Heroes & Horses: Corridos from the Arizona-Sonora Borderlands

Various Artists

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Heroes & Horses: Corridos from the Arizona-Sonora Borderlands Review

by Chris Nickson

The Arizona-Sonora border country might be divided into two separate states, but its culture remains almost completely Mexican, as reflected in these corridos, the Mexican ballads that for many, many years have commemorated people and events. This collection covers pretty much the entire range of regional experience, from songs of the Mexican Revolution ("Los Indios con Obregon") to mining ("El Minero") to horse racing, which remains an important sport. However, there's nothing concerning the border and its political problems, and this is quite deliberate since the focus here is on the older style of corrido. In fact, four of the cuts are traditional, including the very famous "La Carcel de Cananea," although it's often hard to tell the difference between old and new since the stylistic differences, both musically and lyrically, are small. The accompaniment is often just guitar, sometimes expanded to two guitars, bass, and accordeon. The music is ragged and raw, but that's how it should be with real folk music -- and this is a very true representation of folk music in the region.

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