and "LaComparsa," written by Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona.  For more information on Michelle Pollace, visit her website as michellepollace.com.

"New Beginning"
Michelle Pollace (2013)


Chencha Berrinches

"Cada Loco Con Su Tema"- an L.A. based hard rock-ska en Español band who have been together about five years.  Their first CD, which did very well, included songs such as "Blanca Nieves" and "Brown Impala." They've opened for such influential Latin bands as El Tri, Victimas Del Dr. Celebro, and Ozomatli.  Their second CD, "Cada Loco Con Su Tema," is being released on May 2, 2004 with a release party at the Roxy Theater in Hollywood.  Chencha is a high energy band, whose music and spirit is in the same ballpark as Mexican rock icons, Maldita Vecindad.  To underscore the point, their new CD is produced by Maldita's sax player, who's known simply as Sax.  Chencha Berrinches will begin a tour in May which includes shows in California, Arizona, Chicago, and Nashville.  For more information on the band, check out their my space page: myspace.com/chenchaberrinches.  Learn about the origin of their name, which is quite amusing, on their menu page called "the myth of Chencha."

"Cada Loco Con Su Tema" Chencha Berrinches (2004)


"La Magia De La Navidad"

CD release from Ramon Perez Jimenez, formerly known as Little Ray (Jimenez).  It's a collection of original Christmas songs in Spanish, music by Ramon Perez Jimenez and lyrics by Dora Ester Wynveltd.  The CD, released on Cosa Buena Records, features an array of lead vocalists including Margarita Luna, Teo Franco, Leily Sanchez, Azuquita, Stacie Chavez, Raymundo Monge, Daisy Gonzalez, Gabriela Golding, 9 year old Teresita Osuna, and Ramon Perez Jimenez.  The musical styles of the songs include ballads, cumbias, and mariachi-backed music.  All the singers are excellent.  Ramon Jimenez takes the lead on the beautiful "Mi Tierra Querida."  Perhaps the best singer/performer to ever come out of East L.A.'s fertile music scene, Ramon can still sing with the best of them after more than four decades as a performer.  Much to Ray's credit, he has created a recording studio (Sanctuary Studios) and a record label (Cosa Buena) "to provide a haven for musicians where they can work in a creative environment."  This first effort on his new label should be a staple every Christmas for years to come, particularly for lovers of Chicano and Latin music and generally for all lovers of good music.  In addition to Sanctuary Studios, Ray has a management company called Vista Entertainment Group and a booking agency by the name of Total Performance.  All three companies can be reached at 323-888-9884.  For more information on Little Ray's background, go to my article on Little Ray Jimenez.  Click here for the link.

"La Magia De La Navidad"
Ramon Perez Jimenez & various artists (2006)

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Mark Guerrero
P.O. Box 2558
Palm Springs, CA 92263

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