Los Tigres Still Have Bite

Like a norteño version of the Rolling Stones, Los Tigres del Norte show no signs of slowing down. Even after forty years and selling over 30 million records, the Hernández brothers (and cousin Oscar Lara) still play to packed houses night after night. In the late 60s and early 70s they revolutionized norteño music with electric instruments, pop/rock beats, and corridos about life on the border. Even today, Los Tigres don’t just sing to their audience, they sing about them — telling stories of the joys and heartaches of Mexican immigrants struggling to make it in America.

Last weekend, Los Tigres received glowing write-ups from both the Washington Post and the New York Times. The Washington Post article frames their story in the context of today’s immigration debate — showing how, despite their fame, they manage to stay close to their fans and stand up for them in their music. As bassist Hernán Hernández says, “People don’t just go [to our concerts] to party, they go for a purpose.” Don’t miss the excellent slideshow accompanying the article.

Meanwhile, the New York Times review of their concert at Brooklyn’s Bedford Armory depicts the bouncy, electric atmosphere of a show that lasted until 3am. Sounds like lead singer and accordionist Jorge Hernández had no trouble keeping the crowd going:

“… Adding stabs of accordion chords, he kept working through his battery of gestures of respect or supplication or triumph: doffing his cowboy hat and holding it out with arm fully extended, then putting it back in place, raising his fingers to his lips or his heart, putting forth a fist and shaking it once to signify firmness. He moved entirely in slow motion as the beat pumped behind him, and he was mesmerizing.”

Los Tigres del Norte have a new album due out on March 27 called Detalles y Emociones. The track below is from their most recent album, Historias Que Contar, which won “Best Norteño Album” at last weekend’s Grammys.

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