THE LAST BANDOLEROS IS A NEW BREED OF TEX-MEX
Ever since the members of San Antonio-forged, Tex-Mex/Pop-Rock outfit The Last Bandoleros can remember, they’ve been surrounded by dynamic and diverse musical influences. From Diego’s early Rock ‘n’ Roll collection to Emilio’s Beatles re-issues and the Tex-Mex music of their father to the Country-Blues of Jerry’s guitar tabs and Derek’s Jangly Brit-Rock records, the sounds around the members of The Last Bandoleros have always had an urgency and emphasis on songs and songwriting.
It’s no wonder that when Diego Navaira (bass & vocals), Emilio Navaira (drums & vocals) and Jerry Fuentes (guitar & vocals) — all three raised in the studios and vibrant live scene of San Antonio — joined with New York native Derek James (guitar & vocals) to form The Last Bandoleros, their combined experiences led them to create a compelling, contemporary and quintessential American sound.
Often joined by a button accordionist on stage, The Last Bandoleros mesh 1 part Tex-Mex, 1 part Brit-Pop and 2 parts Country/Rock, to write and perform driving songs brimming with melody informed by a unique amalgam of influences that only young Americans growing up a stone’s throw away from the Rio Grande might have absorbed.
“I grew up idolizing Texas legends Doug Sahm and Flaco Jimenez,” says Jerry, “and, at the same time, wanted to learn every song in the Rock canon including The Beatles and The Eagles.”
“My dad [GRAMMY-award winning Conjunto superstar Emilio Navaira, Sr.] turned me on to Van Halen and ZZ Top,” says Diego. “And, we were obviously surrounded by Tejano music since birth,” adds Emilio.
To be sure, a consummate command of their instruments is another of The Last Bandoleros’ calling cards.
“Jerry won a San Antonio guitar competition when he was 13,” shares Derek, “We love charting out ambitious harmonies. You’ll see every member in our band singing when you come to one of our shows.”
The group has sold-out New York City’s Rockwood Music Hall as headliner and opened for Canadian chanteuse Feist at Webster Hall (NYC). They’ve performed live with Sting and also feature as backing vocalists on his new single “I Can’t Stop Thinking About You” currently climbing the AAA radio and iTunes rock charts. Tour dates with The Mavericks, Marc Broussard and Los Lonely Boys have also kept The Last Bandoleros busy even as they prepare to release their debut EP via Warner Music Nashville. Accolades for the band’s musicality and energetic performances have been pouring in:
HITS Magazine wrote “the musical verve and joyous energy on display in this tune is pretty irresistible” dubbing it “Tex-Mex meets harmony-rich Beatlesque pop, with a healthy dollop of boy-pop charisma.”
The Last Bandoleros combine their unique cultural experiences with a rare musical camaraderie to deliver exuberance and joy both essential and contagious. And, in today’s fast-moving world of instantaneous information and converging influences, their original yet universal sound might just be best labeled “great music.”