Friday, August 29, 2014

Roberto Pulido

 Roberto Pulido has been up and down the road for the past seven decades. First as part of a migrant-working family. Then as an educator. Ultimately, he ended up traveling throughout America and Mexico doing something that he never dreamed of doing.   

"The road is an adventure," Roberto Pulido, 64, said. "Nunca sabes, (You never know,) anything can happen."

I met up with Roberto Pulido at his shop, located behind his house in Edinburg. He greeted me with Chumina, his dog, by his side. He tells me that Chumina had gone missing for several hours the day before our meeting. He found her right as his son Bobby was leaving his house later that day. She was tangled up near a jet ski, so he had to use a knife to cut the cord to set her free.

He welcomes me to his office inside and lowers the volume on a television set that hangs from his wall.

"First of all, let me tell you something about me," Pulido begins after taking a seat.

Jose Roberto Pulido was born to Jose and Adelina Pulido on March 1, 1950 in Edinburg, TX.

"Como dicen, Febrero loco y Marzo otro poco, I'm number one, okay?" said Pulido, jokingly referring to an old saying that would be lost in translation in literal English.

At the age of three, Pulido was run over by a pickup truck. This horrifying event caused Pulido to lose 55 percent of his hearing in both ears.

He pulls out a hearing aid out of his right ear to demonstrate how he inserts and removes them every morning and night.

"I wear two (hearing aids) pero sometimes it's too much," Pulido reveals.

Not being able to hear as good as his fellow students affected his work at school, as it took him longer to learn English. At times, he felt like he had really fallen behind.

"I used to get paddled (at school) because I didn't know how to speak English," Pulido said. "I missed out on a lot because of my hearing."

Like most Tejano, conjunto, and norteño musicians of this area, he comes from a migrant-working family. He found himself working in Texas, Florida, Washington, and California growing up.

"Aqui en el Valle, I picked cotton, I did la fruta, melons, sandia, tomate," Pulido said. "In California, we used to do the grapes, peaches, plums, y toda la cosa."

He would often listen to norteño music as a youth. His father was a fan of many local major acts, like norteño pioneers Los Donneños.

"When I was 11 years old, my dad was a very big fan de ellos," Pulido said.

In 1972, Pulido's life took a surprising turn when he married Diana Montes, daughter of Los Donneños' accordionist Mario Montes.

"I never realized that one day I was going to get to marry his daughter," Pulido said laughing.

They had three children — Bobby, Alma, and Marco Antonio.

As part of the school band, Pulido started experimenting with the saxophone as he entered his early teens. His first professional gig began as a member of Los Layton's of Edcouch-Elsa in 1965.

Norfy Layton Gonzalez, 61, remembers those early days very well.

"We met him through our first, original saxophone player Oscar Diaz Jr.," Norfy said. "My brothers incorporated the saxophone [to their conjunto], and we were looking for another saxophone player. So then Oscar Diaz mentioned Roberto Pulido."

The Layton brothers brought him in, and Pulido was able to see the difference between playing at school, and playing out con la gente.

"That's how he first joined the music industry," Norfy said. "He played with us two, or three years, something like that, then he left."

While he enjoyed regional success, Pulido still had to go to work in California during his high school summer vacations. When he was over there, he performed with his late uncle Leonel Pulido.

"As a matter of fact, that's him right there," Pulido says, pointing to a varnished tree slice that holds a photo of his tio.

"He was one of a kind," Pulido continues. "When he passed away (in 2012), I had a lot of phone calls from different accordionists. Flaco Jimenez, among so many of them, called to give their condolences. They had the ultimate respect for him."

Leonel was one of the rare Tejano, conjunto musicians that played both the chromatic and button diatonic accordions.

"He played a reversible chromatic," Pulido said. "He learned how to play on his own. He bought an old accordion, de cinco lineas, he learned to play it and then he wanted to buy a new one. We had to order it in Italy, that's when we found that it was a reversible chromatic."

Roberto and Leonel Pulido. 

After graduating from Edinburg High School in 1969, Pulido told his old man that he was tired of traveling and working in the fields.

"He said, 'That's why you need an education, son,'" Pulido said. "So I got a four year scholarship to study music here at Pan American."

So without a shortcut in sight, Pulido attended Pan American University, as it was known then, to study music. In the middle of his college experience, Pulido joined Cecilio Garza y Los Kasinos.

