By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
Genial Cuban-American four-piece Rhett y Los Borrachos Empeñados (Rhett and the Pawnshop Drunks) fills Jazid's air with retro-Latino this week.
For more than six years, the band has worked on perfecting a mix of salsa, balladry, funk, and rock that plays with the ideas of chamber music and symphonics. The debut album, Entre Dios y el Diablo, included "El Negro y Las Balsa (Si Nos Coje Fidel)," a well-intentioned look at the differences between the plight of Cuba's nationals of today and those of yesteryear. As alluded to in the song title, the video (shot throughout Miami) finds the crew clowning with Cuban comedian Orlando Casin and flailing in inner tubes as they make their escape to America. The video shot to number four on MTV Español in mid-2005.
"Quizas" a tale of love gone awry told through a kaleidoscope of gentle, unassuming Rhodes and guitar spawned a video distributed to outlets across the United States, Latin America, and Spain, as well as file-sharing sites such as MySpace and YouTube.
Despite the group's name, Spanish lyrics are relatively new to the bandmates. They weren't inspired to adopt their parents' native language until La Kalle 98.3 FM's Fuego Rock radio show came calling, which led to a showcase for industry insiders at Hoy Como Ayer in 2004 and personal regrokkings of their heritage. Eric. W. Saeger