Adrian Quesada

Silver Skylarks: “Power Moves” (feat. Adrian Quesada & US!)

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: we’ve been loving the recent ride of this retro soul-funk renaissance, especially with so much dynamite coming right out of the central state area. And today a new name emerges within that ongoing saga of nostalgia: Silver Skylarks.

Fly like the birds, and slick like the cars, Silver Skylarks is the DFW duo comprised of songwriter Danny Balis and producer Jeff “Skin” Wade, born from early pandemic demos. Taking cues from the ’70s vinyl rarities that crate diggers crave, Balis and Wade have been steadily elevating those ten demos into Silver Skylarks’ debut LP The Number One Set and Sound – out May 3rd.

But the pair didn’t go it alone. Instead they called up some of the best session players they’ve met, plus a few superstars to really spice things up. On top of the mix that includes Large Professor, Robert Ellis, and The D.O.C., Silver Skylarks also tapped into some outstanding Austin talent; Uncle Roy & Spice, the Austin vocalists better known as US!, lends their pipes to the record’s Side A closer “Power Moves”, while Adrian Quesada commandeers the six-string. The result is a progressive groove that’d quickly catch Roy Ayers’ ear, complete with horn swells, Coffy-esque vocals, and an intoxicating breakbeat-indulging bridge, that all just scream to be played over some sassy vigilante’s intro credits.

Rudy De Anda: “Tu Mirada”

These days us Austinites know all too well that an Adrian Quesada production credit is ostensibly a golden ticket to brilliance. And although Adrian’s predominant territory is Tex-Mex soul, the style that courses through his formulas wouldn’t be what they are without California’s historic Latin psych scene. That’s a no-brainer for native Los Angeleno Rudy De Anda, who formalized his ’60s psych-rock tastes in the scenic stretches of Long Beach, despite major sources of inspiration from London’s The Kinks and NYC’s The Velvet Underground.

However, in drawing from the psych products of those grayer, more industrialized musical hubs, De Anda’s turn-of-the-decade relocation to Chicago makes a lot more sense. And while it didn’t take long for Rudy to find his footing in the Windy City, that cross-country migration put a lot of distance, physically and emotionally, between himself and his lifelong home state friends. But it was that vulnerability allowed De Anda to brush off the surface-level sun and sand aesthetic typically ascribed to his Cali output in favor of confessional cultivation.

For his latest LP, De Anda recorded outside of California for the first time – but not in Chicago. Instead Rudy recruited his Cali bandmates to join him in Adrian Quesada’s Electric Deluxe recording studio right here in Austin. The new setting, plus a decision to track straight to tape, finds De Anda and the band approaching the process more seriously than ever before, and soon we’ll hear the fruits of that labor flourish on Closet Botanist.

Closet Botanist drops April 28th, introducing us to ten lush sonic shrubs, all audibly (though unobtrusively) influenced by Quesada’s production input. These bilingual herbs will feel right at home in your record collection, and give you a bit of insight into Rudy De Anda’s journey over the past two years, as heard on Closet Botanist‘s next installment, “Tu Mirada”. Inspired by the Brazilian baroque pop and psych folk of Milton Nascimento and Lô Borges’ 1972 landmark Clube da Esquina, “Tu Mirada” (the first track Rudy penned post-Chicago) is a great look for De Anda’s new grooves, bookended by a sunrise-slow introduction and an instrumental jam section that climaxes into mind-melting reversed soundscape.

Texas’ top musical moments of the year

From the highlights to the blue notes, what happened in the world of Texas music in 2022. A Texas country music legend says goodbye to the road that goes on forever; our conversation with Robert Earl Keene. Also a renaissance for one of the best know Texas artists of all time: the impact of Beyonce’s 7th album, an homage to house and disco music. And Adrian Quesada turns up the volume on a rediscovered musical genre with his Boleros Psicodélicos. A lonestar-studded review of the year, today on the Texas Standard:

iLe: “Traguito” (ACL Fest Pop-Up)

Although much of it might’ve been spent on the couch streaming Hulu, we feel like one of the brightest highlights of ACL Fest Weekend One was Adrian Quesada’s Boleros Psicodelícos. And that’s mainly thanks to the sheer quantity and astonishing caliber of international vocalists who flooded the forty-five minute set Saturday afternoon on the Honda stage…one of which helms Boleros Psicodelícos‘ album opener and KUTX airwave darling “Mentiras Con Cariño”.

