Last week NorteñoBlog noted that, when Los Cuates de Sinaloa were getting popular about a decade ago, Billboard hailed their guitar-based “musica de la sierra” as one of Mexico’s “new sounds” to keep an eye on. In the same milieu were Los Alegres de la Sierra, another family band who, from the looks of my hasty research, never made the jump to a major label but branched out musically just like Los Cuates did, adding members and instruments. Their self-released 2012 album Lagrimas En La Sierra is chipper accordion quartet stuff, new to streaming services, and I’m partial to “No Podrán.”
Similarly chipper and altitudinally minded, Los Alegres del Barranco have released a new single, the corrido “El Chino Piloto” (Hyphy). It’s chock full of fatalistic loneliness and helpful radar-evasion tactics, and its repeated eight-bar melody will dig a six-inch barranco through the middle of your skull.
Also on Hyphy and living “La Vida Alegre” are Los Alcapones de Culiacán, who, if you didn’t get the message, call their new album Desde Culiacán. Somewhat confusingly, they have another album on Hyphy called La Vida Alegre; it’s got pretty much the same track listing, and both albums’ recordings sound the same. A rip-off, you complain? Presumably when you’re “Pistear y Pistear” you don’t notice such things. I can’t fault them too much, though, since they have such a great band name. Chi-town represent!
Aaaaaand our final Hyphy band is Grupo Fernández, who’ve just released as a single their four-and-a-half-minute corrido “La Fuga del Dorian,” from last year’s album of the same name. It features verses from both Regulo Caro and the late Ariel Camacho, both of whom burn up song and video with charisma. Camacho gets in some nice requinto fills, too. I know Ariel Camacho shows up a lot at NorteñoBlog, but nobody can touch his unique voice and gravitas. Pick to Click!