Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Travel Tunes - Week 5

UPDATE:  On Christmas Eve we were visiting with our cousin Henry, who told us he got to meet Mr. Fernandez just a few days ago.  Henry shares this picture he took with Vicente Fernandez at Citywalk here in Los Angeles.

Picture courtesy of Henry Melgarejo
If you've only heard the tired, out-of-tune mariachis at a place like Olvera Street, you don't know how good the genre can be.  Mariachi is a type of Mexican music from the state of Jalisco.  It can be as simple as a couple of guys with guitars or can be as elaborate as a complete symphony orchestra.  When it's good, it's darn good.
One of our great memories is the duo that played for us at El Set Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta.  Very simple, but these two were just fantastic as they serenaded our party as the sun set.
By now, I'm sure you've guessed this week's tune is a mariachi tune.  It's one of the most famous songs of the type, "Guadalajara," which can easily be the official song of the capitol of Jalisco.
When I think of the first time we went to Puerto Vallarta, I'm reminded of the bus trip we took over the mountains to Guadalajara.  It starts off in steamy jungles, stops off at a bus station in a high mountain village for lunch (with some of the most nuclear salsa I've ever had), cruises through Tequila, before ending at the mammoth bus terminal in Guadalajara.  It's thrilling, scary, and beautiful.
This song reminds me of that trip.  Here is a full-orchestra treatment of the song, sung by a true Mexican national treasure with some great vocal theatrics, here's "Guadalajara" by the great Vicente Fernandez (click on the picture below, link opens new window - video is not embeddable).
Guadalajara by Vicente Fernandez

- Darryl

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