Born Ileana Mercedes Cabra Joglar, San Juan singer iLe has been inching her way into international awareness since adopting her mononymous handle back in August 2015. Her 2016 debut LP iLevitable earned iLe a Latin Grammy nomination for Best New Artist and went on to win Best Latin Rock, Urban, or Alternative Album at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards. iLe’s 2019 follow-up Almadura racked up its own Grammy nomination right around the same time she went on NPR Music’s Tiny Desk and collaborated with Bad Bunny on the protest song “Afilando los cuchillos”.

And just a couple weeks ago, on the verge of her third full-length Nacarile, iLe treated us to “Traguito”, the record’s lead single whose studio version features Chilean icon Mon Laferte. Nacarile drops on Friday, iLe is confirmed for SXSW 2023, and “Traguito” awaits you in the pop-up video below.

Adrian Quesada’s Boleros Psicodélicos: “Ídolo” (feat. Angélica Garcia) (Live in Studio 1A)

Grupo Fantasma. Brownout. Black Pumas. Glorietta. Ocote Soul Sounds. No matter what outfit you know him from the best, it’s adequately clear that Adrian Quesada has a near-unquenchable artistic appetite. And on the verge of his upcoming instrumental LP Jaguar Sound – the visionary’s second full-length for 2022 – Quesada and his Boleros Psicodélicos crew are eager to put their passions on display 2:15PM this Saturday on the Honda stage at Austin City Limits Music Festival and 8PM this Sunday for an official ACL taping.

Quesada’s promised a “nasty-ass backing band” and “lush orchestration” plus his international roster of vocalists for these two performances, none of which have been heard in-person since their live debut in Studio 1A this past June. And with just a week and a half left, Boleros Psicodélicos is an ideal countercultural companion piece to Hispanic Heritage Month. So toss on the record and find your personal favorite among the features, like the Angélica Garcia-graced “Ídolo”.

Adrian Quesada: “Puedes Decir De Mi” (feat. Gaby Moreno)

Thanks to the mainstream success of Black Pumas, Adrian Quesada has become a household name internationally. But we here in Austin are already well-acquainted with Adrian’s preceding projects – be it Grupo Fantasma, Brownout/Brown Sabbath, Glorietta, and even Ocote Soul Sounds. It’s no embellishment to say that Quesada’s a musical visionary, since his ability to revive rare styles in a new context is nearly unparalleled. And although Quesada pulls all that talent out of his cranium alone, his top-tier collaborations bring those cross-genre compositions to another level. Last Friday Adrian Quesada shared Boleros Psicodélicos, a feature-laden full-length that offers some serious Pan-American appreciation. True to its title, this dozen tiptoes between traditional and trippy, ’70s-psych and century-old South-of-the-Border boleros. Check out a phenomenal interview between Adrian Quesada and The Texas Standard‘s Michael Marks all about Boleros Psicodélicos, and tear into this intercontinental achievement with a track that vaunts vocals from Guatemalan icon Gaby Moreno, “Puedes Decir De Mi”!

Texas Standard: June 2, 2022

A teacher killed in Uvalde, her husband who died just days later and the outsized impact they had on their community. As Uvalde continues to mourn the loss of 19 school kids and two teachers in the latest mass shooting at a school in Texas, the governor calls for special committees to study school safety. But he stops short of demands for a special session. We’ll have the latest. Also beyond Roe: why many women are concerned that an expected decision from the Supreme Court could mean access to contraceptives will be at stake. Plus what happens next with Texas’ controversial social media law. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard: