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 and the Tex-Mex music of his father to the Country-Blues of Jerry’s guitar instructors 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) and Jerry Fuentes (guitar & vocals) — both 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 American sound.
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 Dough 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,” adds Diego, “but I was obviously surrounded by Tejano music since birth.”
And, 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 recently sold-out New York City’s Rockwood Music Hall as headliner and opened for Canadian chanteuse Feist at Webster Hall. Before embarking on shows with neo-traditional country legends The Mavericks this summer, The Last Bandoleros will release their debut EP, featuring lead single “Where Do You Go?” which is already being praised by press and industry alike:
TasteOfCountry.com called the song “instantly catchy” while CMChatLive.com described it as “bright,” “explosive” and “memorable.”
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.”