The time would finally arrive for him to sing.

"I got dared into singing," Pulido said. "Some of the musicians that played with our band, they told me it was not the easiest thing. I said, 'Well I'm not a singer, but I'll guarantee you one thing, I think I can sing better than some of the knuckleheads that are out there.'"

Pulido stepped up to the spotlight, surprising his bandmates with his vocals.

"I went in there (to sing and they said), 'Wow vato, you can sing!'"

When conversing casually, Pulido has a distinct accent that is difficult to describe. It's very animated, and he code switches effortlessly between English, Spanish and regional slang. When he sings, his voice transforms into something that is just as unique.

"I have a different voice," Pulido said. "I'm a high tenor, I sing a little bit higher than the normal musicos. Not that I'm the only one, there are some other ones tambien que sing high."

He graduated in 1973, then decided to branch out on his own with a new band called Los Clasicos.

Pulido began teaching in the PSJA school district after graduation. Eventually, he would take a detour, and start traveling to give lectures on bilingual education programs.

"I remember I used to go to Montana, California, here in Texas," Pulido said. "After a year in a half, I got sick cause it was too much."

By the mid-1970's, he chose to leave his career in education. While things were rough at first, he kept focusing on his music, hoping to catch a break.

"The first three years not even my mom bought a record," Pulido said. "Then everything just started falling in place."

He fused his vocals, the accordion and brass instruments to create a style that he likes to describe as guacamole.

This idiosyncratic form first caught on in Corpus Christi, a Tejano hot spot in the those days. Soon it spread to the rest of the Tejano-listening universe, including the Rio Grande Valley. With the decade coming to a close, they were now seen as one of the hottest Tejano acts around.

This poster hangs in Pulido's shop in Edinburg.
Flaco Pulido, 54, has been playing with his older brother for about 39 years. He plays two different saxophones, and sings back-up. He's the only brother that still performs with Los Clasicos.

"At the time, my father was with us," Flaco said of those days in the mid-to-late 1970's. "We were five brothers, on the road. I went from a little boy playing at the park, to the big time scenery at clubs. The good memories that I have was with my dad, because my dad entered the band to take care of me."

Pulido estimates that Los Clasicos have recorded 45 releases, through five decades of 45's, LP's, eight-tracks, cassette tapes, and CD's. The different labels that have released his work include Falcón Records, Freddie Records, EMI Latin, and Sniper Records. "Copa Tras Copa", "Te Vi Partir", "Obsesión", "Flecha Envenenada", and "La Tumba Sera El Final" rank among his most popular hits. Other songs that classify as collaborative efforts, for example, "Los Tres Amigos" (with Little Joe Hernandez and Ruben Ramos), "Contigo" (with his son Bobby Pulido) and "Ya Ahora Es Tarde" (with Emilio Navaira) are also high points for Pulido.

Now known as a successful artist, he decided to launch his own scholarship for music students — the Roberto Pulido Music Scholarship Endowment.

"It helped out a lot," Pulido said of the scholarship he received after graduating from high school. "I'm just giving back to the community, what they did for me back then. The cost of living has gone up, it's harder and harder, and if you can help out a student that really is looking at it seriously, por qué no?"

While sitting in his office, he starts pointing to stuff he's made over the past few years. It's a form of therapy for him.

"Hago un poquito de todo," ("I do a little bit of everything,") Pulido said. After struggling to get the words out of why he loves making stuff, he blurts out, "I guess to keep me sane."

Some of his craft work includes meat turners, rings, rosaries, back scratchers, knives, and fishing lures.

He hands me two knives; both include engraved "Roberto Pulido" signatures on the blades. The handles are made out of elk and white-tailed deer horns.

"They are all hand made," Pulido assures me after I inspect the knives.

I ask him about the lures, and he pulls some out of a drawer.

"Ay cabron," Pulido shrieked, after accidentally poking himself with the hooks that are attached. After a few seconds, he hands them over to me and says, "They glow in the dark!"

It seems that to a totally different demographic, Pulido might be known more for his outdoorsman's prowess, than for his music.

He notes that he doesn't get to hunt or fish as often as he would like, due to his profession. He busts out another old Mexican saying, "Si tienes tienda atiendela, si no vendela." He uses it as a metaphor, to illustrate how he has to concentrate on his own career, the same way a store owner would do for his own business. If a store owner doesn't care, what's the point, he asks.

