Good Music We Can Know

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Musica de el Campo: Roberto Cantoral- Hijo Malo (19??)

Hijo Malo, the Bad Son. Sterling old-school Mexican country music from the esteemed Roberto Cantoral. Shimmering guitars, a prairie echo, and that high lonesome wail-- the campesino yodel, a coyote call-- abound. Total Mexican cowboy stuff, and it wouldn't be wrong to compare it to something like Sons of the Pioneers or Gene Autry-- although there's a vitality and wildness here, along with a miles-deep romantic streak, that makes it rather especially invigorating. In its way, this is a pretty perfect record.

Especially excellent is the track "El Caballo" (which I had to put on one of the Jungle Shadows comps), with a sublime interplay between swirls of organ and cowboy yodels/coyote yips emerging from the murky quality in a very special alchemy, making it among the greatest songs of its type that I've ever heard-- although I hasten to point out that the rest of the record is consistent with "El Caballo" in terms of style and quality. Alas, mi español es muy malo, y solo tengo un poco poquito, so I can't speak to Mr. Cantoral's lyrical strengths in any helpful way. But the sound is so exactly right, my friends. Please enjoy.

Originally got this one, years ago, from this site. All the links are dead there now, but credit where it is due. Gracias, señor, whoever you are.


Speaking of Mexican music, I'm looking for a quality rip of Juan Manuel's Caballero- Songs of Old Mexico from the "Adventures in Sound" series. I have a torn-up vinyl copy that I treasure (it's a really good record, in my opinion), but it's no good to rip from. Help Brother Flash out if you can, friends.