At this stage in their illustrious career, a new album by the East Los Angeles rock band LOS LOBOS is a highly anticipated event. Since they began as Los Lobos Del Este Los Angeles in 1973, they have evolved into a respected artistic entity searching for themes and topics that are an interpretive pulse of our times.
Using musical molds built on the blues, rockabilly, jazz, Latin, and their own Mexican-American heritage, Los Lobos have never beat their fans over the head with politics or agendas. Instead, they subtly challenge them with conscience-raising songs and thought-provoking lyrics. Their latest Hollywood Records release - The Town and The City - certainly does that.
"As artists, we take our experience and put it into painting, stories or songs," says Louie Perez, the principal lyricist for this 2006 album. "Right now, when the world is in this incredible state of flux, it's impossible for this experience not to affect your work.
"Somewhere halfway through the making of this record I found this linear sort of plot, a story of struggle," explains Perez, "So I thought, I'm not going to resist and followed my intuition. It was like a flashlight waving at the end of a tunnel that I had to go after."
The epic The Town and The City is told in the first-person, with each song serving as an episodic step in a rough journey that is in your face at times, comforting and nostalgic at others. Most of the thirteen songs are co-written by Perez and David Hidalgo; Cesar Rosas contributes two songs.