Learn all about The Last Bandoleros before they hit the stage at Alice in Winterland at The Masonic in San Francisco.
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About The Last Bandoleros
On the horizon, they appear: Four men dressed in black set to take each new town by storm. The Last Bandoleros are a four-piece outfit blending Tex-Mex, country and good old-fashioned rock n’ roll. But this is no ordinary band of musical brothers. The Legend of the Last Bandoleros is as epic and unforgettable as their name – and the music that inspired it.
Our story begins with Jerry Fuentes, accomplished guitarist and producer born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. “My mother and her sisters played mariachi music,” he says. “I can remember being at family gatherings, and they’d start singing in Spanish, and it would be this perfect, three-sister harmony.” On a musical pilgrimage to New York City, Jerry met Derek James, who grew up an hour north of New York City.
Derek, a singer-songwriter and producer, remembers his mother playing show tunes on the piano at home, “to herself, and whoever was in the house,” he laughs. His proximity to Manhattan gave him the opportunity to see shows by some of the world’s greatest artists at an early age. “I saw Martin Sexton one night at the Knitting Factory, and went back for the next two nights, too,” he recalls. “That’s what gave me the fever.”
Fuentes and James began collaborating and even sharing an apartment and studio in Brooklyn. But, Fuentes kept being drawn back to his native Texas to play and perform as well as record and produce in the same San Antonio studio where a couple of talented brothers were also emerging. Diego and Emilio Navaira, sons of Tejano music legend, Emilio Navaira, Sr., had been making a name for themselves around town for their energetic live performances and sterling vocal chops.
Fuentes decided to combine both of his universes and introduced Derek to Diego and Emilio by inviting them to Brooklyn for a stint of jamming and writing. Encouraged by the ease and musicality of the results, the foursome migrated their session to San Antonio, where the lyrics and riffs came flying fast.
“Our new collective was electric,” says James. “After going back and forth four or five times, we had the core of a whole album. “When we got in a room, the songs poured out.”
This was the extremely musical and natural genesis of The Last Bandoleros – forged with an urgency and emphasis on songwriting into a compelling, contemporary and quintessentially American sound.
“I grew up idolizing Texas legends Doug Sahm and Flaco Jimenez,” says Jerry, “and, at the same time, wanted to learn every song in the Rock canon including The Beatles and The Eagles.”
“Our dad turned us on to Van Halen and ZZ Top,” says Diego. “And, we were obviously surrounded by Tejano music since birth,” adds Emilio.
The Last Bandoleros have sold-out New York City’s Rockwood Music Hall as headliner and opened for Canadian chanteuse Feist at Webster Hall (NYC). They’ve performed live with Sting and also feature as backing vocalists on his new single “I Can’t Stop Thinking About You” currently in upper reaches of the Triple A radio charts.
Tour dates with John Pardi, Josh Abbot,The Mavericks, Marc Broussard and Los Lonely Boys as well as headline runs of their own have kept The Last Bandoleros busy even as they prepare to release their debut album on January 27th via Warner Bros Records/Warner Music Nashville.
Accolades for The Last Bandoleros’ musicality and energetic performances have been pouring in:
Rolling Stone called the band “the next generation of Tex-Mex renegades” and added that “their music caroms wildly from rock and country to conjunto and pop, adding up to a sound that’s hard to pin down — and to get out of your head.”
People Magazine included them in their “Ones to Watch” feature while Entertainment Weekly highlighted them on their “Breaking Big” list.
TasteOfCountry.com called their song “Where Do You Go?” “instantly catchy” while CMChatLive.com described it as “bright,” “explosive” and “memorable.”
HITS Magazine wrote “the musical verve and joyous energy on display in this tune is irresistible” calling it “Tex-Mex meets harmony-rich Beatlesque pop, with a healthy dollop of boy-pop charisma.”
Theboot.com described the group s’s infectious sound as a “unique mix of British pop, country-rock and Tejano, plus a healthy dose of Latin flair.”
The Last Bandoleros combine their unique cultural experiences with a rare musical camaraderie to deliver exuberance and joy both essential and contagious.
Thus concludes the opening chapter of the Legend of the Last Bandoleros, an original quartet on a mission to connect their Tex-Mex American sound with as many people as possible.
The next chapters will be written by their songs, their vocal chemistry, and their unique live shows, where audiences witness four consummate musicians, bringing their individual styles to create their unique brand of music.