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Lone Piñon’s Días Felices Keeps Things Cheerfully Moving

Lone Piñon’s Días Felices Keeps Things Cheerfully Moving

Lone Piñon second album, Días Felices releases March 2017

I’d like to start by saying Lone Piñon is not something that would make its way into my normal listening rotation. You see, my Spanish is barely tenable (though compared to when I lived in the Midwest, I’m practically fluent), and understanding half of a song’s lyrics always makes me feel like I’m not giving the music or artists their due by fully GETTING the music.

However, the album made its way to my desk, and I figured it was time to take a break from my usual hipster rock, electro and hip hop. I’m pretty pleased I did so, because the musicianship on Días Felices was well worth the listen.

Lone Piñon’s trio is made up of Jordan Wax, Greg Glassman and Noah Martinez. Everyone fills multiple roles musically, has a vast musical background and (I have a feeling) a lot of stories I might like to hear over a beer at some point. Vocals are delivered in a mix of Spanish, English, and Nahuatl.

The music itself has a very traditional feel and style, it’s something I’d expect to hear at some point at the fair, or any large gathering with a stage. After my 17 years here, it’s obligatory, it’s the soundtrack that New Mexico sounds like whenever a few dozen or a few thousand of us gather for something.

Greg’s vocals are pointed and well delivered, Jordan is a fantastic fiddle and accordion player, and Noah’s bass keeps things moving smoothly.
Días Felices gets its start with the peppy instrumental “El Borrachito” and continues to chirp along until “Happy Days,” a busy polka with fiddling that makes my fingertips hurt to think about.

Cuando Bebo” slows down the tempo for a moment before “Los Conchitas” flings you back into blistering fiddle at a frantic tempo.

Cien Años (One Hundred Years) has a smattering of English lyrics, it’s sweet and sad and lonely, and Lone Piñon does a great job of delivering that.

It doesn’t get much more New Mexican than a song titled “La Llorona. It starts with that same manic energy as the last couple tracks, and then settles into something more in line with a heartfelt lament.

Feliz Año” and “El Potosino” shine with a gypsy reel’s brightly colored flairI could easily dance to them with my sweetheart, and finish a little out of breath.

Lone Piñon’s second album delivered the experience I expected: it’s lively, the guys are extremely talented on a technical and creative level, everything feels sharp and polished.

Lone Piñon plays all over New Mexico and beyond. They’re headed to Chicago briefly this week, then playing their CD release party at San Miguel Mission in Santa Fe, Saturday, Feb. 25, followed by a jaunt to Missouri, then back at the Marble Taproom on March 11.

Also, be sure to check out Noah’s radio show, “The North Valley Jukebox” (Mondays 8-10 p.m.) at kmrd.fm/listen

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Bradley T. Schuman is a pop culture geek and music nerd with far too many records and opinions. Reach him at music@freeabq.com.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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