Favorite

Justin Valdez: Deuce-Seven Off Suit (Los Muertos) 

Last Call Brawlers guitarist Justin Valdez goes solo, indulging in revved-up Tex-Mex, boisterous country punk and humorous lyrics that occasionally verge on the inappropriate. Depending on your point of view, these might include culturally specific tunes such as "Ya-Ta-Hey," "Yaqui Sieras," "Custer's Last (One Night) Stand" and "Bean Dip for Two."

The best cuts are those that allow Valdez to showcase his tight, lean guitar-playing: the deep, baritone-sounding leads on "Little by Little" and the choogling rockabilly of "She." On "In the Van," punctuated by boisterous off-key gang vocals, he trades reverb-drenched licks with saxophonist David Clark. That tune draws on classic musical references such as "Wooly Bully" and "Whittier Blvd.," though it doesn't reach either song's pioneering levels of frenzy.

Valdez doesn't claim to be a deep satirist. In the process of lamenting the state of punk rock, country pop, Top 40 and TV singing contests on "Whatever Happened to Music?" he describes his own song as "simple and corny." Sometimes his songwriting slips from sly comedy to unashamed novelty.

He doesn't take himself too seriously, as evidenced by that faux cornpone-cum-Elvis drawl in which he usually sings. He frames the opening track with applause and bar chatter, as if he were a stand-up comedian in a nightclub, and the closer is an actual joke with strummed guitar.

Whether on the moody heartache of "La Llorona" or the bouncy Tejano-style interpretation of Freddy Fender's "Wild Side of Life," Valdez seems to be wholly enjoying himself. The vibe is infectious.

More by Gene Armstrong

  • Primer

    Tony Furtado
    • May 29, 2014
  • Wills Meets Reinhardt

    L.A.'s Cow Bop blends bebop and Western swing into a superbly danceable combo
    • May 22, 2014
  • Learning From Lennon

    Nothing personal, Paul McCartney. Bill Frisell started playing John Lennon's music by accident
    • May 15, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

The Range

After Orlando: An International Theatre Action

Fifth Annual Rock Lottery with The Flycatcher

More »

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Vintage Vinyl Tucson

    This week: The Spiders 'Don’t Blow Your Mind' b/w 'No Price Tag'
    • Nov 24, 2016
  • Court and Spark

    This Tucson singer-songwriter, who moonlights as a jailhouse psychotherapist, overcame career-killing circumstances
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »

People who saved…

Facebook Activity

© 2016 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation