B-Sides: Ronstadt Generations 


click to enlarge Ronstadt Generations

John Sepp

Ronstadt Generations

It's really saying something when a band works as well stripped down to one or two members as it does fully embellished by horns, strings and more. Such is the case with Tucson's Ronstadt Generations. Sure, you could listen to the melodic strumming and plucking of banjo, mandolin, guitar and more with harmonized vocals presented by the three main members of this talented family band: "Papa" Mike and his sons Michael G. and Petie Ronstadt. And, you would certainly enjoy the sometimes melancholy, contemplative folksy brand of Western tunes from the trio of multi-instrumentalists. But, when joined by Los Tucsonenses, the three-piece morphs into a whole new experience with tenor sax, stand-up bass and percussion.

Blending Mexican, country, folk, blues and jazz stylings, Ronstadt Generations offers a unique perspective on the region and its musical heritage, which obviously includes the great Linda Ronstadt. While almost seamlessly blending their own songs with updated compositions of traditional Southwestern and Mexican tunes, sung in Spanish and English, the band seems to weave a musical tale of the city and its evolution through their family's five-generation musical legacy and a genre they've dubbed "Post Modern American West."

Contributing to that growth and evolution now is Ronstadt Generations' first LP since 2012. Titled In the Land of the Setting Sun, the 11-track album was released in May 2016 as a part of four new offerings from Ronstadt Recording Co. You can mark the release with a special beginning of the month performance on Saturday, June 11, at Monterey Court (505 W. Miracle Mile), taking the place of their usual last Sunday slot at the venue. Admission is $5 at the door the day of the show, which begins at 7 p.m.

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More by Heather Hoch

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