Monday, August 25, 2008

Grupo Fantasma brings latin groove back to SPI!

Grupo Fantasma has a resume that most musical artists would kill for...
  • An 11-piece latin funk orchestra from Austin, Texas that has been together since 2000
  • Achieved renown with their exuberant live shows, danceable tunes, and tasty rhythms
  • Sold more than 20,000 albums independently
    • "the grassroots success of Grupo Fantasma marks them as one of the decade's most important independent artists in the latin genre." -
  • Hand picked by Prince as the "Latin Night" house band at his 3121 Club in Las Vegas
    • They have backed him on numerous occasions (including his legendary performance at the 2007 ALMA Awards)
  • Played some of the biggest stages in the world of music
    • Austin City Limits Festival
    • Bonnaroo Music Festival
    • Montreal Jazz Festival
    • Calgary Folk Festival
    • South Padre International Music Festival
    • Austin City Limits TV Show
While some may brand their music "cumbia funk" or "latin dancehall orchestra" one thing is for certain: the band continually obliterates the clichés that often plague the current Latin music market, all the while keeping their feet firmly planted in the traditions that they love and deeply respect.

SPI Music Fest is proud to have had these guys play our inaugural festival in 2007 and is thrilled to have them back this year.

Grupo Fantasma - "Mentiras"

Grupo Fantasma Interview at 2007 SPI Music Fest

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Alejandro Escovedo is a "real animal"

Alejandro Escovedo is the genuine article...hands down.

Born into one hell of a prolific musical family (I wonder what family reunions are like when legendary Jazz percussionist Pete Escovedo is your brother and drum queen/Prince
protégé Sheila E is your neice), Alejandro Escovedo has forged his own legendary 30+ year career as a roots rockin' Everyman that has seen and done it all.

From his first-wave punk days hanging at the Chelsea Hotel in NYC with the Nuns, to his move to Austin and subsequent successes with 80's roots rock/alt. country acts The True Believers and Rank and File, Alejandro has had a major influence on the development and eventual success of both genres.

As a result Ryan Adams, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, the Jayhawks, and yes even the boss, Bruce Springsteen, are among the many legendary artists who consider Escovedo a musical influence on their work.

After the jump is a bit of background about Alejandro and his latest effort, the beautifully rocking Real Animal. An additional clip shows Al and the Boss (with the always amazing E Street Band) laying it down on stage with "Always a Friend" this past April.

alejandro escovedo - real animal promo clip

alejandro escovedo & bruce springsteen - "always a friend" - houston,tx 4/14/2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Just who is this Ghostland Observatory...?

Willie may well be a living legend, and Blue Oyster Cult and Foghat may be among the cream of the 70's rock radio staple crop...

But just who is this Ghostland Observatory, and why are people that always seem to be "in the know", so excited that they're coming to South Padre Island for the 2008 SPI Music Fest?

For starters, they're one of the coolest musical projects around, traditional music industry model breakers, and Austin American Statesman's Band of the Year. Their live shows are always electrifying and wherever they are playing always seems to be the most hip place in the world to be at that very moment.

But for the uninitiated, here is Ghostland Observatory playing "Sad, Sad City" during their Austin City Limits taping last year.