If you ever go to see Los Lobos live - and you should - be sure to pick up one of these CDs. It's no substitute for seeing the band live‚ but it's the next best thing.
Unlike Chuy's Tape Box Vol. 1‚ the other archive title available through the Lobos website (where this CD has been intermittently available‚ as well as on Amazon and at their shows)‚ this 12-track live CD captures the band concentrating on the latter day stages of their development. Their roots in Mexican music‚ which dominate Chuy's‚ eventually gave way to sonic experimentation married to imagistic lyrics‚ as seen on their album Kiko. On here there's the din of the title song from the album that followed that breakthrough‚ Colossal Head‚ and the loopy rhythm of "Revolution" and "Manny's Bones‚" where the high-stepping gait of bass and drums and the squawking soul sax of Steve Berlin add a layer of pure R&B to the sound.
The absence of recording dates or personnel information undercuts the historical value of the disc‚ and the glossy cover of the gatefold belies a bona fide bootleg-like quality. Produced by guitarist/vocalist Cesar Rosas‚ One Time One Night doesn't boast the plush sonics of Tchad Blake or recent band-produced projects like The Town and The City‚ but you can still hear and feel the Conrad Lozano bass throughout‚ and when the percussion pops on "Maricela‚" it's right there.
So it's great to play this disc in your car‚ where the temptation to TURN IT UP! is hard to resist. Whether it's on the modified slow blues of "Just A Man" or the upbeat powerhouse of "I Walk Alone‚" David Hidalgo's guitar positively blazes. Likewise‚ on the jumping '50s style of "Evangeline‚" Los Lobos cooks as a band‚ a collective unit bonded together by the pleasure of playing for music lovers for over three decades.
Hopefully more volumes of this series will be forthcoming. Grab one (or more) when you see Los Lobos live because it will not only be a souvenir of a good time‚ but an ongoing source of one.
Visit Los Lobos