Inspiration comes to us in all forms. For Gene Jaimez, growing up in
Cotulla, TX, the inspiration came from the airwaves. Situated along the Nueces River in South
Texas, Cotulla was in the perfect spot for Gene not only to listen to Conjunto
music and pop and rock radio classics of the time, but it was also
geographically set in the perfect spot so that ionospheric refraction allowed A.M.
blues stations from Louisiana to reach a young Gene’s ears at night before
going to bed. Who knew that heavily
charged ions in the atmosphere over the earth’s atmosphere could bring such joy
to a kid’s heart and inspire songwriting?
And for Gene Jaimez that’s what it did and still does. Although Gene has played with a variety of
bands of different genres, from Conjunto, (including the legendary Los Pavos
Reales), to Tejano to Country and has paid his dues playing covers of the day
as part of a house band for a nightclub at the Holiday Inn back in 1970s
Laredo, Gene’s main musical inspiration is the Blues he grew up listening to and
Funk Music he played with friends while living in Tokyo in the 60s. This Blues and Funk influence, along with his
exposure to traditional Conjunto, Tejano, Rock and Funk is what has led to the
creation of this Chicano Funk Rock project.
With the help of some friends and
former bandmates, Gene Jaimez created a project called Mezquital. He took the demos out of the vault and
revamped them with the help of Carlos “Chale” Castillo on drums and Ruben
Ramirez on bass. The recordings were
engineered by Carlos “Curly” Castillo who also helped out with percussion and
Gene has history with Chale and
Ruben. Chale, with a Grammy recognition
as a member of Little Joe y La Familia, has played drums for many years. He and Gene played the Laredo music scene
together in a band called Belts and Buckles.
Ruben’s relationship with Gene goes back even further. He was a very
young bassist playing on an instrumental album by Gene’s band El Gusano called Fantasia del Barrio. Ruben has also
played with Tejano super group Xelencia and
still plays music as a member of his own Conjunto-Tejano band from Cotulla
called Retama. Chale, Ruben, along with Curly, help Gene add
to the recipe of some bluesy, funky, from the heart music that will create a
feel-good vibe for anyone that listens.