Los Lobos are sticking close to home for their next album. Native Sons, the veteran L.A. band’s 17th studio release, is a covers album featuring songs by a slate of fellow Southern California artists. Read the press release below, and check out two previews, with commentary from the bandmembers. The album will be released on July 30:
THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “For all the trailblazing musical acts who’ve emerged from Los Angeles, very few embody the city’s wildly eclectic spirit more wholeheartedly than Los Lobos. Over the last five decades, the East L.A.-bred band has made an indelible mark on music history by exploring an enormous diversity of genres — rock ’n’ roll and R&B, surf music and soul, mariachi and música norteña, punk rock and country — and building a boldly unpredictable sound all their own.
Thee Midniters | Love Special Delivery
An original tune from Thee Midniters, one of the first Chicano bands out of East L.A. to make it big. They blazed the trail with such songs as Whittier Blvd. and The Ballad of César Chávez.
Cesar Rosas: “As a kid I’d catch Thee Midniters at Kennedy Hall on Atlantic and try to see how George (Dominguez) was playing those riffs that I couldn’t figure it out at home. Then about 20 years ago Aaron Ballesteros (Thee Midniters’ drummer) was in my home studio, recording other things. I started this riff, just goofing around, and he fell in. I said, ‘You know what? Why don’t we record it, man?’ He did a count-off and, unaccompanied, laid down the track you hear now. Perfect. First take.”
Conrad Lozano: “In 1967 I played with Aaron in a nine-piece soul band called The Royal Checkmates, and then later in Tierra.”
The Beach Boys | Sail On, Sailor
How could you cover Southern California music without The Beach Boys? Here’s the big hit from their album Holland.
Conrad Lozano: “Blondie Chaplin sang the lead on that one. He jammed with us at the Fillmore one time and we did this song. That’s how we learned it. The Beach Boys were one of my all-time favorite bands, ever since I was 13, 14 years old. Sail On, Sailor was a song I just fell in love with.”
Steve Berlin: “Our engineer Chris Sorem did a fantastic job capturing the mystical California vibe of this song — not an easy thing to accomplish. He really helped us hold this record together for a year across all our staggered recording sessions.”
Louie Perez: “Bugs Gonzalez was in town for a livestream benefit with us in the studio, and he’s a fantastic singer, so we asked him to sing on this one. We really appreciate everything Bugs did for us, everything he did with the band.”