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.
The Krayolas bilingual remake of the Ramones “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” named among the best cover versions of 2013 by DJ Rich Russo, a nationally syndicated rock radio host.
“For the Krayolas, every song is a medley, in spirit if not in form. The San Antonio quartet, which played for nearly two hours Saturday evening at Tropicalia, has too many influences to fit into a single tune.”
— Mark Jenkins, The Washington Post
“The Krayolas from San Antonio, Texas have their own distinctive Tex-Mex style. Hardly typical of that genre, what they play is more Mexified rock ‘n’ roll than anything else and this is exemplified on ‘Quiero Ser Tu Novio,’ their Spanish language cover of the Ramones’ ‘I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend’ . . . What work best are unadulterated Mexican-flavored corridos like ‘Twelve Heads in a Bag,’ a cool and understated telling of a grisly drugs cartel massacre. ‘Tony Tormenta’ is another chilling cartel ballad, an affecting song that documents the horror of the internecine drug wars of the Mexican borderland.”
— Laurence Mitchell, Perceptive Travel
“Theirs is a uniquely natural, uncompromised fusion of Mexican and American . . . there’s nothing else quite like it.”
The Krayolas and Big Star featured on the same interview program “Texas Music Matters” on NPR affiliate KUTX. That’s a pretty cool deal.
“The Krayolas stayed true to their original inspirations and influences: an assortment of bands from the British Invasion, Nuggets-era garage rock, Bob Dylan and their Tex-Mex roots (including the late Doug Sahm, Flaco Jimenez and Augie Meyers). ‘Tormenta’ is the perfect summertime party disc.”
— No Depression
The Krayolas, more than anything else, make fun music — the essence of the garage aesthetic . . . but a few Krayolas songs do defy convention. The song (‘Tony Tormenta’) pulls no punches.”
The Krayolas have pulled off a tough balancing act: being known as a “classic” or “iconic” band while continuing to release new material that is high quality both musically and in its content. I suspect the secret may be that, unlike many bands in that position, they don’t seem to worry too much about it. They love to play, the audience loves to listen. What else really matters? – See more at John Black, Awaiting the Flood
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.”