(**Originally posted on my old site on March 6, 2020)
Although the music had yet to begin while we were enjoying a nice hearty dinner, an instinctive conversation of music was delved into with no hesitation. (A tell-tale sign of real musicians.) A harmonica was the top of discussion that kicked it all off, which then seamlessly transitioned into Juan pulling out his new accordion and taking us through a little tour of it. Once that was busted out, you could tell that dinner was getting shoved to the back of the mind as music asserted itself to its rightful place that was front and centre.
Everyone started getting comfortable and began noodling around with their instruments while getting situated. An inevitable jam easily manifested quite seamlessly from there.
It was nice listening to everyone talking through the music with what they were doing in regards to chord keys, progressions, songs to play, etc. It's always such a different element to sit with a band when they are in practice rather than when performing a show. It gives a deeper look into their music the way each musician brings their individuality into a unity of cohesiveness within the collective in regard to how the music is navigated.
The Latin Lovers' music constitutes a good feeling within. Their interactions bring layers of harmony that is separate from the music itself, but then gives another sense of depth to what they are creating.
The third jam started with some heavy bass lines. Who doesn't love the thunder of a trembling bass as it rivets down inside. After a few notes, the rest of the band fell in behind the rumbles with the timing of unison. For an only 'months old band', they are noticeably tight. It was easy for me to drift away in that thought.
...and then out comes Oye Como Va by Santana!
Man, that was really smooth. They played for a bit, and then came to a short lull to talk it through, thinking they were playing it a little too slow. No sooner than that was vocalized, and unanimously agreed upon, did they get back into it with a bit faster of a pace. It was really well done...to the point where it brought me back to images of when I saw Santana down at the Gorge in Washington in September 1997. It made for some good feeling reminiscing.
When they got through Oye Como Va, it was 'on' from there! All the warming up was cast aside as they dove head on into the rest of the night. The shift in energy was palpable, quite noticeably so!
The intensity revved up!
At times I closed my eyes to see the music with more than my ears in the way I would at a live show. I do that to remove all visual distraction to be able to be closer to the music that I am hearing. As they dove deeper into things, I did the same.
The first thing I heard said by any of them once the tune was over was, "Drive it! Drive the shit out of it," which would give the indication that they must be feeling it too.
So, here we are with the, now all too familiar, rumbling bass kicking off once again. "Well, lookkit that shit!" was the thought rattling in my mind. Just like before, the rest of the band falls in behind as if the bass is a roller coaster and they all hopped on to take the trip to the promised land of thunderous bliss. Fantastic stuff!
Because of my deeply woven affinity for Bob Dylan, I will always have a soft spot for the harmonica in any capacity, so when that was brought into the mix, it was like a vessel that started to carry me home. A nice little security blanket of comfort!
The music never fully stopped during the break, even if only lingering notes were ringing out, there was always something there. So, even though there was an apparent break, where they were coming and going, the music carried on in a subtle context, and then, just like that, everyone settled into the music again without skipping a beat. I really enjoyed watching that play out.
Lots of smiles and giggling happiness permeated the room and filled it just fine. It was a good night!
When they said there was about 30 minutes left in the session, I got selfishly a tad bummed, because I was invested into the music and didn't want it to end. Having been seeing live music for close to 30 years I always take that as a sign of the performance: When you genuinely don't want it to end, and feel somewhat sad because it has, you know the goods were delivered!
It's almost unbelievable that The Latin Lovers have only been playing together for mere months now. Not only are they really tight within their music and cohesiveness, they also convey a feeling of kind wonderment that swirls within from hearing them play.
This jam session practice of theirs was a pleasure to witness and behold!
The Latin Lovers will be playing their next show tomorrow, March 7th, in Castlegar, BC. (Information below) They are also gearing up to be touring as much as they can throughout the summer. One can only hope that they might play a show somewhere near a beach because somehow it implies a sense of Latin romance on a sandy beach under a sea of stars on a warm summer night. How perfect is that?!
The Latin Lovers contact info...
**A little post-edit to introduce the newest member of The Latin Lovers...
On January 2, 2021, Juan and Vern welcomed their beautiful little Luna to the world. I can't wait til The Latin Lovers get to bring the magikal music wonder to us again.