Monday, 23 August 2010 16:01

Los Garcia Brothers bass player Joey Garcia Jr. remained in serious condition Monday at an Austin, Texas hospital recovering from kidney failure.

A family member said Garcia had been ill in recent weeks and his conditioned worsened a few days ago.

“He’s ok now. We understand he is getting better,” said the family member who was not

authorized to speak for the band.

In recent years, Joey Garcia Jr. had also played bajo sexton for the family group headed by Joe Sr., who plays drums. The rest of the band is Eloy Cortines on bajo sexto and Eduardo Jimenez on accordion, according to the latest bio on the group’s Myspace page.

The family survived an early tragedy in late 2002 when group founder and accordion player Santiago “Jimmy” Garcia was  killed in a one-vehicle rollover.

According to a Department of Public Safety report, Santiago “Jimmy”Garcia, 27 at the time, was driving a 1995 GMC sedan eastbound on U.S. 57 in Zavala County when the vehicle left the roadway and rolled over several times. Garcia was pronounced dead at the scene of the 5:23 a.m. accident one mile west of La Pryor. There were no passengers and no other vehicles were involved.

Los Garcia Bros won Conjunto Album of the year at the 2002 Tejano Music Awards for the CD “La Rayita.” In 2000, the band won Most Promising Band and also Conjunto Album for “Los Garcia de Jimmy Garcia.”

Some industry observers believe that while Los Garcia Brothers are still popular, they have never quite regained the stature and mass popularity of the days when Jimmy Garcia was still at the helm.

“I think is it the same thing when Emilio had his accident, Emilio has not had a big hit since,” said Fred Galvan,
Program Director at Del Rio’s KTJK-AM.  “These guys were the biggest things back in the day. Even today their music lives on. People have memories of where they were when they heard it and it brings back memories. It helpes them stay connected.”

Like the Hometown Boys, Los Desperadoz, and Los Palominos, Los Garcia played a neo-traditional conjunto style that relied on aggressive percussions in their polkas and cumbias.

Los Garcia Brothers included Fito Olivares, Steve Jordan,

 Tony de La Rosa, Los Dos Gilbertos and Paulino Bernal among their key influences.

The late Jimmy Garcia first formed Los Clavelitos de Jimmy Garcia with his brother Joe Jr. in 1990. They became Los
Hermanos Garcia, a group that included father Joe Sr. and original member Frank Rodriguez. As they rose in popularity, they eventually changed their name to Los Garcia brothers and began drawing crowds with their raw and earthy
foot-stomping conjunto rhythms and colorful zoot-suit outfits. Olivarez replaced Rodriguez in 2001.

Among their biggest hits were “Una Sombra,” “El Cometa,” “Imposible Olvidarte,” “Viendolo Bien,” “Los Dos Carnales” and “Te Quiero Mucho, Mucho.”

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