The Brew

SXSW Records

Phases and Stages

The Brew

Latin Brew The sounds on Latin Brew are as clean, flowing, and downright gorgeous as anything digitally etched into recent memory. Guitarist Michael Rodriguez, the leader of this long-running Austin ensemble, is astoundingly fluid on his acoustic instrument, offering melodic lines and solos that take flight at every turn. Starting out in Brownsville, Texas, way the hell back in the mid-Seventies as an all-purpose combo that did blues, rock, and country, the Brew made their way to Austin in the Eighties and have since leaned increasingly into the arena of Latin jazz. Michael's brothers Joe and Mark take care of percussion and bass duties, respectively, and local stars Joel Guzman on keyboards and accordion, Brad Evilsizer on drums, and William Santiago on congas round out the regular lineup. Though Latin Brew focuses mainly on the light-to-smooth-jazz sound the band has tweaked to perfection, there are a few surprises on this album, like the electric turn through the Eagles' "Hotel California." Rodriguez reworks the infamously creepy melody into something almost beautiful -- almost. It's still "Hotel California," after all, and unfortunately, it sounds more like Joe Satriani has checked in than Paco de Lucía. Lovely, but not thrilling, Latin Brew makes nice music without taking many chances. (Wednesday, March 13, Empanada Parlour, midnight)

***end story

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Grupo Fantasma
American Music Vol. VII (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, April 19, 2019

Texas Platters
Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord
Harder On the Outside (Record Review)

Michael Toland, March 22, 2019

More by Christopher Hess
Phases & Stages
Rob Halverson
Second Whirled (Record Review)

Feb. 4, 2005

Phases and Stages
Stratford 4
Love and Distortion (Record Review)

March 14, 2003

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle