About Conjunto by Ramiro BurrPosted: April 23, 2010
Very cool comments from Ramiro…
Many consider the folksy conjunto secondary to the more popular Tejano.
Those who do are missing out on a real treasure. While conjunto does not have the flash and pop of Tejano, it does work its own beautiful magic.
Top artists like Conjunto Bernal, the late Tony De La Rosa, Mingo Saldivar, Los Dos Gs and others know how to create sparks with the basic accordion and bajo sexto, bottom-heavy rhythms, direct lyrics and a heavy dose of blues power.
At its most primal, raw conjunto is driven by intense, almost tribalistic percussions and fat bass lines.
Like blues and reggae, the sheer repetition of these bottom heavy rhythms tend to entrance and hypnotize.
Fans are also captivated by the lyrics, sung with honesty, pain and conviction.
And yet despite the often sad lyrics, ironically conjunto music is often described as “happy dance music.”
Because even if you don’t know the lyrics, the dance beats are irresistible and always compel folks to the dance floor.
For those who do sing along, they relive the moments when life is intense — that first love, that terrible breakup, the pain and solitude, hopes and dreams.
Those are the unforgettable moments that make up a lifetime. Even if we lost in love, ultimately we’re happy we had an opportunity. Often we walk away a better person. And with the distance of time, that special song helps us relive that moment.
The catharsis helps us find healing and hope.
Yeah, there might be tears and old wounds may resurface. But undoubtedly, there all be also a varying sense of tension and release, redemption and absolution, clarity and understanding.
Timeless nuggets include “Mi Unico Camino,” “Preso sin delito,” “El Silencio de La Noche,” and many others.
In Mexico, there’s an old saying, “la music es la vida, y el recordar es vivir (music is life and to remember, is to live again).” It often is used to describe fiery rancheras but it also applies to conjunto.