We have a blog series called, “Music Monday,” here on Arner Adventures. Since music creates a soundtrack for our day-to-day living, it only makes sense. I was looking for a little something different for Christmas music listening, and came across last year’s release from Los Lobos, “Llego Navidad.” Ahhh! I had forgotten about this little gem of twelve tunes, all but one being traditional Mexican music. Leave it to Los lobos to get a project like this right. The album is very welcoming from the get-go, as they weave their way through these festive folk songs, all with a soft acoustic touch.
The feel is one-half Christmas, with the other half being the feelgood vibe from your neighborhood Mexican restaurant, when the mariachi band shows up. Much of the album has a nice salsa feel, paired well with chips and salsa, and a chilled corona (the beer, not the virus). The band has ventured off into broad musical territory, over the decades, often with an experimental edge. However, the east LA natives never fail to return to the music of their Mexican heritage.
They came on the scene in the mid-1980’s with their Grammy winning EP, “…And a Time to Dance.” The record was a widely acclaimed roots-rock rendezvous, that showcased some traditional Mexican folk music. They later revisited this territory in 1988 with “La Pistola y El Corazón” which featured Spanish lyrics throughout. The Christmas album is not unexplored territory, and a very welcome return to this traditional sound. Besides all the traditional sounds, this record also manages to be very festive. My favorite being a cover of Freddy Fender’s, “It’s Christmas Time in Texas.” “Dónde está Santa Claus” will also leave you excited for Santa’s arrival.
Los Lobos offers one original song with a slow 1950’s rock n‘ roll feel titled “Christmas and You.” When you’re home for the holidays, and trying to find some good old Christmas cheer, especially this year, “Llego Navidad” will definitely steer you in the right direction.