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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

TMGR interview with Steve Berlin of Los Lobos

Even for a seasoned musician Steve Berlin sounded enthused. He was talking about the current co-bill tour affair of Los Lobos and Los Lonely Boys where so far the jamming opportunities have been plentiful. It seems that Berlin, Cesar Rosas, and David Hidalgo had been taking time out of their busy summer nights to jam a few tunes with Los Lonely Boys onstage. "We're doing the LLB songs "16 Monkeys," "Friday Night," and "Heaven," Berlin said from a tour stop in Colorado. You would think that jamming opportunities for working musicians must figure into the equation with some regularity. While not always the case you must still  trust the other band before you get back on stage. Fortunately for Berlin and Los Lonely Boys the bonds of trust were established on their 2008 Brotherhood tour together. Now Berlin and LLB's Garza boys--Jo Jo, Ringo, and Henry--make it an almost every night occasion to sit in with each others bands. "We really enjoy playing the Los Lonely Boy songs," said Berlin. "They're built for jamming--probably more so than our songs are for the most part. We know these guys so well by now that it just feels natural when they sit in and, I hope, vice versa."  The bonus for the fans of Los Lobos is that LLB joins them for their signature songs "Don't Worry Baby," "La Bamba," and a bluesy "Pride & Joy." Berlin notes that the current show-sharing arrangement is "really what a double bill should look like."  The kicker for career musician Berlin is that he's digging the view from the stage of the varying age difference in each audience. "It's quite gratifying to see the demographic range when we play," said Berlin. "It's a win-win for fans of both bands. I think we're expanding each others audience with these shows. I hope we continue to perform with them for a long time." Los Lobos comes to Grand Rapids'  Fredrick Meijer Gardens on Aug 11 in support of their most recent release Tin Can Trust (Shout! Factory), which was nominated for a Grammy in the Americana category earlier this year. As the tour winds down on August 12 Steve Berlin, though a tad wistful, sounded pretty sure of one thing. "I think we're going to miss them (Los Lonely Boys) when this tour ends."

Los Lobos and Los Lonely Boys at Fredrick Meijer Gardens on Aug 11 at 6:30pm.

More information at http://www.loslobos.org/

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