TREMOLOCO’S MUSICAL TIME TRAVEL ARRIVES WITH NEW ALBUM: CURANDERA: VOLUME I
There are certain bands that have a destiny written into their souls. They are brought together by a love of certain styles of music and then destiny takes over and their trajectory takes on a life of its own. That is surely true for Tremoloco. On paper the group that was formed in Los Angeles in 2007 might appear to be a rootsy conglomerate of inspired musicians. But in reality it's more like an aggregation that is guided by the joy of surprise. The musicians on board Tremoloco's new album CURANDERA VOLUME ONE, come from a wide range of different areas but when they join together surprises abound and it's like they have entered their own musical time zone. Tony Zamora is in the captain's seat but it's also true that each player is in on the creation of the band's spirit and sound. "Luckily with the players we used, not much could go wrong if I could come up with songs that fit the band. Blending Gulf Coast, Country and Mexican music was my mission from the start."
This is an aggregation that was born a bit beyond reality. They described their style originally as Sonoran Gothic Folk, Gulf Coast roots and Tex-Mexican-Americana. Which might sound like a mouthful but really is just a way to try to convey in words the depth and breadth of sonic fellowship that Tremoloco has developed. It isn't anything that can be precisely defined because the one thing the group has always reached for is to share the surprise of what free-thinking minds and galvanizing souls have been chasing since the beginning of music.
CURANDERA is the kind of album that Tremoloco was born to create. Zamora and his early bandmates have always kept their ears on that open-ended musical spirit from the start. "Tremoloco has always been a collective of various musicians he says.” "It has been that way from the beginning. Once we got the group started though, it was easy. So many players joined in on the project because we played only what we loved and many well-known musicians simply said yes. It seemed like all we had to do was ask, which is why there have been dozens of players on the various albums. It expanded to be a who's who of Texas and California roots players. When I reunited with Cougar Estrada and along with long time accordionist Roberto Rodriguez III it gave me a sort of core which comes as close to a steady lineup as we've ever had. What fuels us now is a love of music, the desire to be creative, keep working and of course songwriting which for me is paramount."
CURANDERA, Tremoloco's fifth album, will have an exclusive Texas release on Cinco de Mayo. It has been more than three-and-a-half years since the band’s last album and as the group weathered the long pandemic without being able to really tour so there is an excitement for the new songs that lets the band gear up for a strong national release June 2nd. Working with Grammy-nominated multi-instrumentalist producer Cougar Estrada, who produced TREMOLOCO’s lauded 2008 release DULCINEA, allowed all those years of friendship and experience to explode again. Tony Zamora and the entire band are ready to show their fans and new listeners alike just what a treasure their group is for music lovers of all persuasions.
"What has kept Tremoloco moving forward has always been love of music, the desire to be creative and keep working Zamora says. I just wanted to write the best songs I could. The feel and the concept of an album usually reveals itself when the songs are adding up.” The range of these new songs from "Mezcal" to "Dixie Overland Highway" to "Mas Que Nada" are a new high point for Tremoloco, one that reveals itself deeper and deeper throughout the range of the album. By the last song the title cut Curandera, there is such a sweeping power to the new music that longtime fans and new listeners alike are in for a testament from a band at their very peak.
Asked about how CURANDERA feels to him now that it's completed, Zamora says, "This album has a very Tex-Mex Southwest feel to it, with elements of Spaghetti Western movie soundtracks, that dry California vibe, the beaches of Baja and the humid Texas/Louisiana heat. It all feels like home to us. Several strong female characters populate the album and the personnel is very diverse with players ranging from their 20s to their 70s. I can't really describe how it's different from past records but it's definitely who we are today.” In the end the band likes to call their sound Cantina Music.
The trajectory of a band's career is often unique for each group. For Tremoloco it has been a rollercoaster ride unlike almost all other American bands. They are based in both Houston and Los Angeles and are known for exploring a variety of music they have discovered along their long career. In addressing how the band has changed over those years Zamora is very succinct: "We got older." But he quickly adds "Along with that, one finally figures out what you don't know. Does that make the music better? I don't know, (laughs) but I do think it feels both easier and harder."
Looking into the next year the musician adds "We want to reach as many music lovers as possible. I dream that this one gets heard all over. In today's climate that would be wild for a regional band like us. After all these years I feel this one really deserves it."
CURANDERA VOLUME I Coming soon from a borderless American band to a world near yours.
-Bill Bentley April 2023-