“Without music, life would be a mistake.”-Friedrich Nietzche
Another new year is upon us. Some struggle already in 2016, to keep up with their newly adopted resolutions. Deep reflection, good intentions, followed by broken goals are the hot realistic dishes being served off the menu this January. Why not make a resolution that you can keep? Try, view, listen, and the experiencing new things is always good. Here’s an easy resolution you can keep: listen to new music and stay away from Top 40, it will rot your mind. Plunge into 2016 headfirst, by checking out the successful, Sal and Isela con Los Salerosos. Music is a treasure, so take a chance with these diamonds in the ruff. You won’t be disappointed.
Luckily, I had the chance this week catch up with Sal and discuss music. We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the Q/A began to take hold…
Rick: In your own words, describe your band and your music.
Sal: We’re a humble little band from the Inland Empire (California), which plays a mix of folk, oldies, country and traditional Mexican music, sometimes within the same song. We like to call it Mexicanized-American Music.
Sal: They are some very talented musicians we’ve met along the way. I don’t like to think of them as band members, but more like a family. There’s David Robinson, our lead guitarist, a tremendously talented guitar player. We first met Dave at one of the open mics in Riverside; he’s been with us the longest, supporting our music for the last eight years. There’s usually also Steady Eddie Carrasco on percussion, he’s been with us almost as long as Dave. We’ve recently been joined by Shane “El Chain” Ivie on bass. We also have some other musicians that join us from time to time, like Nando Vargas, Juan Miguel, Jerel Moore, Paul Perez, and Professor Steve…a long list of players that have filled in from time to time.
Rick: But at the core it’s you and Isela. Did you guys meet through music?
Sal: Actually, we’d been together for a few years before I got the crazy idea to include her in my musical endeavors. I knew she had a great voice from having heard her sing Mariachi music, but I wasn’t sure how it would translate to what I was doing. Once we started working on some harmonies for some of my songs, I knew there was something special there.
Rick: So where did you get started?
Sal: It all started with the open mic scene in Lompoc, California. I was stationed at Vandenberg AFB at the time, and I came across Sugar Magnolias Coffee House. There was a weekly open mic there and we soon became regulars. It was a great atmosphere, very nurturing, no big egos or competition. It was a really great way to develop our music and performance.
Rick: And now you guys have two albums. Tell us about those.
Sal: Absolutely, we do have two self-produced albums we’ve released. The first self-titled one was back in 2010 and the second one, Mexicanized-American Music, was released last year, 2014. Both are all-original music, and include songs about my hometown of Corona and different characters I either encountered or imagined. In a nutshell, the song topics are about everyday life, death, and as a friend of mine likes to point out, from the perspective of someone who grew up between two cultures, Mexican and American.
Rick: Where can people buy your albums or find your music?
Sal: We sell our CDs at our shows mostly, but if someone sends me a message at our band page on Facebook, we are pretty good about getting you a CD. You can also find our music on Reverbnation and YouTube. The easiest way is to type Sal and Isela con Los Salerosos on the search engine.
Rick: Is your Facebook page also the place where people can see where you are performing next?
Sal: Yes, we constantly post our shows and events on our Facebook page, sometimes we’ll send out event invites, but usually that’s just asking for punishment.
Rick: Oh really, how so?
Sal: Out of the fifty or so people that accept the invitation, maybe three will show; not a confidence booster, that’s for sure. I say that jokingly, because we love to perform whenever we can, wherever we can and we give it all we’ve got whether it’s a thousand people in the audience or just the bartender.
Rick: Any Sheep Doggies reunions in the near future? For anyone wondering what I’m talking about, that was Sal’s band while we were working together somewhere in the Middle East.
Sal: At an “undisclosed location” so-to-speak. No, that was fun while it lasted, but I’m pulling an Eddie Wilson on that one. It’s all about Los Salerosos now.
Rick: Last question: what is in store for Sal and Isela in the New Year?
Sal: We’re gonna keep at it, playing shows wherever and whenever we can. We want to keep growing as a band and continuing developing our sound. We’re looking forward to getting back into the studio with our producer Rex Kiphut, and recording a new album for which we’ve already written some new material. There’s a lot of big changes in store for some of our band members, you know, a little thing called life and kids. But as long as Isela and I are having fun doing this, and as long as we feel people want to listen to our music, we’ll be out there somewhere singing our hearts out.
Rick: Well buddy, I want to thank you for your time, best of luck in 2016, and most of all…enjoy.
Sal: Thank you Rick, it’s good to collaborate with you again and Happy New Year to you and your family, and all of your readers out there. If you ever take another one of your wild trips out to Cali again, you know, eating peyote out in Joshua Tree, or something of that nature, be sure to let me know. I really appreciate the opportunity you’ve given us here to tell people more about our band. Until next time my friend.
We would like to thank Sal and Isela con Los Salerosos for taking a break in their busy schedule for this interview and for their dedication & loyalty to our country through their military service.
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It’s a Grind Coffee House – Eagle Glen Jan 16 @ 7pm in Corona, CA with the Palomino Kids. Free all ages show!!! You’d be loco not to go!
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- Rick Baldwin is a writer, filmmaker, film/music historian, and can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rick.baldwin.568
- Twitter Rick Baldwin @RickBaldwin79 and firstname.lastname@example.org