Los Lobos – Good Morning Aztlan
Aztlan is the name for the legendary homeland of the Aztec people in what is now the southwestern United States, and no band does a better job maintaining the ancestral connections than Los Lobos. Since it came together in 1973 at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles, the group has concocted a blend of rock and roll, norteño, R&B, cumbia, R&B, blues, bolero and brown-eyed soul that refuses to grant the cultural border between Mexico and the U.S. The keys to Los Lobos’ success have been the quality of its songwriting and the stability of its line-up: guitarist/accordionist David Hidalgo, guitarist Cesar Rosas, drummer Louie Pérez, bassist Conrad Lozano and Steve Berlin, who plays keyboards and horns. After paying their dues playing mariachi standards at Mexican restaurants, Los Lobos released a self-produced album, Los Lobos del Este de Los Angeles, before breaking through with How Will the Wolf Survive? in 1984. Refusing to settle into a predictable groove, they’ve released experimental rock albums (Kiko); tributes to their roots (the “Mariachi Suite,” a hugely popular cover of Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba”), and the epic album The Town and the City, based on Louie Pérez’s childhood in East L.A. Possibly the most deserving band not yet inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.