Joe King Carrasco y El Molino, "Tlaquepaque." Before he became the ruler of Nuevo Wavo, bringing Tex-Mex into New Wave pop in the late ‘70s and early '80s, Joe King Carrasco was already the monarch of “Tex Mex Rock ‘n’ Roll,” with his band El Molino.
On "Tlaquepaque,” Carrasco has teamed up with original El Molino members bassist Speedy Sparks and drummer Ernie Durawa and a slew of Texas musical masters, including organist Augie Meyers of the Sir Douglas Quintet to make an El Molino that sounds as good today as it did 35 years ago.
Combining Carrasco’s rhythmic takes on cumbias, rancheras and throwing in some rock ‘n’ roll, the record sounds straight out of San Antonio, where a distinctive cultural mix has created some the most soulful, captivating music ever.
Carrasco reprises his classic pumping “Bueno” in all its Tex Mex glory, gets bluesy on “I Saw My Baby,” does the stroll on “Anna," delivers swinging rock ‘n’ roll on “Ayduame Lupe” and “Make Believe Love.” “Mas Mas,” “Por Que,” “Donna Do U Wanna” and “Karmalite” put a cool spin on the traditional forms that come from Mexico, where Carrasco now lives.
For the second straight year, Carrasco has made a great reunion album -- last year’s “Que Wow” with his new wave band The Crowns is a gem. But there’s no need to have heard or known about the first El Molino disc to dig “Tlaquepaque.” Get it at joeking.com. Grade: A