Los Lobos: proof that the family that plays together stays together. For close to 30 years, they've kept the same lineup, adding sax lad Steve Berlin along the way, and leaving a trail of good to great records behind them.
They're as rooted as The Band was, but they're not afraid to splatter a little aural finger paint here and there, such as on their masterpiece "Kiko." The new disc strikes the happiest of mediums between the earlier mix of blues-rock and the latter sonic experiments. It tells, in vignettes, stories of immigration to the U.S., with the high point being "The Road to Gila Bend."
There's a little hope, desperation, celebration and loneliness within, and some traditional tunes as always. As usual, David Hidalgo and Louie Perez write the most thoughtful stuff, while Cesar Rosas goes to the hips and the dance floor.
- Tory Troutman