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Poncho or Cowboy Hat? 

Tremoloco brings a blender of border music

Not every Tremoloco song requires bi-lingual ears, but for tracks like "Temo" and "La Lechuza" it sure helps.

The seven band members of the Tex-Mex band from Los Angeles play guitar-esque instruments with names like the "requinto romantic" (a high-pitched acoustic guitar) and the jarana (a Spanish ukulele). Singer-guitarist Tony Zamora has played with Los Lobos, and guitarist Bob Robles once jammed with Elvis Presley. And while each is individually talented, it is also fair to assess that the whole of Tremoloco's sound is greater than the sum of its multicultural parts.

With so many members, Tremoloco's sound has a lot of moving parts, but the group size was by design.

"I had been working as a sideman for many years and decided to start a project for guys like myself," explained Zamora in an interview a year ago. "We started by having jam sessions at a vintage guitar shop where I was working and soon we had a collection of great players [..] It just took off from there."

That's the magic about Tremoloco. There really isn't a defined leader in the band, and live shows echo those collaborative jam sessions. As a result Tremoloco is a bit of a chameleon, a kind of south-of-the-border Oak Ridge Boys. One minute its a salsa band on "La Lechuza" and the next a down-and-dirty blues group with the song "Broken Wheel." Tremoloco's music is danceable and cerveza-ready, as at home in a Mexican saloon from the 1800s as in a modern-day Texas bar. SW


2:30 p.m. Sunday, June 9

Les Schwab Amphitheater

344 S.W. Shevlin Hixon Dr.


About The Author

Ethan Maffey

Both a writer and a fan of vinyl records since age 5, it wasn't until nearly three decades later that Oregon Native Ethan Maffey derived a plan to marry the two passions by writing about music. From blogging on MySpace in 2007 and then Blogspot, to launching his own website, 83Music, and eventually freelancing...
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