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Home Music Tejano / RegMex Grupo Maldad: Continuing conjunto tradition
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Grupo Maldad: Continuing conjunto tradition

SAN ANTONIO -- It took several years before new conjunto group Maldad finally produced their debut CD, “Tradicion Humilde,” but the wait was worth it says singer Santos Aguilar.

“The hardest part of the CD was basically coming

together and really saying we're going to do it,” Aguilar said. “We always had intentions that someday we would do it and (co-founder) J.R. (Ramos) and I would talk and little by little it started coming together.”

Expectations were high for the group’s debut album. Aguilar comes from a conjunto tradition. His father, Emilio, and his uncle Genaro Aguilar, have led the long-running conjunto group Los Aguilares since the ‘60s. Santos Aguilar has played in Los Aguilares for several years as well as other groups such as Grupo Escandalo and Conjunto Volcan.

Meanwhile, Maldad co-founder J.R. Ramos is an accordion virtuoso who began playing by the time he was 6. A little older he took accordion classes with the late great Valerio Longoria. J.R. has played with many well-known bands including Grupo Escandalo, Steve Jordan, and Little Joe y La Familia.

In 1994, Ramos was nominated at the Tejano Music Awards for best Instrumental of the Year for “La Polaka Polka.”

Those years of experience were brought to bear on the debut CD “Tradicion Humilde.” The 11-track CD bristles with blues-infused conjunto polkas and ballads.

The first single, “Media Vida," is a mid-tempo polka about the sacrifice it takes to forget a lost love. The tune rolls along on a solid backbeat with fluttering accordions riffs flying overhead.

When a group forms from the tradition of a long established band, sometimes there are high expectations.

“Yes, I think people do have an expectation from us,” said Ramos. “But like other groups that come from musical famialies, we just try to do our best. We're just trying to continue a tradition. This music is coming from our heart and our love for the music.”

Other highlights on the CD include the Jose Alfredo Jimenez classic “Que Suerte La Mia.” The song feature noted bajo sexto player Max Baca of the TexManiacs, as guest.

The CD is aptly named “Tradicion Humilde,” as the group is also joined on the song by Ramos father, Cone Ramos Sr., who was a top conjunto player back in the ‘70s. The group also produced lively renditions of Los Aguilares hits on the cut “Popurri de Los Aguilares.”

The CD was more than a year in the making. Produced by noted studio wiz Art Guillero and recorded at Bedroom Studios in San Antonio, the CD also features guests Rey Salinas, Reymund Guiterrez, Justin Howton and Eric Guillermo.

Not surpringly, Ramos counts Los Aguilares, Lionel Pulido, Manuel Guerrero and Tony De La Rosa among his influences.

For Santos Aguilar, his influences Hometown Boys, Roberto Pulido and ofcourse,”My dad.”

The rest of the band is Marco Jaime, guitars and Charles Howton, bass. For more details on the group: www.Myspace.com/grupomaldadtx

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