Thursday, August 5, 2010

...and a time to dance

  1. Let's Say Goodnight/2:33
  2. Walking Song/2:51
  3. Anselma/3:11
  4. Come On Let's Go/2:11
  5. How Much Can I Do?/2:22
  6. Why Do You Do/2:40
  7. Ay te Dejo en San Antonio/2:40
Some time in 1983, I walked into Austin's Waterloo Records -- still the World's Best Place to Find Music. Generally speaking, Waterloo is worth a visit just to hear what the employees are playing on the store sound system, and that day I struck gold. Or oro, rather: I heard what appeared to be the epitome of Tex-Mex. The band sounded so authentic that I asked whether they hailed from San Antonio.

Los Angeles, the employee told me. That's Los Lobos.

I bought the EP ...and a time to dance and uncharacteristically left without browsing every rack in the store. My wife and I listened to it endlessly; when Los Lobos played an Austin club the following summer, the three of us went (she was eight months pregnant at the time). Although the band blew through its entire repertoire, the crowd refused to leave and cheered for more. A sweat-drenched David Hidalgo emerged from the dressing room, picked out "Sleepwalk" on the pedal steel, and confessed that "that's all we know." Reluctantly, we dispersed. I've seen them many times since then, but nothing has matched that show.

As near as I can tell, ...and a time to dance has never been released on CD. But iTunes has it for $6.93, and believe me that's a bargain. The title is no joke: No matter how down the world has you, this music will turn your frown upside down and get your feet moving.

I've dug up live performances of six of the original seven tracks. Enjoy.

"Let's Say Goodnight":


"Come On Let's Go":

"How Much Can I Do?":

"Why Do You Do":

"Ay Te Dejo en San Antonio":

And, for good measure, here's Santo & Johnny performing "Sleepwalk":


Lydia said...

I love them and could dance all night to these songs. Trying to remember how I first learned of them, and you know...I do believe it was on Austin City Limits.

Roy said...

Ahhhhh! Los Lobos is always a good way to start the day! Thanks for that.

bayoucreole said...

Wow! I'm dancing in my seat right now! I love them!!!

K. said...

Can't beat 'em! In the Lobos early days, they went from gig to gig in a white van with a bumper sticker reading "I [heart] tortillas"!

TaraDharma said...

got to see/hear them locally, WOW.

K. said...

They're great, aren't they? Just a crack, top-of-the-line band with terrific material. "One Time One Night" remains one of the best songs ever about the wages and tolls of poverty.

Cowtown Pattie said...

Don't you love conjunta music?

Love Los Lonely Boys, too!

K. said...

Another great Los band!