Rancho Alegre Review - Little Joe y La Familia - Flamingo Ballroom 11/13/10

Little Joe y La Familia at the Flamingo

Saturday night, Rancho Alegre headed south on 183 towards Lockhart to see Little Joe y La Familia at the Flamingo Ballroom, one of our favorite venues.

It was a good show, but it was special for us. For Piper, it was the first time seeing Little Joe. But what was more important to us was that it was Frank's first show since getting out of the hospital last month. We were there till the very end, too.

Castillos, Castillos, Castillos!

Starting the night off was a group of young Castillos from Elgin. Ryan on guitar/piano and lead vocals. Riley (sp?) on drums. And their buddy Brendan (sorry if I spelled that wrong) on bass.

One thing that is remarkable about these kids is their youth. Really, they are babies! Brendan's 12, I think, and Ryan and Riley are 15, if I'm not mistaken.

But what's really remarkable is their skill, poise and musicianship. They were pretty tight, and Ryan's got charisma and showmanship for days. He's like a good-looking Buddy Holly with a better voice. They quickly earned the audience's respect, despite the fact that they came to see a Tejano legend and what these kids were playing didn't exactly fit, musically.

The set list. Very impressive for kids this age. Exhibiting great range and versatility, they played mainly Country and old Rock n Roll. They played stuff from Elvis, George Jones, and Fats Domino. They even closed out with a nod to Stevie Ray Vaughan, a "Pride and Joy" jam, of all things, with Ryan burning up the fretboard on his Telecaster.

Apparently they're hoping to lay down some tracks in the near future. It will be interesting, given the varied influences they have, what their original material will be like. We wish them the best, and we know they've got bright futures ahead.

King of the Brown Sound

Little Joe did not let us down! He brought the Brown Sound in full effect. A few too many slow ballads for our taste, but when he jammed, he was ON!

He closed out the night with Frank's favorite song, Cartas Marcadas. Which, if you look at Frank when this song is sung, you can actually see him tear up. We have now heard three legends perform this song, Ruben Ramos, Roberto Pulido and now Little Joe, which they recorded together as Los Tres Amigos.

But back to the show...

Frank has seen Little Joe at many venues and said the man's STILL got it! And he can't wait for Little Joe's next return to the Austin area.

He was also amazed and surprised at how Little Joe takes the time to talk about the issues of the War in Afghanistan, Diabetes and the Hispanic community and admitting that he himself is a diabetic and how we must teach our children to lead a more active lifestyle.

Frank was also surprised at how concerned Little Joe was when he found out Frank had recently had a stroke. He posed for pictures with us, as well as with every fan who waited for him. Signing CD's, pictures, the whole 9 yards. He is truly a stand-up guy and has earned his reputation as a true Tejano legend.

A word of advice to the new up and coming Tejano Artists...tie them shoes on tight. Because you have some tremendous shoes to fill. And to take the title from a legend like Little Joe means  you have to BRING IT night after night after night. There is no half-assing it if you want to be the future of Tejano Music.

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