Los Lobos Return With “Native Sons” July 30th Via New West Records


Photo by Piero F. Giunti

Los Lobos will return with Native Sons on July 30th via New West Records. The 13-song set was produced by Los Lobos in East Los Angeles and finds the band mapping their musical DNA as a kaleidoscopic selection of tribute songs from their homeland, ultimately creating a crucial snapshot of L.A.’s musical heritage. Having formed in 1973 and gotten their start playing spirited renditions of Mexican folk music at parties and in restaurants, Los Lobos are no strangers to reinterpretation (and if you’ve ever been to one of their legendary live shows, you already know that). These brothers have always held a deep appreciation for diverse music, and they love pulling out old gems and making them shine like new.

For all the trailblazing musical acts who’ve emerged from Los Angeles, very few embody the city’s wildly eclectic spirit more wholeheartedly than Los Lobos. Over the last five decades, the East L.A.-bred band has made an indelible mark on music history by exploring an enormous diversity of genres—rock-and-roll and R&B, surf music and soul, mariachi and música norteña, punk rock and country—and building a boldly unpredictable sound all their own.

In a nod to their neighborhood, Native Sons opens with the wide-eyed frenzy of “Love Special Delivery” by Thee Midniters, an East L.A. garage band and one of the first Chicano rock groups to ever score a major hit in the U.S. From there, it features favorites and deep cuts by other Los Angeles luminaries such as the Beach Boys, WAR, Buffalo Springfield, Jackson Browne, and more. In a particularly meaningful moment for the band, Native Sons includes a fiery cover of “Flat Top Joint” by the Blasters, the seminal L.A. roots-rock band who helped pave the way for their signing to Slash Records in the early ’80s (and whom counted Steve Berlin as a member before his joining Los Lobos). The album’s title track is its sole original song, a loving homage to Los Angeles that sounds right at home amid so many classic tracks.

Today, Variety has premiered “Love Special Delivery” by Thee Midniters as well as “Sail On, Sailor” by the Beach Boys. Of “Love Special Delivery,” Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo says “We grew up on Thee Midniters and felt like they were representing us, so their music means a lot.” “Sail On, Sailor,” an early-70s track originally sung by longtime Los Lobos friend Blondie Chaplin, was one that Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin says “seemed like it would be easy, but once we broke the eggshell it revealed itself to be a lot more complex,” adding “The genius of so many of these records is all the layers that meld together in a way that isn’t very obvious at first.” Hear “Love Special Delivery” and “Sail On, Sailor” HERE.

As with all of their catalogue, Native Sons reveals Los Lobos’ ability to merge genres and styles with both sophistication and playful spontaneity, an element that’s perfectly reflected in the album’s unbridled joy. “I played it for a friend and his first response was that it’s a party record—which sounds right to me,” says Hidalgo. Beyond that undeniably feel-good quality, Native Sons essentially serves as a love letter to Los Angeles and the endless possibilities to be found when all boundaries are shattered. “I couldn’t say there’s a common thread for all these artists, but in a way that’s exactly what makes L.A. great,” says Berlin. “You’ve got R&B and punk rock and rock-and-roll and folk, and somehow it exists together in this one weird city that we all call home.”

Los Lobos have also announced their initial 2021 & 2022 tour dates in support of Native Sons, launching May 27th in Santa Cruz, CA. But first, the band will celebrate Cinco de Mayo this evening with a special live-streamed performance from the studio, featuring a post-show Q&A with the band. Tickets can be purchased via Mandolin HERE. See all Los Lobos tour dates, including appearances with The Mavericks, Steve Earle & The Dukes, and the Tedeschi Trucks Band below.

Quickly finding their footing in L.A.’s punk/college-rock scene, Los Lobos began sharing bills with bands like Public Image Ltd. and the Circle Jerks. After making their major-label debut with 1984’s critically lauded How Will the Wolf Survive?, they went on to achieve such triumphs as contributing a smash-hit cover of Ritchie Valens’s signature song “La Bamba” to the 1987 biopic of the same name, winning three Grammy Awards, collaborating with the likes of Elvis Costello and Ry Cooder, and earning massive worldwide critical acclaim.

Los Lobos’ Native Sons will be available across digital platforms, compact disc, and standard black vinyl. The Double LP vinyl editions will be housed in a gatefold sleeve and will feature three sides of music and a custom etching on its fourth side. A Coke Bottle Clear Vinyl Edition limited to 4,000 copies worldwide will be available at Independent Record Stores while a Brown Vinyl Edition limited to 1,000 copies is available for pre-order NOW via New West Records.

