Limericked an Arizonian: “The sand storm blows through here each year / I view it with loathing and fear / Not wind, rain or lightning / is what I find so frightening / it’s that I hate getting dust in my beer”. He should have guzzled the brew faster, we say. The desert storm you’ll have to handle tonight originates from the fertile sonic landscape in and around Tucson. Just an hour from the border to Mexico, this city has for decades been the hub for inspired clashes of genres like ranchero, mariachi and Mexican cumbia melting with American rock, leading to hybrid styles which are practiced by groups like Calexico, Sergio Mendoza’s Mambo Orkesta and the inimitable Giant Sand as well.
Sounding off a fusion of desert rock and Mexican cumbia evolving into hallucinogenic journeys with a hot and spicy Latin tinge, the sextet XIXA (say Chi Cha) bridged the forced hiatus from touring by staying busy. For one thing, they’ve released their current album “Genesis” in February of this year (of which you’ll hear more tonight, much more). For another, and to introduce their new work, the sextet staged a live concert on Facebook and it drew a nice crowd of over 10’000 viewers. Currently, they’re sweeping across Europe, starting in Paris and arriving here at our world music hub El Lokal for a live concert tonight.
More guitar driven than other forms of cumbia, they’re currently Tuxson’s (sorry Tucson) most popular band. Led by Brian Lopez and Gabriel Sullivan, both with vocals and on guitars, the two share the band’s song writing duties. Jason Urman is on keys, Geoff Hidaldo is on bass, Efren Cruz with his timbales, percussion and maracas and Winston Watson on drums are turning up the heat. Seguro, este groupo vas a ponerte piripi.