One recent project involved him recording a ranchera with Adelina, his 82 year old mother. Pulido picked Jesús Favella's "Me Voy Lejos" because it was the first song she played for him.

"She was terrified," Pulido said of his mom at the recording studio. "Le dije, 'Mama, no te mortifiques!'" ("I told her, 'Mom, don't be scared!'")

Pulido, while sipping on a Budlight and chewing on some Skoal-brand dipping tobacco, puts on an early cut of the song on a nearby CD player. We sit quietly listening to the heartfelt song between mother and son. After the track concludes, he explains to me why he did it.

"Yo quiero dejarle algo a mis hijos, mis nietos, pa' que sepan de donde vinieron," ("I want to leave something for my children, grandchildren, so they can know where they came from,") Pulido said.

Pulido's next stop is in Mexico, where he will be celebrating his legendary journey in La Onda Tejana in Monterrey on August 28. Pulido feels that his music is still thriving across the border.

The adventure won't stop there. Pulido plans to be staring down endless roads for many years to come. From our brief conversation together, he doesn't seem like the type of man that's content with what's passed him by. He's still driving forward, towards that final stretch at the top of the mountain, with no exit in sight.  

"In the music business, you have peaks and valleys, vato," Pulido said. "I had a peak, then it came down. I peaked again, then I came down. I'm a firm believer that the lord is going to give me another peak. I just have to work at it."

'Flaco' and Roberto Pulido at their game room in Edinburg.

Q & A - Ricardo Guzman Jr.‏

Ricky Guzman III and Ricky Guzman Jr.
Ricardo Guzman Jr. y Sus Tres Aces return to La Lomita Park this Sunday night to carry on the tradition that his father started in the 1950's. The 54-year-old bajo-sexto player talked to me about his dad Ricardo Sr., his son Ricky III, his current style of music, and about performing at La Lomita Park.

Eduardo Martinez: I always hear people say great things about your dad's group, the original Ricardo Guzman y Sus Tres Aces. How was the experience like growing up with him?

Ricardo Guzman Jr.: When I was real chiquito, I used to go to the dances. Me iba abajo de las mesas (I would go underneath the tables). My mom would take the tickets at the door. I grew up, todos mis heroes eran musicos (all my heroes were musicians). It was so much fun porque estaban locos mis tios (because my uncles were crazy). (laughs)

EM: How young were you when you first started performing with your dad's conjunto?

RGJ: I started playing professionally the drums con mi dad when I was eight years old.

EM: Do you have any favorite memories from the times you've spent with him and your uncles, playing music?

RGJ: My favorite thing was going out with ellos en gira (them on tour). Nombre, I would have the time of my life!

EM: How does it feel now to have your son Ricky III follow in your footsteps?

RGJ: I'm so proud of him. Ricky is a real good musician. He's a top of the line musician, aqui en el Valle. Outstanding. He plays drums, bass, bajo-sexto, and the accordion. He learned (the accordion) in seven months. He's got it in his blood.

He looks so much like my dad. Parece que tengo a mi dad ahi cuando estamos on stage (It looks like I have my dad on stage when we play today).

EM: Your bandmate Sergio "Checko" Gonzalez won the "Bass Player of the Year" prize at the "Conjunto of the Year" award show in July. This isn't the first time you've won an award there. Can you talk about other times your conjunto has been honored?

RBJ: Oh yes, several of my musicians have won some awards. My drummer Juan Tellez tambien got "Drummer of the Year" (in 2009).

I have quite a bit of them there at the house. (laughs) We won "Conjunto of the Year" in 2008. Myself I got conjunto "Male Vocalist of the Year" (in 2011), tambien.

EM: To those that haven't seen you play, how would you describe your bajo-sexto and conjunto style?

RBJ: We sound a lot like my dad's (conjunto) pero it's becoming a more progressive sound. We go kind of wild in the music, kind of jazzy. I think we have a pretty nice show.  

EM: When talking to Pepe Maldonado, he told me the first group he ever sang for was for your dad's conjunto in the 1950's. Considering how long ago that was, does it seem like he's part of the family now?

RBJ: Oh yeah. Pepe used to sing for my dad. Pepe would say mi papa fue el que le enseño a cantar (my dad was the one that taught him how to sing). He's an outstanding man.

