July 28, 2007 – A Night on the River

Friday night Linda and I snuck out for some live music.

Cross Canadian Ragweed and Los Lobos played in an outdoor ampitheatre along the river in Des Moines.  Los Lobos, “Just another band from east L.A.” was the headliner.  The encore was “La Bamba” and they invited about 25 of their new closest fans up from the crowd to dance and since on stage with the band.  It was a fitting end, as the artist who wrote La Bamba – Richie Valens, performed the song for the very last time in the Surf Ballroom in Mason City, Iowa in 1959; shortly thereafter, he was in the plane with Buddy Holly that crashed and killed Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper.

I was first attracted to Los Lobos back in the 80’s – their folky ethnic sound was dangerously close to the “Chmielewski Fun Time” and “Jolly Brothers” polka bands that were a staple of my childhood.  Even though the polka bands and Mexican folk cross thousands of miles, the music must share some deep roots.

Opening act was Cross Canadian Ragweed (not really from Canada, from Oklahoma/Texas).  They didn’t seem to like playing in the daylight and we didn’t go to the bar show later than night – the two strongest songs were covers that ended their set – Todd Snider’s “I Believe in You” and Ray Wylie Hubbard”s “Rock and Roll.” (Thanks to Shannon from Cross Canadian Ragweed for correcting the title on the Ray Wylie song, now correct on this entry.) 

one year ago…

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