THE KRAYOLAS AND THEIR NEW CD
What if you could be a teenager again at the baile and the cutest guy with hazel eyes or the girl with the longest black hair slow-danced with you? Remember how it made you feel, all bubbly and dreamy and how life swirled us in Kool-aid colors, sweet and tangy, how life stained our tongues and white shirts in ways we can’t forget?
That’s how it is when I hear Hector Saldana (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, harmonica) singing rock-n-roll in that strawberry milkshake-voice of his with The Krayolas. Now a grown-up baby boomer, he and his brother David Saldana (vocals, percussion and more), are proving that midlife gives you another chance to meet your destiny in the production of their new album “La Conquistadora.” And conquer they do, featuring Augie Meyers, Van Baines (harmony vocals, lead guitar, pedal steel guitar) , Joe Sarli (harmony vocals and electric bass, and The West Side Horns.
Dressed in their sleek, black, retro-Beatles elegance, and looking even better than those other guys ever could - The Krayolas are a new-old force of summer, cruising-to-the beach-with-the-top-down rocknroll - with something more: The wiser, wintry, breezes of la vida grownup without giving up the fun.
Like the danceable, heart-throbby anti-war song, Alex, the first in the album, written by Hector Saldana. A song he says he wrote when he learned that his beloved nephew, Alex, had died tragically from injuries suffered in Iraq.
Or is it the second song, inspired by the album’s title, La Conquistadora (cover art by the local and loco legend who is the visual artist David Zamora Casas, December 12th El Dia de La Virgen de Guadalupe), also written by Saldana and dedicated to the memory of Father Francisco Geronimo, a rock-n-roll romp about the Spanish Conquest and who really got conquered?
Or is it the keyboard brujería if Augie Meyers (The Sir Douglas Quintet, The Texas Tornados) on his Vox organ, who’s contributed three songs for this album porque hey baby, que paso?
Maybe it’s el Max Baca on the bajo sexto on Augie’s song, “Little Fox,” or maybe it’s el chicano soul fonkyiness of Al Gomez’s trumpet and Louis Bustos’ saxophone, quien sabe, pero if you don’t wanna dance when you hear them no wonder she left you without even your chones.
Te acuerdas riding on the back of that motorcycle even though your mother said valemas que no! and remember sleeping in class and falling off your chair and remember when you understood the lie that was Vietnam and remember how many times you’ve fallen in love and you still haven’t learned one goddamn thing?
Then this album’s for you.
Besides, El Chisme on the street says there’s a good chance that the liner notes by native-son genius writer John Phillip Santos and the cover art by David Zamora Casas have a good chance for a Grammy nomination…
Que Viva la Konquista! Kolor me San Antonio!!!!
For more info, check out their website www.thekrayolas.com
photo credit: December 12th, el dia de La Virgen de Guadalupe, by David Zamora Casas
photo credit: cdbaby.com/cd/krayolas