The storied band Los Lobos is out with a new album, “Llegó Navidad.” They join us to celebrate.
Steve Berlin, musician and producer. Saxophonist and keyboardist for Los Lobos.
Rick Trevino, Grammy Award-winning Mexican American country music artist. He performed with Los Lobos as part of the Latin American supergroup Los Super Seven, which won him a Grammy in 1998. (@RickTrevinoMain)
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The Philadelphia Inquirer: “‘Llegó Navidad’: Christmas is near, and Los Lobos is coming to town” — “Los Lobos are a Chicano rock-and-roll band whose four original members were raised Catholic in East Los Angeles.
“Steve Berlin is a self-described ‘Philadelphia Jew’ who grew up in Elkins Park and Jenkintown before going west to eventually become the fifth member in 1983.
“So naturally, when Rhino Records approached America’s premier Mexican American rock band last spring and asked them to record a Latin Christmas album, it became Berlin’s job to gather Spanish-language holiday songs to consider.
“The resulting album, Llegó Navidad, is the first holiday release that Los Lobos (Spanish for ‘the Wolves’) have put out in their 46 years of mixing rock-and-roll with blues, folk, soul, and traditional Mexican music. The tour for the terrific Llegó — whose title translates into ‘Christmas is here’ — brings Los Lobos to City Winery Philadelphia on Sunday and Monday.”
New Yorker: “Shopping for Christmas Tunes with Los Lobos” — “Fifty years ago, Mike Amadeo, a composer and musician from Puerto Rico, bought a record shop on Prospect Avenue in the South Bronx and renamed it Casa Amadeo. It’s now a mecca of Latin music and a landmark on the National Register of Historic Places. The street signs out front read ‘Miguel Angel (Mike) Amadeo Way,’ and Amadeo himself, eighty-five, is still behind the counter, six days a week, selling CDs, LPs, musical instruments, and Boricua knickknacks. Cash only, hand-Sharpied price tags, boom box blasting the salsa monga of Víctor Manuelle, El Sonero de la Juventud.
“The other day, two members of the band Los Lobos, briefly in town, stopped by for a look. They’d heard some things about Amadeo, but he knew nothing of them. ‘They’re Mexican?’ he said. ‘Then no.’
“Mexican, in a way. One of the visiting Lobos was the percussionist, guitarist, and songwriter Louie Pérez, who had formed the group, in the mid-seventies, in East Los Angeles, with a few high-school classmates, including David Hidalgo. The other was the saxophonist and record producer Steve Berlin, a Philadelphian who joined the band in 1983, while it was recording its first release on a major label, ‘. . . And a Time to Dance.’ Amadeo paid them little mind when they came in to browse.”
This article was originally published on WBUR.org.