Monday, September 21, 2009
Tejano Roots (5) : Conjunto Bernal
Conjunto Bernal - Mi Unico Camino (buy) (1958)
Conjunto Bernal - La Novia Antonia (buy) (1958)
Led by Paulino Bernal, this conjunto started recording in the 1950s, and became the best of its generation.
It was a classic tejano group, with Paulino on lead vocals and accordion and his older brother Elias on bajo sexto and harmonizing. Like many conjuntos, they started in South Texas, playing in bars for blue-collar immigrants to support their family.
I really love their modern sound and their harmonizing is divine. And they were the first tejano band to play rock 'n' roll, as you can hear on the second track, a cover of Larry William's "Bonie Moronie".
There's a great Arhoolie compilation of them (see the image above) that you can download at e-music.
If you're interested in Tejano music, check this article from the University of Texas site.
Perfect for reading Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy.
God, that is a great series of novels, the perfect companion for the music on River's Invitation.