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Joe King Carrasco / Press

“But Carrasco is no one trick pony. He's all over the place, whether it's broadcasting sax soaked border radio swamp pop with “On Top Of A Teardrop” in a manner Freddy Fender would have been comfortable with or belting out a boozy campfire ditty, “Muchos Frijoles Borachos,” (too many drunken beans,) a “99 Bottles of Beer On The Wall”-style remedy for roadburn on long van trips with children or perhaps a tequila flavored waltz opportunity in a dusty Cantina in a border town.”

“fans of the Tex-Mex music royal can get a holiday taste with “Tamale Christmas,” a hot Tex-Mex polka-flavored Christmas confection recorded at South Austin’s Road House Rags and reuniting him with drummer Ernie Durawa and bassist Speedy Sparks of his mid-1970s version of Joe King Carrasco y El Molino”

“With Carrasco on lead guitar and vocals, he and Martinez wondered amongst the crowd, serenading individual audience members. Martinez clearly was at the top of his game and the sounds coming from his saxophone were simply amazing.”

“Both "I Saw My Baby" and "Mas Mas" ride deep Afro-Cuban grooves with charismatic sax leads from Morales, while tracks like "Anna" (written to Carrasco's elderly Jack Russell terrier) and "Make Believe Kisses" demonstrate properly executed Buddy Holly worship.”

“The absolute best song on Tlaquepaque is the ranchero-flavored “Donna, Do Ya Wanna.” There is a guitar riff very similar to that on Eddie Dimas’ “El Mosquito,” and the refrain, “Donna, Donna, Donna, Donna, do ya wanna?” reminds me of Frank Zappa’s conversation with Flora and Fauna in “Dinah-Moe Humm.””

““Combining Carrasco’s rhythmic takes on cumbias, rancheras and throwing in some rock ‘n’ roll, the record sounds straight out of San Antonio, where a distinctive cultural mix has created some the most soulful, captivating music ever.””

“Joe King Carrasco's talking by phone from his home in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (see "Playback," Dec. 14, 2012). That cultural grounding is important to Carrasco, because it informed his earliest music and shaped El Molino. Yet, that Caribbean bleat didn't find him, he found it – all across the Lone Star State.”

“Joe King Carrasco moves through the crowds in downtown Puerto Vallarta with the swiftness of a spirit. Locals have packed the narrow cobblestone streets for Peregrinaciones, a sort of Aztec Mardi Gras parade celebrating the apparition of Mexico's honored Virgin of Guadalupe. An Austin staple since the Seventies, JKC remains a venerable instigator of the cultural collision known as Tex-Mex rock & roll, which playfully fuses oldies garage rock with Latin affectations. He holds four distinctions that make him something of a saint himself: He was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live in 1981; Michael Jackson sang on his 1982 track "Don't Let a Woman (Make a Fool Out of You)"; Manu Chao cites him as an influence and covered his song "Pachuco Hop"; and he was once lauded by the quintessential music sage Lester Bangs as being "the most manically irresistible rocker to come along in ages."”

"Que Wow" is the new disc from the reunited original version of Joe King Carrasco and the Crowns. It's Tex-Mex rock ‘n' roll at its finest, sounding like the band never broke up -- even though it's been 31 years since the last recording. Kicking off with the boisterous, Farfisa-filled "Drug Thru The Mud," then the title cut, "Que Wow" romps through party songs like "Havin' A Ball," pays tribute to the Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, club where Carrasco leads the house band with "Nacho Daddy," and tosses in lots of references to frijoles and tamales as it bounces through Caribbean-influenced tunes and, of course, some hopped-up polkas. "Que Wow" isn't as over-the-top wild as the Crowns' 1980s records, but it's a more musically accomplished effort. Carrasco has become a very good guitarist over the years, and this is nothing but fun, fun, fun. You can get a copy of "Que Wow" at www.joeking.com. Grade: A

“For this year's Austin Music Awards bill on Wednesday, March 14, at the Austin Music Hall, Joe "King" Carrasco & the Crowns was an easy choice. Its distinctive Tex-Mex sound not only captured the abandon of garage-rock-based punk in the late Seventies, it also updated Doug Sahm's uniquely Texas sound for the Eighties. It was one of the earliest Texas bands featured on MTV when music mattered.”

“Joe "King" Carrasco placed into our Hall of Fame years back for his decades of Tex-Mex rock, reggae, and soundtrack work, but only with the Crowns beginning in 1979 did he eventually become one of the original MTV darlings. The band, which reunited this year, plied a colorful, upbeat border rock dubbed "Nuevo Wavo" with Kris Cummings' Farfisa organ putting an 1980s spin on the San Antonio sound of Augie Meyers' Vox organ of the 1960s. The band recorded on prestigious UK punk/New Wave imprint Stiff Records.”

“Joe King Carrasco and the Crowns were pretty much my life soundtrack in the early 80’s –from their early videos on MTV, to that fateful night at Tango when someone tossed a tear gas bomb into the crowd during their performance. So it was a bit surreal to sit in a room with the band, these decades later, and rehash their careers and experiences touring and performing. Joe King and the band still maintain their high-energy and great sense of humor, both on and off the stage.”

“Carrasco, an Anglo kid from West Texas with a love for all things Tex-Mex, defined the band's goofy charm, leaping like a Spanglish lord onstage and on tape. But keyboardist Kris Cummings was the perfect New Wave girl, with teased hair, Pat Benatar teeth for miles and perfect little hooks on her Farfisa and Vox organs. Boo-DIP, boo-deep, boo-DIP, boo-deep. The keyboard's raspy trill propelled the band the same way organs did for Doug Sahm, Devo and Elvis Costello and the Attractions.”

“An Evening with Joe King Carrasco Series: Southwest Stages From: Southwest Stages Length: 00:58:59 An hour of music and interviews with Joe King Carrasco recorded live at the El Rey Theater in Albuquerque, NM in 2007. Read the full description.”

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