EM: How do you feel when you perform at Pepe's place (La Lomita Park)?

RBJ: I always want to play for Pepe. I'm so proud of him for putting on conjunto events pa' que no se muera (so it won't die). I think we were a dying breed pero I think we're doing pretty good now. Pepe's is the main place to go for conjunto. A lot of people come from San Antonio, from all over the place, just to go to La Lomita.

EM: Thank you for your time.

RBJ: Gracias.

Who: Ricardo Guzman Jr. y Sus Tres Aces and Los Tremendos Alacranes
Time: 6:00 PM
Date: 8/31
Cost: $10.00
Phone Number and Website: 956-867-8783 or visit
Location: La Lomita Park, in McAllen.

Friday, August 22, 2014

4th Annual Freddie Gomez Memorial Conjunto Concert‏

Photo of Freddie Gomez courtesy of John Dyer.

The upcoming 4th Annual Freddie Gomez Memorial Conjunto Concert is right around the corner. The yearly extravaganza that celebrates the memory of Alfredo "Freddie" Gomez, and all the Tejano and conjunto stars that have passed away in the past year, will take place on Labor Day Weekend, August 30 in Brownsville.

The idea for this event came from Timo Ruedas and Juan Antonio Tapia. The two first met 16 years ago.

In 1998, Ruedas was involved in an event that was being held at the Port of Entry in Brownsville. Needing musicians, Ruedas called the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center for some assistance.

The two musicians that were sent to Ruedas' corner in the Valley were the accordion-playing Tapia and fiddle player Jose Moreno.

That's when Tapia informed Ruedas about a new organization that was forming — the South Texas Conjunto Association. This "puro conjunto" group was officially launched on March 1998.

"In order to support the STCA, we got involved with Charro Days (Fiesta) and Sombrero Festival," Ruedas, 66, said. "We were presenting the students (of the area) to different (music) programs like that. We've been at it since '98."

From 1998 to 2008, Ruedas, Tapia, and fellow Brownsville associates were known as the STCA Brownsville Events Committee. They then decided to form their own chapter, becoming recognized as the STCA's Freddie Gomez Brownsville Chapter.

Ruedas says that he started to push for a conjunto concert after he heard a campaign that was promoting entertainment and art events in the downtown Brownsville district. One important move that helped push this forward was when Ruedas got the support of Jorge Ramirez, the president of the Brownsville Society for The Performing Arts.

When asked why Gomez was picked to represent this event and chapter, Ruedas says the legendary conjunto guitarist felt like the right choice for this area in the Valley.

"El Ciclón Del Valle", as Gomez was known, impressed Ruedas early on.

"He used to play, like all the musicians of the time, for family gatherings and celebrations," Ruedas said. "I remember being invited to one of those parties at a house, it was in the backyard, and just admiring the guitar. I played a little guitar, I was in a band in the mid-60's. We were trying to learn all the finger-picking instrumentals that he used to play. We were just in awe of how he played the electric guitar."

His singing also stood out to Ruedas.

"His voice was very unique, high pitched," Ruedas said. "He even had some English language songs. He toured and filled up the ballrooms. He was a nice humble guy."

Gomez passed away on September 3, 2005, and that's why Ruedas and the City of Brownsville decided that Labor Day Weekend would be a good time to have this festival.

The first event was held on September 5, 2011, and had appearances from Los Tejano Boys, Conteño, Frutty Villarreal, and Gilberto Perez.

This years line-up features Pepe Maldonado y su conjunto, Arturo Niño y Sus Kromaticos, and Grupo La Farra de Los Hermanos Lozano. A special 25-minute dance marathon will also take place. Participating couples will be challenged by dancing the following forms found in conjunto music — vals, bolero, redova, schottische (chotiz), cumbia, polka, and huapango.

"There will be judges, and based on who danced the best in all of the different styles, we will be giving out a cash prize," Ruedas said.

Attendance has grown with each passing year. It's gone from 600 in 2011, to 1000 in 2012, and then to 1200 in 2013.

"We're expecting about 1500 this year," Ruedas said. "Next year, hopefully we'll make it, and it'll be our fifth. We really want to make it a little bigger."

