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Image of Los Fabulocos – Featuring Kid Ramos Los Fabulocos – Featuring Kid Ramos

From the album cover and the name of the band, as a listener, you have an idea of the Hispanic influence this CD might offer. But from the opening track, Educated Fool,
you suddenly realize you are in uncharted waters, this is like no blues CD you have ever listened to. The track starts out with the squeezebox of Jesus Cuevas taking you completely by surprise and curiosity sets in and you wonder what other gems this album will hold!

Los Fabulocos has been making an impression in California with what they like to refer to as Cali-Mex, a first cousin to Tex-Mex. Their approach to music is a jumpin’ blend of Mexican music, with a touch of 50’s rock, blues, cajun, and classic rhythm and blues influences. As you become wrapped up in these interpretations with the unmistakable Mexican influence and sometimes Zedyco crossovers, you can’t help but daydream of sipping margaritas or downing a Dos Equis beer.

Veterans of Southern California’s Chicano music scene, accordion player Jesus Cuevas, drummer Mike Molina, and bass player James Barrios have teamed up with blues guitarist Kid Ramos formerly of the Fabulous Thunderbirds to sing about things which are close to their heart, such as love, heartache, and working class life in America.

The tracks worth mentioning and which stick with me the most are, Crazy Baby, which takes its cues from Slim Harpo and Jimmy Reed traditional 12 bar blues. Day After Day, with its John Lee Hooker rhythms had my head bobbing. Then there is Como un Perro, which I have no idea about the lyrics, as the song is in Spanish, but has a surprisingly romantic feel for a song about a dog. You Ain’t Nothin’but Fine jumps with a Buddy Holly influence. However, the highlight track of the CD is the smoking instrumental, Burnin’ the Chicken, which starts out like the opening of a Quentin Tarantino movie, rolls into Rocket 88 and moves on to Lead Belly’s Black Betty.

Track List:
Educated Fool
If You Know
Crazy Baby
Lonesome Tears In My Eyes
Un Mojado Sin Licencia
Day After Day
Como Un Perro
You Ain’t Nothin’ But Fine
You Keep Drinkin’
Just Because
All Night Long
Burnin’ The Chicken
Mexico Americano

At first when I listened to this CD it was so different from anything I’m accustomed to my first reaction was maybe a 2 on the STLBluesometer. But around the fourth listen, I just stopped trying to figure out what was happening and decided to grab that cold Dos Equis and just give a listen. That’s when the mind opened up and I began to appreciate the culture differences and what this music had to offer.

Even with an open mind, I’m rating this CD a 3.5 on the STLBluesometer. This album will not be for everyone, but if you are looking for a different musical journey southwest someday, then this CD will not disappoint.

-- Jeff “Harpin Homer” Winders
The STLBluesometer

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