Evelyn Rubio y Calvin Owens Orchestra Azul
The blues is a language all its own, as easily translated as the titles on Evelyn Rubio's La Mujer Que Canta Blues: "Fiesta de Blues," "El Gato," "Las Manos de Mi Hombre," and, um, "Swing Boogie." (Hard to believe there's no Spanish phrase for "boogie all night," but there you go.) Fronting former B.B. King trumpeter and Bayou City blues fixture Calvin Owens's "Orquestra Azul," Mexico City native Rubio has a big, brassy voice similar to Christina Aguilera's circa Back to Basics, but she dials it down for ballroom ballads like "Solo Eres Tu" or "Lo Que Tu Pierdes" which English-speakers will (hopefully) recognize as Barbara Lynn's Gulf Coast gem "You'll Lose a Good Thing." Owens steps out front for a pair of saucy solos on "El Gato," Rubio saxes it up herself on "Las Manos de Mi Hombre" and the pair engage in some engaging back-and-forth on "Amor en Charola de Plata." One or two tracks might stray a little too far into dentist-office territory, but anyone who enjoys their blues with plenty of swinging sabor will be more than satisfied. Chris Gray
Orquestra Azul plays a prerelease party for La Mujer Saturday, July 14, at Dan Electro's Guitar Bar, 1031 E. 24th St., 713-862-8707.
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