Los Lobos Still Are: David Hidalgo (vocals, guitars) – Louie Pérez, Jr. (vocals, guitars) – Cesar Rosas (vocals, guitars, bass, Hammond B3 organ) – Conrad Lozano (vocals, bass) – Steve Berlin (saxes, midisax, keyboards)

Los Lobos On Tour:
May 5, 2021 – Cinco De Mayo Livestream
May 27, 2021 – Santa Cruz, CA – Dream Inn
May 28, 2021 – Napa, CA – Blue Note Napa
May 29, 2021 – Big Sur, CA – Loma Vista Gardens
June 24, 2021 -Lowell, MA – Lowell Summer Music Series
August 5, 2021 – Evanston, IL – Canal Shores Golf Course
August 15, 2021 – Costa Mesa, CA – OC Fair & Event Center
August 21, 2021 – Los Angeles, CA – The Greek @
August 24, 2021 – Montgomery, AL – Montgomery Performing Arts Centre +
August 26, 2021 – Selbyville, DE – The Freeman Stage at Bayside +
August 27, 2021 – Doswell, VA – Meadow Event Park +
August 30, 2021 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium +
September 3, 2021 – Asheville, NC – Salvage Station +
September 4, 2021 – Beaver Dam, KY – Beaver Dam Amphitheatre +
September 9, 2021 – Grass Valley, CA – The Center For The Arts
September 18, 2021 – Webster, MA – Indian Ranch
September 19, 2021 – Westhampton Beach, NY – Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center
September 22, 2021 – Bethlehem, PA – Musikfest Cafe
September 23, 2021 – South Orange, NJ – South Orange Performing Arts Center
September 24, 2021 – Harrisburg, PA – Whitaker Center
September 25, 2021 – State College, PA – State Theatre
September 26, 2021 – Albany, NY – The Egg
October 1, 2021 – Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up Tavern
October 2, 2021 – Bisbee, AZ – Historic Warren Ballpark
October 8, 2021 – Santa Barbara, CA – Lobero Theatre
October 9, 2021 – Bakersfield, CA – World Records
October 21, 2021 – Austin, TX – Antone’s
October 22, 2021 – Austin, TX – Antone’s
October 23, 2021 – Goliad, TX – Schroeder Hall
October 24, 2021 – The Woodlands, TX – Dosey Doe Big Barn
November 2, 2021 – Millvale, PA – Mr Smalls Theatre
November 3, 2021 – Cleveland, OH – Music Box Supper Club
November 4, 2021 – Ann Arbor, MI – The Ark
November 5, 2021 – Grand Rapids, MI – Listening Room
November 6, 2021 – Fort Wayne, IN – Clyde Theatre
November 13, 2021 – Tacoma, WA – The Spanish Ballroom @ McMenamin’s Elk’s Temple
November 14, 2021 – Portland, OR – Aladdin Theatre
December 19, 2021 – New York, NY – City Winery
December 20, 2021 – New York, NY – City Winery
December 21, 2021 – New York, NY – City Winery
January 13, 2022 – Honolulu, HI – Blue Note Hawaii
January 14, 2022 – Honolulu, HI – Blue Note Hawaii
March 3, 2022 – Raton, NM – Shuler Theater
March 4, 2022 – Fort Collins, CO – Washington’s
March 5, 2022 – Steamboat Springs, CO – Strings Music Pavilion
March 7, 2022 – Boulder, CO – Boulder Theater
March 23, 2022 – Brownfield, ME – Stone Mountain Arts Center
March 26, 2022 – Fall River, MA – Narrows Center For The Arts
March 31, 2022 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso
April 1, 2022 – Brugge, Belgium – Stadsschouwburg Brugge
April 2, 2022 – Leuven, Belgium – Het Depot
April 3, 2022 – Antwerp, Belgium – De Roma
June 24, 2022 – Jacksonville, FL – Daily’s Place Amphitheater *
June 25, 2022 – Mobile, AL – Mobile Civic Center *
June 28, 2022 – Indianapolis, IN – The Amphitheater at White River State Park *
July 1, 2022 – Canandaigua, NY – Constellation Brands-Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center *
July 2, 2022 – Gilford, NH – Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion *
July 3, 2022 – Saratoga Springs, NY – Saratoga Performing Arts Center *
July 6, 2022 – New Haven, CT – Westville Music Bowl *
July 8, 2022 – Philadelphia, PA – The Mann Center of Performing Arts *
July 9, 2022 – Burlington, VT – Midway Lawn *
July 10, 2022 – Patchogue, NY – Great South Bay Music Festival *
July 12, 2022 – Lewiston, NY – Artpark *
July 15, 2022 – Atlanta, GA – Fox Theatre *
July 16, 2022 – Atlanta, GA – Fox Theatre *
July 19, 2022 – Vienna, VA – Wolf Trap *
July 21, 2022 – Raleigh, NC – Coastal Credit Union Music Park *
July 23, 2022 – Charlotte, NC – PNC Music Pavilion *
July 24, 2022 – Huber Heights, OH – Rose Music Center at The Heights *
July 26, 2022 – Aurora, IL – RiverEdge Park *
July 29, 2022 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre *
July 30, 2022 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre *

@ w/ The Mavericks
+ w/ Steve Earle & The Dukes
* w/ Tedeschi Trucks Band