South Padre International Music Festival

November 7, 2008

This past weekend was Halloween AND the South Padre International Music Festival. I was blown away by this group – Ideophonic (from Brownsville). They were sitting there quietly sipping lemonade when we sat at a table next to this nice-looking group of young men. They smiled amiably and only when they got up to do their sound check did I realize we had been sitting right by the band. I had sampled so many groups’ music that my brain was befuddled by then and I did not know what kind of music they were going to play.


The singer strummed his bass. My daughter and I felt the vibrations through the brick in the floor and through our shoes. We both smiled at each other, knowing it was going to be loud, at the very least. They started belting out the jams right away and felt like I had listened to it for ages, it was so good. Kind of like when you hear, “Renegade” by U2. The drummer wailed on those drums like there was no tomorrow. He had everyone in all three sections of the place captivated.  I smiled and continued to relish in this, my most excellent find, the whole weekend long. You could not ignore this band. I wanted to get up and dance but I was with my daughter and it was the early afternoon and I was drinking tea. I had to fight the urge to dance for fear of embarrassing myself and my daughter, that is how good they are. You put these guys in a larger venue, at a later hour and you have  the ingredients for an incredible show. I was not the only one fighting the urge to get up and dance. EVERYBODY was keeping the beat and soon they had people yelling and clapping after every single song.

These kids were so young, polite, and modest… full of courtesy. I hope they never lose it as they are so talented and sound so good. I seriously hope they continue together as a band because they have nailed the genre perfectly.


The drummer was charisma at its finest and the singer, Joey’s voice was perfect in pitch, tone, volume, and whatever else you could want. They nailed it!


Milton, on drums, was awesome! He had everyone mesmerized! I had to smile as I watched them play because THIS is what it is all about – doing what you love and being DAMN good at it!


I absolutely LOOOOOOOVED them and I have seen many a band in my time. They need to be back and in a larger venue. They were ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT!!! We bought their CD’s and buttons, stickers and whatever else they had to offer to show them our support. These were young men and it was the least I could do to tell them how ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT they are at what they do. For the genre, they are PERFECT! I hope they never lose their grace, graciousness, and above all I hope we never lose them for this was a GREAT talent!

Later that afternoon, with my ears still buzzing from the Ideophonic show, Del Castillo played the bay stage. They are also from Brownsville and are much more experienced.


There is a reason they are so beloved down here.

A guy with a guitar is so sexy.


TWO guys with a guitar are even sexier.


Throw in a singer with a 1/2 open shirt and you have Latin heat.


 Rick and Mark Del Castillo tore it up on guitar!


 Alex Ruiz had the crowd jumping.

 He exuded sensuality.








 Albert is the only reason I went. He is awesome and has won six SPI wet t-shirt contests… blindfolded… in the snow.


 A great time was had by all. What a great day!

SPI International Music Festival – Battle to the Beach Winners Announced!

August 20, 2008

Hand me the envelope please… and the winner of the “Battle to the Beach” is… Liberal, a Spanish rock band from San Antonio, TX. I must admit, I have been listening on each one of the bands that are participating in the music festival that is coming to the island on Halloween weekend and they are all good. Most have videos posted on Different genres are represented and that is what is going to make this years festival appeal to everyone! If you like bluegrass, they got it. If you like country, they got it. If you like spanish rock, they got it. If you like reggaton, they got it. Techno, ditto. Soul-wrenching love songs, ditto. If you like big names, they got it. Ever since I clicked on Blue Oyster Cult’s “Godzilla”, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. There will be such awesome groups there.

By clicking on the featured bands’ videos on You Tube and on their web sites, I found out alot about them. For example, I did not know that my friend, Albert Besteiro of “Del Castillo” had gone on to do what he has done and meet who he has met. I have known him ever since I was little and watched him get better and better and bigger and bigger, but I had no clue. My brother, Raul, and Albert have been bandmates ever since their early 20’s jamming out in Brownsville, TX. Both have gone on to bigger and better things in Austin, the seat of the music industry in Texas. They occasionally jam together so Albert has always been around and he came down to play for Steve Gomez, before he passed on. I feel Steve knew Albert was there and playing for him and Albert eased his trip to Heaven. Albert has gone on to play some major venues and won award after award after award with his bandmates. I am so happy for them. If you want to know more about their awesome music and their deserved success click here:

Amazing, aren’t they?

Aside from famous people like Albert Besteiro, Foghat is coming and of course, the main man will be here, Willie Nelson. There isn’t anyone alive who doesn’t like Willie Nelson. There are so many great musicians slated to play, how am I going to see them all? I can’t wait for this year’s festival.

Hurricane Dolly came, looked around and said, “Hmmm, this place is really beautiful, better not mess it up too bad,” so she pushed over a few trees, kicked over some garbage cans and rudely left a trail of debris and let the door slam on her rear. She is gone. Time to enjoy what is left of the summer and look forward to doing all we can to make this music festival a success. I can’t wait to see all the bands! See you there!