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Los Lobos - Tin Can Trust

  by Lisa Torem

published: 12 / 8 / 2010

Los Lobos - Tin Can Trust
Label: Proper Records
Format: CD


Inventive latest album from much acclaimed and durable Mexican-influenced band, Los Lobos

Three-time Grammy award winners and LA based Los Lobos are one of the few rock bands that have been together, still with its original members, since the 1970s. Their first major label release in 1984, produced by T-Bone Burnett, ‘How Will The Wolf Survive’, proved their versatility; the group has been as influenced by traditional Mexican music as by the wailing guitar of Jimi Hendrix, the free-range Latin percussion of Santana and traditional folk and blues. Members David Hidalgo, Louie Perez, Cesar Rosas, Conrad Lozano Cougar Estrada and Steve Berlin have worked together so closely they consider each other family. In the 80's, the band recorded Ritchie Valens ‘La Bamba’ for the movie of the same name; bringing a song sung completely in Spanish into the homes of excited, international listeners. Their new album 'Tin Can Trust', produced by sax player and member Berlin, is a wild ride musically and thematically. “I didn’t say a word/It’s only dignity I heard” is from the second verse of ‘Burn it Down'. The song pulses with powerful messages, truculent guitar and well-chiseled backing vocals. “For once I go, there is no coming back,” sums up the tune’s rambling conviction. ‘On Main Street’ delivers a dynamic sense of urban place as swells of swanky sax accentuate the outro. “Walking down the boulevard/Feeling the sun on my face/Gotta red light/Gotta green light/No matter which way I go,” summarizes the buoyant sense of freedom this group can imbue. ‘Yo Canto’ which immediately shifts locale, is an enchanting Cumbia sung in crisp Espanol. The title song ‘Tin Can Trust’ features booming drums, washes of spine-tingling strums and an incomparable groove. The dreamy strands of lead guitar waft throughout as these working-class laments occur: “Big money, can’t give up fancy cars and diamond rings/Oh, darling, it’s only love I bring.” Drawing again from completely contrasting impulses, ‘Jupiter on the Moon’ is a mélange of jazzy funk fusion and soul-drenched contrasts: “If I could turn night into day/You know that I would/If I could turn stone into gold…” An unexpected pleasure is the cantankerous ‘Do the Murray’ which captures the raw garage-blues sounds of a Ray Charles ‘What’d I Say.’ Back to a meditative forum, ‘All My Bridges Burning’ winds down the tempo, but keeps up the threads of reflective imagery. ‘West L.A. Fadeway’ is a Grateful Dead cover. The band befriended the group and supported each other frequently on tours. “Looking for a chateau/21 rooms, but one will do/Don’t want to rent it/Just want to use it for an hour or two.” is how one verse chugs along in this likeable version. The traditional sounds of Mexican Norteno come alive on ‘Mujer Ingrata’ and the embellishment of a race-track call and response between the accordion and guitars make it another irresistible track. The last song, ’27 Spanishes’ (arriving from the sea), recounts the Spanish impact on the native peoples of Mexico. “Said the brown ones to the Spanishes, ‘don’t come here bringing worries to the people of this land.” Los Lobos, on 'Tin Can Trust', flesh out a fresh, inventive tour de force featuring the cultural and sonic diversity that put these Angelinos on the map in the first place. They’ve come this far, because they’ve never strayed.

Track Listing:-
1 Burn It Down
2 On Main Street
3 Yo Canto
4 Tin Can Trust
5 Jupiter Or The Moon
6 Do The Murray
7 All My Bridges Burning
8 West L.A. Fadeaway
9 The Lady Of The Rose
10 Mujer Ingrata
11 27 Spanishes

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Interview (2010)
Los Lobos - Interview
Lisa Torem talks to Steve Berlin, the horn player and percussionist with Los Lobos, about his group's unique merging of the traditional music of Latin America along with rock, blues and acoustic folk, and their forthcoming new album, 'Tin Can Trust'

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Los Lobos - Fitzgerald's, Berwyn, Illinois, 29/3/2015
Lisa Torem at Fitzgerald's in Berwyn enjoys a set of music drawn from blues, rock and Latin influences from Los Angeles band, Los Lobos

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