Various Artists

Tejano Picante: Tex-Mex Classics

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The thing that makes Rhino's 18-track collection Tejano Picante: Tex-Mex Classics satisfying is that it isn't strictly traditional, containing just rancheras and Cumbias. Instead, it's representative of how music really sounds down at the Tex-Mex border -- it's a melting pot, where traditional Mexican music meets rock & roll, blues, country, folk, and even self-conscious art (thanks to the presence of the Brave Combo). This collection concentrates almost entirely on recordings from the '90s, dipping back to the '80s twice and the '70s just once, but that's not a detriment, since it illustrates how lively the region has been in those decades. Of course, by relying on modern music, it can't be seen as a definitive retrospective of Tex-Mex music, but it is certainly a first-rate introduction to the music.

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