If you are going to Austin for the music rather than the party, you’re missing the point if you go to see Jim James or Mumford & Sons when you could be seeing the Krayolas or John Fullbright. Instead of looking for the experience you could have gotten at home, you should be looking for the experience you could never get at home. Read the full story here.
Did you like the Beatles? How about the Sir Douglas Quintet? In case you need a little memory-jogging, the Beatles were, like, the Fab Four. Oh — Sir Doug. That was a Texan, Doug Sahm, trying to hitch a ride on the British bandwagon in the mid-’60s by Anglicizing his band’s name. And it worked: “She’s About a Mover.” “The Rains Came.” “Mendocino.” Great stuff — [amazon_link id=”B00006JYVA” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]even if “Mendocino” sounded decidedly un-British[/amazon_link].
Anyway, if you happen to like both bands, check out the Krayolas. They were a legend in their own time and space — the mid-’70s through the mid-’80s, San Antonio. I just got a CD and a hand-written letter (nice handwriting, too) from Hector Saldana, who, with his brother David, led this “teenage Chicano garage band.” The Krayolas specialized in emulated British pop (the ‘K’ is in honor of the Kinks) with a Tex-Mex accent.
Now they’re back. First came a local hit with “Little Fox,” written in 1967 by Augie Meyers, the organist who propelled so many great Sahm recordings, from Sir Doug through the Texas Tornados. The legendary Meyers joined the reuinited Kryolas. Then came a showcase at South by Southwest, the annual music conference and non-stop party in Austin. Raves. And now comes [amazon_link id=”B0019NH7Y4″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]La Conquistadora[/amazon_link], one of the most invigorating albums of the year.
With Meyers on his Vox organ, which should be housed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by now, it’s a flashback to Sir Doug. But with the Saldanas’ harmonies, and with a set of sensational songs, the Krayolas also echo Dylan, Warren Zevon and, absolutely, the Beatles.
These days, Hector Saldana is a writer and music columnist at the San Antonio Express-News, which means he needs to find a job with more stability. Re-starting a rock band is clearly the answer.
“We have no delusions,” Saldana wrote, “But the Krayolas were always a good plug-in-and-play band.” (In fact, they made the new CD the really old-fashioned way. They played, live, in the same room. They learned the songs during the sessions, and wrapped things up in three days.) They got a surreal/spiritual album cover from folk artist David Zamora Casas and passionate, poetic liner notes from John Phillip Santos. Now what?
Hector’s not sure. “We don’t have a manager, promoter or agent,” he said. “We do have a tailor — which is a start.”
They also have a website and one gear album (as Beatlemaniacs would say), available in stores and at online music sites. And, Hector says, “We still believe in that vibration.”
“Mixes a classic 60’s jukebox sound (‘Canicas’) with Mariachi rock band (‘La Inundacion De Piedras Negras’) to create a truly unique, but very appealing sound. They also cover the Ramones’ classic ‘I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend’ and pump a little Spanish flair into it.” Read the review here.
“This is what The Ramones would sound like if they were from Westside San Antonio. Their frontman Hector Saldana embodies cool.”
For the last few weeks, the Krayolas powerpop remake of the Ramones “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” has been in heavy rotation on Bill Kelly’s “Black Hole of Rock and Roll” show on WFMU-FM 91.1 in New Jersey. The single is available as a free download on Amazon.com.
“I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” is also a hit on Rich Russo’s “Anything Anything” show on The Peak 107.1 and WDHA-FM 105.5 in New Jersey, as well as on KRXP-FM 103.9 in New York and on WUSC-FM 91.1 in South Carolina, KUTX-FM, KSYM-FM, KEDA-AM, Marfa Public Radio and Sirius XM “Kick Out the Jams!” on the Spectrum channel..
“Once again the San Antonio power pop of Hector Saldana returns, and each time the band impresses. Bright hum along melodies with organ and accordion, full of childhood nostalgia . . . a great cover of The Ramones’ ‘I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend’ and the T-Rex bass line of ‘La Inundacion de Piedras Negras’ creeps along making it a cool highlight. Highly recommended.” Read the full review here.
“Tex-Mex approach to British Invasion rock and powerpop, which has in the past suggested a Southwestern Guided by Voices.” Full review is here.
“Only my hometown could produce a power-pop group like The Krayolas. Their 21st century Tex-Mex sound picks up the tradition that Doug Sahm started and carried through various incarnations. On their new 8-song album, ‘Canicas” (Marbles),’ band leader Hector Saldaña takes the traditional corrido ‘La Inundación de Piedras Negras’ (The Flood of Piedras Negras) and gives it a rock ‘n’ roll arrangement that’s remindful of T-Rex.” Full review is here.
“One of the best, if not the best, record yet from the Krayolas . . . when the Krayolas cover The Ramones’ ‘I Wanna to Be Your Boyfriend,’ they swing the punk a little and sing in English and Spanish.” Read the review here.