A week on the scene
When Aniceto Molina took the stage at the Southside club Noche Caliente on Friday, October 8, the dance floor immediately erupted. With all the whirling bodies and flailing limbs, for a moment the scene resembled a mosh pit more than a cumbia circle.
Molina was one of the headliners from last year's International Accordion Festival, and his electrifying performance there was a festival highlight. With his six accordions, dozen-or-so band members, and 40 albums over the course of a multi-decade career (the last 20 years spent in San Antonio), Molina shows no sign of slowing down. Although he is from Colombia, and the majority of San Antonians have Mexican roots, he made a point of stating, during an interlude between songs, that we are all united - presumably through music. Little wonder he's considered the ambassador of cumbia. Los Cadetes de Linares de Euaristo Castillo, Jr. opened the evening with their steeped-in-tradition corridos y rancheras. Following their performance, bassist Javier Hernandez explained that they continue performing in tribute to Homero Guerrero Sr., the group's founder, who passed away in the mid-'80s. As long as people continue listening, he added, their music will never die.
Easy being Gruene
Gruene Hall hosts two back-to-back excellent shows this week. On Thursday, October 14, Australia-meets-Austin bluegrass masters the Greencards are scheduled to play a free show beginning at 7:30 p.m. The following night, the Gourds will come to Gruene to preview their superb new CD, Blood of the Ram. Showtime for the Gourds is 9 p.m., and tickets are $10.
Norah Jones, another artist with Texas roots, swings into Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on Saturday, October 16 to promote her ultra-successful sophomore album, Feels Like Home. Former Pretenders guitarist Robbie McIntosh, a recent addition to Jones' touring band, should contribute some instrumental vibrancy to Jones' muted retro-pop sound. Jones - who performed at a Gram Parsons tribute show in July - has taken to including two Parsons tunes, "She" and "Ooh Las Vegas," in her sets, as well as the Band's brassy "Life Is a Carnival." Showtime is 8 p.m.