The Mexican Roots Trio

Joel Guzman had not performed with his father for nearly 15 years when Lupe Guzman was invited to go on at a National Endowment of the Arts event in 1993 and asked his son to be at his side. During the emotional rehearsals of traditional songs, Joel felt his vision as an accordion player come into focus. Back home, he shared his ideas with bajo sexto player Max Baca for creating a new style of music that fused conjunto, rock, soul and pop. Joel and Baca, with Joel's wife, Sarah Fox, then formed Los Aztex. With the latest version of that band, now simply Aztex, gaining creative momentum, Joel and Sarah thought about paying tribute to the music of their parents, and created the Mexican Roots Trio side project, including Baca. The result is a new self-titled live CD recorded in May in San Antonio at a conjunto festival. It contains many of the poignant songs -- such as "Mal Hombre" and "Cuatro Milpas" -- that Fox heard her mother sing in the kitchen while she kept a gentle beat with a palote. Their take on this music of another generation isn't a tribute to the past, Guzman says, but a place for young musicians to stop, listen and carry something with them into the future, as he did.
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Greg Barr
Contact: Greg Barr