Later in life, Yanez was usually found playing at Christian churches and using his great skills there. Check out how jazzy he gets in this intro to a Christian song.
What is it about the Valley that has produced so many great accordionists? Sometimes, we all (including myself) take for granted how many great accordionist the Valley has produced. Yanez and Caballero are clearly in the mold of Jordan, but they are high caliber accordionists too that bring their own personal touches to their work. Kind of like how Eddie Gilbert is totally in the mold of Jerry Lawler or how early David Gordon Green was clearly aping Terrence Malick, but Gilbert and Green were still top talents doing their own takes on their heroes.
Earlier this year, an online buddy of minute by the name of Karlos passed me a rare Esteban Jordan song called "Gozalo Mulata". It sounds so funky, with elements of Latin jazz and typical Jordan-style sound effects. Accomplished Austin accordionist Susan Torres described the song online as sounding like something out of "a soundtrack from like a 1970's private eye movie", which is a great comparison by Susan. Well this video that follows is Danny Yanez changing the song into a Christian song for his church. It's pretty much the exact same song, except where Jordan would say "Mulata", Yanez says "Cristo" (the name to this version is "Gozate Con Cristo"). From what I'm told, this sort of thing is common in the church music scene. If I had seen a lesser musician do this with a Jordan song, I would be rolling my eyes and not writing about a blog post about it. But Yanez was so fantastic at the squeezebox (along with being so open about being inspired by Jordan) that he deserves a lot of love for his music skills (whether you're religious or not). So in the end, I think this video is pretty awesome and if you dig accordion music, you'll dig it too. According to the text that accompanies this video, this was his last concert and the final time he played his accordion at a church service.
Danny was a great talent, I really regret not getting into him when he was still alive and playing at local churches. He passed away on February 2011. My buddy Jonathan Lee Salinas tells me he got the opportunity to see him five times and two of my uncles played with Yanez in the 1970's in los bailes grandes. I wish I would have listened to my dad earlier and gone to listen to Yanez. At some point, I want to write something special and nice for Danny Yanez. If you want to see more videos of Yanez, you can find them here.