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World Music CD Reviews North American

Mariachi Real De San Diego

By Tad Hendrickson
Published June 12, 2007

The Ultimate Mariachi
Mardi Gras

No one is ever going to accuse Mariachi Real De San Diego of selling itself short with an album title like this, but the band has earned its hype, having risen steadily through the highly competitive ranks of San Diego’s Mariachi scene since its inception in 1978. Led by guitarist Pedro Gonzalez, the band has gotten tons of film work over the years and stays quite busy around Southern California. This is no surprise, considering the band’s set contains mariachi-ed versions of such Latin American classics as “Guantanamera,” “Besame Mucho,” “Quizas, Quizas,” “La Bamba” and others. The playing is solid throughout, and not overly flashy, the sextet intent on exuding a happy goodtime vibe with concise, energetic arrangements. This album is more for crossover audiences than hardcore enthusiasts, but it will nonetheless lighten the mood of any fiesta (which is certainly a mariachi prime directive), in San Diego and beyond.