Los Lobos: Tin Can Trust

RIYL: The Grateful Dead, Los Lonley Boys, bands that the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame hasn’t gotten the head out of their asses and enshrined yet

Los Lobos are back with another fine album, Tin Can Trust. Do these guys ever put out a weak effort? This new collection of songs by the venerable east L.A. band, an American institution, is a much looser affair than their last album of original recordings, 2006’s The Town and the City. It has the feel of some of their earliest LP’s, such as How Will the Wolf Survive, By the Light of the Moon, and their triumphant The Neighborhood. Each song on Tin Can Trust has feels immediate, recorded with minimum overdubs, delivering the optimum effect of hearing Los Lobos live in a concert hall or some out-of-the-way drinking hole.

“Burn It Down:” is the lead track and first single. It’s a solid, radio-friendly song that features the great Susan Tedeschi singing background vocals with lead singer David Hidalgo. The second song, “On Main Street,” while simple in execution and lyrical content, has the right mood of a hot summer afternoon in the neighborhood. Try listening to it and not imagining yourself cruising around with one of your buds, the windows down, the radio cranked.

Cesar Rosas keeps the band grounded to their Chicano heritage with two excellent Spanish sung songs: the upbeat, rocker “Yo Canto,” and the more traditional (more accordion-driven) “Mujer Ingrata.” The title track is another example of Los Lobos’ gift for constructing a song out of repetitive simple chords and basic beats, creating something wondrous. Meanwhile, “Do the Murray” is a fantastic “get your ass of out that seat and dance” rockabilly/blues/Deadhead instrumental from the band. Hell Yeah!

Speaking of the Grateful Dead, that band’s lyricist Robert Hunter supplies words for a couple of songs, including the powerfully done “All My Bridges Burning,” which finds Rosas digging deep for his vocals. The band also covers the Dead’s “West L.A. Fadeaway” to great effect.

At this point in their career, in which Los Lobos primarily tour to support themselves, there seems no reason for the band to continue putting out new albums. They have enough material from their storied career that they shouldn’t need additional music. Yet, as artists, they are driven to continue creating and finding ways to express themselves through their music. Tin Can Trust is indication that Los Lobos is still one of the best bands around. Let’s hope they continue putting out more records for years to come. ( Shout! Factory 2010)

Los Lobos MySpace page
Purchase Tin Can Trust through Amazon


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