n recent years, Albuquerque, New Mexico has become the land of BREAKING BAD and BETTER CALL SAUL. As one who lives in the "Duke City",I feel it's better to be known for two bad-ass televsions shows than it is the place where BUGS BUNNY forgot to make a left turn. This dry, arid, mountainous setting is on the map in a big way when it comes to televsion production, but I always felt that the music scene here deserved just as much attention. Maybe the lack of exposure speaks to the fact that there are no music scenes in the age of the internet and social media, but that hasn't stopped FELIX PERALTA from making a decent penny making and performing music here and throughout the country. He and accordion player D.B. GOMEZ form the creative core of FELIX Y LOS GATOS - a musical act with a sound as wide and expansive as the American Southwest. Covering a wide range of sound from blues, bluegrass and zydeco, FELIX Y LOS GATOS have been an in-demand live act in the Land of Entrapment and beyond. In the coming year, the band is set to release their forthcoming album which they've recorded at the legendary BLUE CAT STUDIOS in San Antonio (days before Hurricane Harvey struck the region). The new album will mark the band's evolution from troubadours-for-hire to full fleged recording artists with an enviable sense of musicality and a mission to bring their distinctive Southwest sound to a much broader listening public.
ROCKWIRED had a chance to speak with FELIX PERALTA regarding the formation of FELIX Y LOS GATOS and their forthcoming album. Here is how the interview went.
Y LOS GATOS is a name I see everywhere, living in Albuquerque.
me back to the beginning of this enterprise. How did this whole thing
get off the ground?
STORY WiLL CONTiNUE
FOLLOWiNG THE ADVERTiSEMENT BELOW
not common for one to make their living in music, especially here in
New Mexico. What do you attribute the ability get all of these gigs to?
And talk about what got you into music making in the first place.
I just turned forty. I grew up in a time when LOS LOBOS was huge. Outside of that, I grew up with my grandfather playing accordion. My grandpa and my mom were the last of the Spanish land grants here in New Mexico. I grew up with the sounds of the accordion and guitar. It would always happen after work and only around family. It's not like the way D.B. and I do it. Growing up I would hear this music in Church. It was always around . I had an older cousin who was in the music scene playing bass and I would help him load in his gear into a venue and then I was working at Brewsters, cooking and seeing musicians go in and out. Even from a distance, it looked like something that I wanted to do.
Describe the music scene that you are surrounded by in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
It's really good. There are some really good musicians making some really good music. So you have great musicians but there is not a lot of great business or a great business sense. People ask me how I get work all the time. It's because I hustle. I research. I don't stay in one market or style of music. If St. Clair Winery wants us to do a nice relaxing Spanish flared sound, then we're going to rock that out. If you want us to play a rockin' blues bar , we're gonna bring out the whole band. In one weekend we played for a huge biker party and the next night we played for the Sheriff's Posse in Taos. That should give you an idea of how eclectic we are. We also tour around the country. I have an agent - ROAD DOG TOURING - out of Denver and they keep us busy around the country, playing festivals anywhere from Chicago to South Carolina to California to New Orleans. We're busy pretty much everywhere.
And I understand that a new album is in the works. What can you tell us about it and when we can expect it?
In the last six months, we recorded an album. We've become more professional from a bar band into artists. For a while me and D.B. were really heavy drinkers and now, we're close to two years sober now. That has changed everything for us. It has changed our outlook on everything. When we got sober we recoded a new album and I like it. It's good. We were in the studio just last month. This album is co-produced by the accordion player for THE MAVERICKS who are a fairly big band. He lives in San Antonio and you've got some really amazing players there. You have JOSH BACA there, who grew up here in Albuquerque and played with LOS LOBOS. We recorded this new album at BLUE CAT STUDIOS. That studio is like the MUSCLE SHOALS or the MOTOWN of San Antonio. The producer that we workd with is the owner of BLUE CAT STUDIOS. His name is JOE TREVINO and he's a GRAMMY-winning producer who has worked with LOS LOBOS , THE MAVERICKS and TEXAS TORNADOES. We got a chance to record at this awesome studio and we've gotten to know THE MAVERICKS a little bit. They're actaully starting a record company of their own. We recorded the album right before the hurricane hit. It's getting mixed right now. It's a whole different sound for us and it's beautiful. We're looking to release this album early next year.
And what has inspired the music on this upcoming album?
It's all about happiness and where I'm at in my life right now. I'm just very humbly happy. Sobriety brought me happiness. Same with D.B. GOMEZ. He's got a wife and a daughter now. We're not stressed about anything now. the work is there. We already have our names out there and my books are filled until next year. I'm booked. We're not stressed about things. That has a lot to do with it. The inspiration is there. https://www.facebook.com/FelixYLosGatos
BRiAN LUSH (FOUNDER, EDiTOR-iN-CHiEF)
CONTACT BRiAN LUSH AT: firstname.lastname@example.org