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Y La Bamba en La Boise

Friday, Sept. 7, VAC

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Mexico informs the songs of Portland, Ore.'s Y La Bamba and its principal singer, Luz Elena Mendoza.

On the title track of the band's 2012 release, Court the Storm--produced by Los Lobos member Steve Berlin--Mendoza sings: "I have left my soul in Mexico."

At the heart of Y La Bamba are hymns that center on Mendoza's Mexican heritage and family, sung in both Spanish and English. Mendoza's family migrated to the United States from Michoacan, Mexico, but not before exposing Mendoza to artists like Ramon Ayala. Mendoza remembers singing "Tragos Amargos" with her father as a child and later starting a band by the same name before folding the project into Y La Bamba.

Mendoza is accompanied by five bandmates who mix instrumental elements like accordion while providing soft harmonies. The result has been dubbed "mariachi-inspired indie folk."

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