Chicken Scratch Polka Express

Thee Express -  Express Yourself
Thee Express – Express Yourself
Thee Express

Express Yourself (Canyon Records, 2008)

Thee Express is a chicken scratch band founded by Ricardo Vavages in 1978. The group was originally called Papago Express, but the band changed its name to Thee Express when the Papago Indian tribe changed their name to Tohono O’odham. Rupert Vavages now leads the band, joined with his son Steve Vavages, Isaac Vavages, Andy Juan, Brandis Joaquin, and Ryan Felix. Express Yourself introduces new songs as well as old hits.

Chicken scratch is also known as waila music The term waila comes from the Spanish word bailar, meaning to dance. This popular dance music was developed by the Tohono O’odham people of Southwest Arizona. The chicken scratch sound is the result of Southwestern, Mexican and European influences. Accordion-driven polkas, waltzes, schottisch, Mexican cumbias and mazurcas mixed with electric guitar, saxophone and a solid rhythm section. The music is also similar to Southwestern Hispanic music, such as grupero, conjunto, norteño and tejano music.

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Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for TelevisiĆ³n EspaƱola (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.