Super Supergroup

by

comment

Who are Los Super Seven? They can be described as "The Mexican-American All-Stars" or "The Tex-Mex Social Club." In the wake of the recent, award-winning Buena Vista Social Club CD – which was spearheaded by Ry Cooder and featured an incredible lineup of Cuban musical legends – it seems as if virtually every record company has been flooding the marketplace with anything Cuban-related, in the often futile hopes of another surprise million-seller and at the expense of releasing music from the rest of the planet. The only similarities between Buena Vista and Los Super Seven are that both projects bring together all-star ensembles of their respective genres, and both projects succeed to such an extent that they would be on that elite list of "CDs to Bring to a Desert Island."

The seven super musicians are country veteran Freddy Fender, Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas, Texas rocker Joe Ely, country vocalist Rick Trevino, Tejano singer Ruben Ramos and the conjunto accordion legend Flaco Jimenez. This self-titled debut album is part bolero, part norteña and ranchera Tex-Mex folk music, part Mexican polka, part country, all acoustic and all brilliantly produced. The album showcases each of the Seven’s remarkable talents over the wide range of Mexican and Mexican-American folk repertoires.

The idea for the project grew out of the 1998 South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas which many of the Super Seven were attending. The studio album re-creates the magic possible at these sorts of festivals, which often bring together all-star lineups, essentially dream teams that, for one reason or another, rarely perform together and virtually never record together. The album opens with Jimenez’s lilting accordion, with Rosas and Ramos taking turns behind the mic, in Valerio Longoria’s soulful version of the folk classic "El Canoero." Another gem is "La Morena" featuring the rapid jorocho guitar picking and call-and-response vocals typical of those native to Veracruz, Mexico, and led by Ruben Ramos.

Will the Super Seven reach a Buena Vista Social Club level of success? In absolute terms, it is unlikely that sales will reach seven figures – but the session is destined to be a classic within the genre and sure to introduce countless new listeners to the rich traditions of the barrios around the Rio Grande.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.