Saturday, 31 January 2009 18:48

Cuatro Rosas CD “Amor Sincero” traditional conjunto

Cuatro Rosas is a solid Corpus Christi-based conjunto that's drawn attention in recent months. Correspondent Rene Cabrera reviews the group's latest CD in this report.

Cuatro Rosas CD “Amor Sincero”

Cuatro Rosas, a conjunto out of Corpus Christi, released its second album for Hacienda Records two weeks ago.  Called “Amor Sincero,” the album promises to appeal to those who like their conjunto unadorned, like their tequila shots.  No bells and whistles here, just 13 cuts of straight-ahead conjunto with dance hall rhythms from a mature group that captures the spirit, and the accordion and vocal stylings of El Maestro, Tony De La Rosa.

The conjunto itself is something of a tribute to Tony De La Rosa, who passed away in June of 2004.   Cuatro Rosas was organized by Greg Paredez two years ago, not unlike Ricky Naranjo, who carried on at the head of father Ruben Naranjo’s group after the untimely death in 1998 of the elder Naranjo.  As concepts go, one could do worse than adopting the style of one of the best-regarded conjuntos of all time.  The name of Tony De La Rosa is nothing less than legendary in Tejano music, just in terms of a fifty year career during which he recorded something like 75 albums. 

Greg Paredez decided to start the group because he didn’t want the De La Rosa style to die away and he figured that nobody could do it better than the guys who played and recorded with Tony De la Rosa. If anyone knows the workings of the De La Rosa sound, Paredez certainly would be on the short list. An accomplished bajo sexto guitarist and vocalist whose resume includes traveling with Angel Flores and Los Chachos, Paredez was part of the De La Rosa ensemble for 17 years.  

Cuatro Rosas emulates the sound of the original.  You could even say it’s a copy.  But fans don’t seem to mind, and in fact seem to appreciate that the De La Rosa magic is still out there and to be had by those who prefer live performances featuring that approach.  Fans can hear it for themselves in this album which features Laredo native Tony Saenz on vocals with Greg Paredez on second voice and bajo sexto and Andy Viera at accordion as they nail the vocal and instrumental style of Tony De La Rosa in tunes like “50 Balas,” “Mi Ranchito,” “Piedras Del Campo,” and “Amor Sincero,” the title tune.   

Cuatro Rosas is Greg Paredez on vocals and bajo sexto; Tony Saenz on vocals; Andy Viera at accordion; and Jason Lara on drums. 

According to Paredez, Cuatro Rosas is scheduled to make an appearance at the 28th Annual Tejano Conjunto Festival in May at Rosedale.