Tuesday, June 30, 2015

NPR Loves Sergio Mendoza's New Record With Luz Elena Mendoza

Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 9:59 AM

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Tucson musician Sergio Mendoza of Calexico and Orkesta Mendoza (among others) recently teamed up with Luz Elena Mendoza of Portland's Y La Bamba to record Los Hijos de la Montaña right here in downtown Tucson's Wavelab Studios. NPR's Felix Contreras puts it on NPR's list of the best 25 albums of 2015 (so far). Contreras notes:

I've been calling it "The Meeting of the Mendozas," this first-ever collaboration between songwriter Sergio Mendoza and vocalist Luz Elena Mendoza. The two (unrelated) musicians represent two very unique takes on Mexican influences in their music: Luz Elena is the husky-voiced lead singer of Y la Bamba, a group from the Pacific Northwest that I once described as a group of "rugged choir boys"; Sergio has divided his time between Calexico and his own Orkesta Mendoza, a 1950s-inspired mambo rock band. Together these Mendozas sound nothing like their separate bands: Los Hijos de la Montaña is a captivating sonic soundscape of a mythical Southwest, a land where the border doesn't exist and the musical flow is bilingual and bi-cultural. It hasn't caused much of a stir in the crowded world of online music, but this album is worth a second and even third listen six months into this year. There is a well-crafted and expertly-performed world in this music that is very real to many of us who grew up in the Southwest. This collaboration nails the sound in our heads perfectly. —Felix Contreras

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