South Valley Chicano sound, steeped in Zydeco and Baptized in the Blues
ALBUQUERQUE, NM (October 26, 2016) – Felix Y Los Gatos, one of Albuquerque’s most popular bands, is announcing the release of their 6th upcoming album, “Louisiana Nights”, which will kick off a series of CD release parties in New Mexico, starting November 19th. The first CD release party is scheduled November 19th at the Tractor Brewing Companies Wells Park location, which is also the new home of Felix Peralta’s (aka: Gato Malo) Monday night open mic for singers and songwriters, which is drawing some of the Duke City’s fantastic and aspiring unknown talent.
A unique South Valley Chicano sound, steeped in Zydeco and baptized in the Blues, is the best way to describe the new album “Louisiana Nights” by Felix Y Los Gatos. Recorded in Santa Fe, at Frogville Records, with sound engineer Bill Palmer, the new LP has a raw, 1950’s rockin New Mexico flavor, which Palmer has likened to Willy Nelson’s “Teatro” (which was produced by Daniel Lanios). With original Gato DB Gomez on the button accordion hammering out true blue Zytejano, the ever-solid train beats of Melvin Crisp, and New Mexico roots rhythm bass of Norteno Tim, Malo and the boys deliver a solid rockin’ sound of the Southwest. Nationally known flutist Johnny Alston lends a hauntingly authentic New Mexico sound. Nashville session fiddle player Ollie O’Shae also brings a different spice to “Louisiana Nights”.
After nearly a year of sobriety, with some difficult trials along the way, lead men Peralta and accordion player DB Gomez are fiercely dedicated to their craft, and to their recovery. For Gato, making music and working his trade with dedication and precision are his new top priorities, which can be seen and felt through his online presence, as well as the numerous shows booked throughout New Mexico this year, such as the Hatch Green Chile Fest & Globaquerque!. “I’m letting my actions speak for themself” stated Peralta when asked about his personal life. “All I can do is be the example of what I want for my life. Only I can do it and I am doing it.” This has been a hard-won album for the Gatos whose perseverance through adversity has been an inspiration to family, friends, and fans.
When asked to describe his new album, Malo stated, “I feel my ancestry, I’m connected to their spirits now more than I’ve ever been. This album, I feel like I’m going back to my roots, back to my basics. Even though I knew what we were going to do when we went into the studio, we like to try and hit it on the first take. We’re a live band and we do a lot of improv. It’s raw and there will be mistakes but sometimes that’s what makes the best part of a song. 1950’s music, especially New Mexico music runs in my family, it’s in my blood and I feel connected to that now more than ever.”
“How do you think being sober has affected your music?” That was my question for the Gato. “It’s a different way of thinking. It was like playing and thinking through the haze. Now that I have a clear mind, not only is your soul intact but so is your mind and body and when that happens, BAM! 90 Day Binge was written in the middle of a 90-day binge. It sounds dangerous because it was. How I lived will always be a part of me even though I’ll never go back to that way of life. Living that hard and that fast taught me a lot. Mostly what not to do again.”
“I heard you had a near death experience. What did that teach you?” “A lot of people are coming to me and sharing their stories about their sobriety. Since I’m in the public eye I’ve kind of become an example to others who are struggling with their own demons or who have overcome them. It’s humbling and I’m very grateful to be alive and doing what I love. Not many people can leave this world and say they did what they love and I refuse to waste that again. I’m blessed to be here and blessed to have the support and love I have.”
If you don’t hear the Gato’s new dedication to life and love of music through the new LP, it will certainly be seen on stage and felt in person. It’s a new day for the Gatos, and the feel-good, toe tapping, raw authenticity of the new album “Louisiana Nights” is a sure bet to get everyone out of their seats and dancing the night away. If I were a betting woman, my money would be on the Gatos succeeding, and beating the odds.