New Californian Worksongs


Worksongs (Vanguard 79738-2, 2003)

Mestizaje (or mestizo) is a Spanish word used more and more to describe
musical hybrids in Spanish speaking countries. The Hispanic melting pot in
southern California has been producing some really interesting musical
combinations for many years. East Los Angeles band

appeared in the late 1990s with as combination and Spanish and
English lyrics, mixing American sounds with Mexican and other Latin American
influences. Quetzal’s latest CD, Worksongs, continues the hybridization process by
providing American rock, folk and blues melded with Mexican son jarocho,
Afro-Cuban sounds, and much more. As the title suggests, the lyrics talk about
the hard working people who helped build California.

The album was produced Produced by longtime Los Lobos saxophonist Steve
Berlin. He saw the working relationship a perfect fit. “It’s profound, there’s
not enough articulation about what’s going on in East LA [Los Angeles],” he
says. “Worksongs is not just a record; they are the voice of the culture.
We’ve [Los Lobos] carried the torch long enough, and I think Quetzal is the next
to step up and speak for the community