Y La Bamba Play Crystal Ballroom 12.2

     The music of Y La Bamba is steeped in mysticism, in part by the Mexican American heritage of silvery-haired raven Luz Elena Mendoza. As front woman, Mendoza tells stories with the spirits of her voice. Smoky and strong at one moment and rising to delicate cries of emotion the next. As a band, the members unify to create harmonies. On their first release, Lupon, "My Love is a Forest Fire" showcases the vocals of many members, while the track "Juniper" holds attention as Mendoza and bassist Ben Meyercord call out to each other like songbirds in the dusk. 

     After an enigmatic recognition of Lupon, producer and Los Lobos member and Steve Berlin took notice and stepped on board with the band to create this year's Court the Storm. Storm continues to conjure melodic intimacy, orchestrating classical guitar, foot stomping and sometimes calypso sounding beats with trumpet and accordion. The album still picks from indie folk such as the road trip romance track "Ponce Pilato", but also pulls deeper from traditional mariachi and Latin folk including tracks such as "Michoagan”, in which Mendoza sings in a flawless cascade of the Spanish language. - Brandy Crowe