Amor, Dolor y Lagrimas: Música Ranchera

Amor, Dolor y Lagrimas: Música Ranchera

Natividad Cano formed the Los Angeles-based Mariachi Los Camperos in 1961 and this 2008 release, headed up by musical director Jesús “Chuy” Guzmán, presents a nice set of traditional tunes. Cano was born in the state of Jalisco, the birthplace of ranchera music, the musical style that mariachi ensembles — which typically are comprised of violins, trumpets, and guitars — play. The lyrics do not hold back in their expression of deep yearning or wounded betrayal and the singers often display an operatic sense of drama. The influence of boleros from the Caribbean seeped into rancheras early on and the album includes three songs in that form: “Flor de Azalea (Azalea Flower),” “Amor Perdido (Lost Love),” and “Alma Mia (My Soul).” Ranchera also drew on European elements, and “Llorar Llorar Llorar (Crying, Crying, Crying)” is an example of the chotís, the Mexicanized version of the schottische rhythm. The track, which features clarinet and sax, moves along on the sort of polka rhythm commonly found in música norteña. Amor, Dolor y Lágrimas closes with a medley that combines three classics, “Un Viejo Amor (An Old Love),” “Un Madrigal (A Madrigal),” and “Borrachita (Little Drunkard).”

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