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Lila Downs

I went to see Lila Downs in concert at UC Davis since I read that she was in
San Antonio recording with Flaco Jimenez for her latest CD
La Cantina - Entre Copa y Copa. What an incredible performer. Her different
styles of Mexican music ranging from Veracruz, Jalisco, to northern Mexico with
rancheras and classic songs by Jose Alfredo Jimenez and other gigantes de la
cancion Mexicana.

To my surprise, she had a piano accordion player from New York. But, I must
say, he nailed some of Flaco's licks and, did some incredible jazz solos on
that accordion. I was hoping to see a three-row button player but I guess you
can't have it all. Pero, se avento el vato. I truly recommend her concert. It
took me back to my father's mariachi music and my grandfather's accordion music.

More importantly, she sings with her soul. Each song will tear your heart apart
and you will understand her vision of unity, equality, y el alma y corazon
de la mujer
. La cancion is indeed a powerful medium and Lila knows how to
use it. I highly recommend her CD. Check out her website.

 Gilbert Reyes Jr


Elite Member
Posts: 1,145

Lila is a class act... keeps getting better.

Though I would have wanted to see a button accordion too.. I suspect that a PA or Button Chromatic are at times is conceivable as being  more adapt for accompanying singers.. a flatter less aspirated ( less staccato ) phrasing.. good for blends.. and IMHO better for Mariachi in general.. though I never liked Mariachi accordion either....


Joel's button playing with Tom Russell was perfect for the border ballad kind of genere.. as was Flaco with Tish Hinajosa, Dwight Yoakam, and others  years back ...




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The piano accordion also did well with some of the cumbias.   Perhaps they use a piano accordion player because he was able to play just about any style of music.  Not many button accordion players can do this like Joel.


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Just got her CD.  Great songs.  On the song La Tequilera obviously Flaco on accordion and Max Baca on bajo sexto.  Great stuff.


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Posts: 328

Howdy -


I have all her CDs, except for the new one which I will definitely be buying. They are all very good.  I especially like La Sandunga.  She has an amazingly flexible voice, from very low to high falsetto, and uses every bit of her range.  I saw her open for Los Lobos in Redwood City, CA a couple of years ago.  She came out at the end and did "Sabor a Mí" with Los Lobos, trading verses with César Rojas, a very memorable performance.  She's just as good live as in her recordings; there doesn't seem to be any difference, which to me is the mark of a very good singer.  And her band is excellent, a mix of great players from many different places and countries.


- John


Posts: 4
Much respect and admiration for a true artist in every sense of the word.
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