Los Cenzontles’ (Spanish for The Mockingbirds) new album American Horizon is an emotional journey, following a day in the life of man and his family as they try to survive in these harsh times. In the words of bassist Hugh Arroyo, it’s a man, “Waking up early, going to work, busting his butt all day, coming home – perhaps having a drink, then going to a second job, busting his butt again, then coming home and spending some time with his family, then waking up and doing it all again the next day.”
Los Cenzontles, in addition to being a band, also operate a Mexican Arts Center in San Pablo, California. And it is this attention to their community, and to their roots both personally and musically, that make the songs on American Horizon ring so true. The music is wrapped up in a warm folk sound that finds Los Cenzontles incorporating traditional Mexican instruments, while moving back and forth, from Spanish to English, giving a sense of realism to their story.
In addition to their charitable work and the arts center, Los Cenzontles are fantastic musicians, bringing an authentic feel to the emotional songs. These tunes are given a bit more life with the addition of blues-legend Taj Mahal and Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo. The two help flesh out this immaculate album with Mahal’s gravelly voice and Hidalgo’s tasteful guitar, both of which are welcome guests.
American Horizon is out now on Los Cenzontles.