Trials and Tribu-lations

Austin-based salsa orchestra marries ghetto funk with barrio spice

And better they have done, though their lineup has shifted slightly. Just for the record (get out yer score cards!), the current lineup, in addition to the Grooveline Horns, includes Rey Arteaga (vocals, maracas); Tito Duffus (vocals, guiro); Christian Fernandez (vocals); David Pulkingham (vocals, guitar); Luis Guerra (vocals, bass); percussionists Carmelo Torres, Michael Duffy and Jose Galeano; Mark Gonzales (trombone); Paul Armstrong (trumpet); and Scott McIntosh (sax).

It's McIntosh -- writer or co-writer of most of the tracks -- whom Sosa refers to as the band's "saving grace" on the record, bringing in both his songs and his jazzier, Count Basie-style influence.

As for Sosa's other band, let's just say the Scabs may have been picked for the last time. The critical acclaim for Schneider's Lonelyland has put his solo career into orbit. It also doesn't hurt that Schneider's girlfriend is an Austin resident and actress by the name of Sandra Bullock. (Hey! Remember that Lenny Kravitz first won fame for dating a Cosby kid!)

La Tribu hopes to export its salsa sounds from the Guadalupe to the Thames.
La Tribu hopes to export its salsa sounds from the Guadalupe to the Thames.


Friday, May 25; 713-869-COOL
Fabulous Satellite Lounge, 3616 Washington Avenue

"The Scabs' days are definitely numbered. The next show in Houston is billed as 'The Bob Schneider Band featuring the Grooveline Horns,' " says Sosa, who thinks his bandmate will find even bigger success, perhaps fronting a large Lyle Lovett-style group. "I go way back with him, and he'll make it … but I'm going to start doing my own thing now."

In typical fashion, Sosa's wasting no time. La Tribu has already been booked on a short European tour, including a concert series in London's Hyde Park, which he notes will also feature acts ranging from Radiohead to Sting to Tom Jones. Singer Arteaga continues to visit Cuba and build friendships with members of the Buena Vista Social Club. And the band has begun putting together material for the second record, which Sosa hopes will feature guest appearances by Schneider, Kim Wilson and guitar whizzes Ian Moore and Eric Johnson.

"The next record will be more song-oriented," he says, hinting at a less overtly straight-Latin approach. "The band is still trying to find its identity," he says with a laugh.

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