Jose Luis Gazcón

El Roba Vacas

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Jose Luis Gazcón made his mark during the '70s and '80s with songs like "Quedo Pendiente una Boda," and his namesake, "El Roba Vacas" (The Cow Thief). This 2004 disc from the regional label Alborada finds the grizzled Michoacan native fronting a traditional banda, covering ranchera standards with a couple of his older hits thrown in for good measure. Gazcón's voice has toughened with age, but it is still essentially sweet and vibrant. The intonation of the horns is a little off, but that's how it often is with this music when played live in tropical temperatures. Overall, this music is played with conviction and if it never truly catches fire, it is a pleasant enough soundtrack that occasionally becomes evocative. Gazcón's earlier work is more rewarding and worth the effort to seek out, but there is still a lot of fire in this old lion.

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