Here’s the extent of what NorteñoBlog knows about Los Hermanos Madero: They’re a five-piece family norteño band from Culiacán, playing an instantly likable mix of corridos and love songs, and their lineup includes two baby-faced youngsters, Ivan (accordion and high harmonies) and new-ish addition Aldrich (bass). Despite my assignations, they switch off instruments like The Band — one album cover has Ivan holding a bajo sexto, and in this video Aldrich plays the bajo sexto. Sometimes they use a tololoche (stand-up bass) for the bass line, a point of pride. They just released their fourth likably-photoshopped album, Entre Gente De Arranque (Cosalteco/Hyphy). It contains 24 songs and gets a bit samey; more entertaining is this video of Ivan, Aldrich, and the older Jose Luis (I think) previewing the album.
On the same label and from the same city, the more seasoned Los Intocables del Norte (who are not Intocable) have just released their umpteenth album Sangre Prisionera. They’re a six-piece, with two bassists and two accordionists; you can watch ’em in action here. The video also features a cage for the prisionero in question and closeup shots of Los Intocables’ faces; both look uncomfortable.
For the past two decades, Banda Maguey has been releasing party-friendly technobanda, i.e. full brass band music that’s not afraid to incorporate synths and turntable scratches. (NorteñoBlog has previously spotted them scoring top 10 hits in 1998 and ’99.) Their new EP Soy Mexicano (Unimusik) is a varied and showbizzy collection of six songs, mostly free of the “techno” touches, each striving to show you what a great time Banda Maguey is having. The title track asserts Mexican pride in a year when Donald Trump and his cohort of xenophobic would-be wallbuilders have spurred several other Mexican bands to do the same — see also Arrolladora’s blazing take on the subject, and Emilio Estefan’s even showbizzier parade of stars. Also note that, in one of the strangest rights-related legal cases I can recall, “in 2012–13, [former Maguey singer] Ernesto Solano spent several months in jail on charges that he had been misusing the name of the band in connection with his solo career.” (He talks about it here — it sounds like unscrupulous business partners — but still, that’s a jailable offense???)
More ’90s holdovers: the banda Laberinto is apparently still going strong and playing heart-in-throat corridos on the new album Empiezo a Vivir (Musart-Balboa). It’s not like “El Pelicano de Chicago” does anything new, but hometown pride is hometown pride. (Although actually Laberinto is from Ciudad Obregón, Sonora.)