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MP3 El Campo Azul - Armando Arciniega & Santiago Jimenez Jr.

The songs, in Spanish, are lively and direct and deal with real-life situations - work, love and dance.

18 MP3 Songs
WORLD: Polka, LATIN: Latin Pop

-This unique recording is a collection of traditional Mexican songs in the Tex-Mex Conjunto style. The album is made up of 18 love songs, rancheras and corridos sung by Armando Arciniega and Santiago Jiménez Jr. (also the accordionist).

-Tex-Mex conjunto music is a mixture of Tejano and Mexican music set to polka or waltz rhythms and accompanied by accordion, bajo sexto, bass, and drums. These energetic and moving dance tunes tell stories about the lives, loves, work and tragedies of a time when the Mexican-American people of South Texas were making their presence known amid social oppression, forced assimilation and economic difficulty. The music represents the experience of a people and is celebrated for having helped shape a society that remains strong in its identity and cultural presence.

-Armando Arciniega, lead vocalist was born in Durango, Mexico and now lives in San Antonio, Texas. He originally met accordionist Santiago Jiménez Jr. as a student in 2003 and soon began singing with Santiago''s group at live performances. Accordion virtuoso Santiago Jiménez Jr. has been singing and playing the button accordion since the early 1960s. Born in 1944, Santiago is the younger son of Don Santiago Jimenez Sr., one of the great pioneers of conjunto accordion style. Where his elder brother Leonardo "Flaco" Jimenez has helped modernize conjunto by bringing in jazz, rock and rhythm & blues concepts, Santiago has purposely fashioned his own playing after his father''s. He has dedicated himself to upholding the tradition his father helped develop via Spanish-language radio spots and recordings that date back to the late 1930''s.

-"El Campo Azul" brings these two talented musicians together, accompanied by a remarkably tight rhythm section made up of Ramón Sánchez and Juan García playing bajo sexto, Moses Garza on bass, plus Kookie Martínez and Oscar Machado on drums.

-"El Campo Azul" opens with "Los Sauzales", a song about a campesino remembering the site under the willow trees where he and his girlfriend spent memorable times leading to their engagement. Eventually her family moved away in order to separate her from him. "Flor de Dalia" is included on the album at the request of Mrs. Apolonia de Arciniega, Armando''s mother. This fifty-year old song tells the story of a love-stricken young man traveling from afar in order to serenade his beloved girlfriend. "Flor de Dalia" means dahlia flower, a plant that grows in the mountains of central Mexico and whose beautiful flowers are cherished by Mexican señoritas. "La Tragedia de La Estancia" tells the story of a small Mexican town that was destroyed by Pancho Villa''s army in 1920. Armando was born in La Flor, Durango, which is two miles from La Estancia. This tragic corrido was composed by José Arciniega, Armando''s Grandfather, who witnessed the tragedy. José Arciniega died in 1986 and "La Tragedia" is only the first of his many songs to be recorded.

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