The hardworking guys from East LA with another winner
LOS LOBOS Tin Can Trust (Shout Factory)
On their first album of originals in four years, the hard-working guys from East L.A. deliver another winner. With Tin Can Trust, Los Lobos prove once again that they’re one of America’s most enduring success stories, thanks in no small part to the songwriting partnership of David Hidalgo and Louis Perez.
On Tin Can Trust, it’s the gently-grooving mid-tempo title track that resonates the most deeply, a song sung by guitarist Hidalgo from the perspective of someone who buys his clothes from thrift stores and has little to offer but his heart to his lover. It’s a bittersweet song that still sounds hopeful.
“Jupiter or the Moon” has a similar bluesy feel but with lyrics from Perez that are more evocative and less literal. Likewise, “Burn it Down” (featuring Susan Tedeschi on background vocals) conjures an emotional state without giving you a concrete sense of what’s driving the singer’s conflict, creating a timeless emotional tug.
There’s plenty of guitar shredding from Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas, especially in the hard-driving instrumental “Do the Murray.” Rosas checks in with a pair of Spanish-language tunes (“Yo Canto” and “Mujer Ingrata”) that celebrate the band’s roots and also contributes a rock track written with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter (“All My Bridges Burning.”) Hunter also factors with a song he co-wrote with Jerry Garcia, as the band cover’s the Dead’s “West L.A. Fadeaway.”
The disc ends with “27 Spanishes,” a Hidalgo/Perez song that mythologizes the Spanish colonization of the Americas and their betrayal of the native people. But time fades such sins: “Later they became muy friendly/and their blood was often mixed/now they all hang together/and play guitars for kicks.”
Los Lobos perform with John Hiatt on Friday at the Arvada Center and on Saturday at Chautauqua Auditorium in Boulder. The band is also performs at a taping of the radio show etown in Fort Collins on Sunday.
STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN Couldn’t Stand the Weather: Legacy Edition (Epic/Legacy)
As expanded editions go, this new double-disc version of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s 1984 sophomore release does more than throw in the odd demos or random live tracks. The original eight-song album was punctuated by Vaughan’s take on the Jimi Hendrix workout “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)” and a growing maturity in his songwriting on the stop-start title track.
This double-disc version includes 11 tracks the Texas blues guitarist and his band recorded around the same period, including previously unreleased versions of “The Sky is Crying,” “Boot Hill” and “Stang’s Swang.” The second disc is the reason to buy, however: A 13-track previously unreleased live set recorded in Montreal shortly after the album was released that sums up how far Vaughan had come on those past few years.
Vaughan and Double Trouble offer up most of Couldn’t Stand the Weather, featuring a 12-minute sprawling version of “Voodoo Chile” and several cuts from their debut Texas Flood, including an adventurous version of the instrumental “Lenny.”
DURAN DURAN Duran Duran and Seven & the Ragged Tiger (Capitol)
ARCADIA So Red the Rose (Capitol)
If you’ve seen “Hot Tub Time Machine,” you might have noticed the Duran Duran poster in the ski lodge as John Cusack and his fellow time travelers experience an ’80s reboot. Likewise, Rolling Stone scribe Rob Sheffield titled his recent book of memoirs “Talking to Girls about Duran Duran.”
Thus, Capitol had the right timing for these deluxe versions of a pair of the “new romantic” band’s classic albums plus one from the Duran Duran side project Arcadia. These editions are aimed at the hardcore fan since this is more Duran Duran than the average ’80s fan feeling nostalgic for “Girls on Film” or “Planet Earth” (both from the band’s 1981 debut) likely will need. Seven, from 1983, features the hit “The Reflex,” while the Arcadia disc spun the hit “Election Day.”
These packages feature B-sides, non-album singles, demos, alternate mixes and other excavated scraps. The DVDs feature documentaries, promo videos and TV performance clips. Call it your personal “Duran Duran Hot Tub Time Machine.”