Regional Ramblings: Classic gems, familiar faces to enjoy during this month


These are five recommended regional gems to check out. Some of these gems include some rare songs, along with some familiar faces like Lydia Mendoza, Esteban Jordan and Los Donneños. Hope you enjoy.

“Lydia Mendoza, Monterrey, Cuarteto Carta Blanca” — It was 90 years ago this month that Lydia Mendoza’s father, Francisco Mendoza, stumbled upon a newspaper advertisement in La Prenda newspaper that led to Lydia’s first ever recording session. Cuarteto Carta Blanca, the Mendoza family ensemble, would record for Okeh Records the following month in March 1928. This is one of those Okeh recordings, which would be the starting point to a legendary career that spanned over seven decades.

“Manuel Magallón, Alfonso Cruz (Corrido Anónimo)” — Haven’t heard too many Afro-Mexican, afromestizo corridos from Costa Chica, but been trying to listen to more in the past few years. Here is another neat one that really caught my attention last year. I need to read up more about this style and region, since it sounds like really beautiful music.

“La Delgadina by Gilberto Tovar” — Very old corrido that originally came from medieval Spain. As the centuries passed on, it would make its mark in different styles and regions. Lots of interesting versions out there (Lydia Mendoza made one here in Texas for the Blue Bird label too), but this one by Gilberto Tovar is a longer, more complete version. One of the most disturbing corridos I can ever remember hearing, about a woman dying after she turns down the romantic advances of someone very close to her.

“Esteban Jordan at the Tejano Conjunto Festival” — Really lively video of Esteban Jordan performing his wild “Midnight Blues” piece at the 1990 edition of the Tejano Conjunto Festival. “Midnight Blues” has long been one of Jordan’s most experimental tracks. It sounds out of this world! This is really cool and rare, so if you haven’t seen this and dig Jordan, check it out.

“Los Donneños, Mario Montes y Ramiro Cavazos, Agosto 1991” — I love this video! Just watched it for the first time and this is a great upload on YouTube, that went up sometime last year. This was three years before Mario Montes passed away, and it’s rare live performance video of Los Donneños together, the great Ramiro Cavazos and Mario Montes, together on the stage. Cavazos is one of the Hall of Fame honorees at this year’s Tejano Conjunto Festival in San Antonio. Cavazos most recently performed at La Villita Dance Hall last month.