Duets in Tejano and Conjunto Music

You know it really pisses me off…in country music and rock and other genres, you have so many duets, it ain’t even funny. Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty. Johnny and June. Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton. Springsteen and Sting. All over the map. The duet albums that Frank Sinatra did. And all the other artists who released duet albums.

Now don’t get me wrong. Tejano has its share of duets and collaborations. Los Tres Amigos…Jay and Ram…Roberto Pulido and Emilio…they’re all good. But I would like to see a hell of a lot more. Especially in Conjunto. I applaud Little Joe doing a duets album with the accordion masters of Conjunto. But I am also a man who appreciates different styles of voices and how they would sound working together.

Right off the bat, I’m thinking of Marcos Orozco and Elida Reyna. Or what if, back in the day, Marcos’ high voice would have recorded with the late Ricky Martinez’s low voice in a duet? How about Ruben Naranjo doing a duet with Angel Flores?

This is what I’m talking about. We need to have more duets, more record companies working together. And it’s possible, now more than ever, because pretty much every artist has their own label. So there’s less red tape. I would love to see a duet with Flaco Jimenez and Mingo Saldivar, two former members of a classic Conjunto called Los Guadalupanos. Or how here’s an idea…this just came to me….what if David Lee Garza released a double album or a box set in which all of his former singers recorded each other’s songs that they did while with the band? For example, Jay Perez singing Tu Boca Roja. Oscar G singing Cuatro Caminos. Or Emilio singing Con El Tiempo? Hell, I would pay for it.

But this is what I’m talking about. Tejano lacks a little change here and there. Do something off the Tejano grid. Or, how about more tribute albums? Get some of the best Conjuntos and do a tribute to Los Cuatitos Cantu. Truthfully, there were so many lost masters, so many lost recordings and so many great songs that were never recorded from artists like this, that a tribute album maybe one of the only ways their music gets passed on to a new generation.

So think about it, fans. How would you like to hear Augustin Ramirez and Gary Hobbs do a song together? Maybe even Jody Farias and Joe Bravo. I mean, this could go on forever. There are so many great artists out there that I think this would work with. Even if it’s just for one song.

And here’s another idea. How about a Tejano and Conjunto exchange album? The idea being that you pair up a Tejano band with a Conjunto and do one song from each genre. That way you can see who’s got the goods. AND Conjunto fans can learn which Tejano artists they may like and Tejano fans can possibly discover that they love Conjunto too, but just didn’t know it.

And we could do something that everyone says that could never be done before…Mexicanos working with Mexicanos in harmony.

-Frank

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