Rhett y Los Borrachos Empeñados

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.


Rhett y Los Borrachos Empeados

Rhett y Los Borrachos Empeados perform at 11:00 p.m. Thursday, December 21, at Jazid, 1342 Washington Ave, Miami Beach. Admission is free. For more information, call 305-673-9372.

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


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