What: The 4th Annual Freddie Gomez Memorial Conjunto Concert
Time: 6:00 PM to Midnight
Date: 8/30
Cost: Free
Phone Number: Timo Ruedas, 956-545-8446.
Location: E. Levee & 11th Street in downtown Brownsville, TX.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Aaron Alberto Barrios Wins An Award In Los Angeles‏

Aaaron Alberto Barrios with his award.
Two weeks ago, I wrote about the three young, up-and-coming Starr county musicians that created the viral video "Cantando en el Whataburger". In the days that followed, one of those artists found more success in Los Angeles, California.

Aaron Alberto Barrios, the twenty year-old Regional Mexicano singer from the video, took off from the McAllen-Miller International Airport on Monday morning, August 4. He made a brief stop in Dallas, before arriving to Los Angeles for the 6th annual "Premios De La Calle" award show. The August 6th event aimed to honor the newest, brightest prospects in Spanish-language music.

Barrios was in attendance due to being nominated in the "Solista Con Mayor Futuro" ("Soloist With The Best Future") category.

"Mi primera vez que me nominaron," ("My first time that I was nominated,") Barrios said. "Gracias a dios que estuve nominado." ("Thanks to God that I was nominated.")

He has been singing since he first got lessons at the age of three. So while he's just fresh out of high school, he already has plenty of singing experience to point to, both here locally and from his regular visits to Monterrey, Nuevo Leon in Mexico. He's especially proud of times he has spent performing with Gerardo Ortiz, a major name in the Regional Mexicano scene.

Some of the musicians that the Roma native rubbed elbows with last week include Kevin Ortiz, Nena Guzman, Luis Coronel, Cheyo Carillo, and Beto Sierra.

"Mucha gente me conocia," ("A lot of people knew me,") Barrios said. "Yo no pensaba que me conocian, pero es por mis videos que a subido en mi pagina." ("I didn't think they would know me, but it's because of my videos that I uploaded on my social media pages.")

Barrios has created a solid presence on several social media platforms like Instagram (AaronBarriosOficial), Twitter (AaronBarriosNet), and Facebook (AaronBarriosMusic). At the moment, Barrios has over 5000 likes on his Facebook fan page.

According to Barrios, there was a long list of nominees, and he was taken by surprise when he was announced as the winner.

"La verdad, para mi, estoy bien orgulloso de haberme ganado este premio," ("To tell you the truth, for me, I'll filled with so much pride to have been able to win this award,") Barrios said. "Este evento es muy grande en Los Angeles, California. El año pasado fue el primer premio de Luis Coronel en los 'Premios De La Calle.' Este año fue el primero mio." ("This is a very big event in Los Angeles, California. Last year it was the first 'Premios De La Calle' award that Luis Coronel won. This year it was my first award.")

Barrios arrived back in the Valley on Thursday, August 7. He went right back to work on his upcoming release, which he is recording at Duelo's recording studio. He estimates that it should be out before the end of the year. Barrios tells me that he favors romantic songs and corridos, so expect to hear that from him in the very near future.

As for what this honor means to him, Barrios feels it's opened up a new chapter in his career.

"Se me van abrir unas puertas con este premio," ("Doors will be open for me thanks to this award,") Barrios said. "Me estan ofreciendo ayuda gente de Los Angeles por el premio. Estoy bien contento." ("People from Los Angeles are offering me help in my career due to this award. I'm very happy.")

Friday, August 8, 2014

La Sombra de Tony Guerrero to Perform At Gaslight Friday Night‏

After over thirty years in the Tejano music industry, Tony Guerrero of La Sombra still vividly remembers who it was that made him fall in love with singing.

"As I was growing up, my mom sang, God rest her soul," Guerrero said of his late mother, Maria Guerrero, who passed away in 2004. "She would sing to me when I was a little boy so much that I ended up learning the words to the songs that she would sing. Then when I would start singing with her, she would start harmonizing."

She liked what Guerrero describes as being "puras canciones viejecitas" ("old songs"). One tune he remembers his mom singing quite often was "Te Vas Angel Mio".

While he was born in Las Prietas area of Brownsville, Texas, he and his family would move to Aurora, Illinois when he was still in elementary school. Outside of the strong influence of his madre, he would also enjoy listening to his sisters — Maria Luisa and Felipa.

Guerrero got the urge to try out the trumpet and saxophone during his youth. He soon realized that they weren't a right fit for him.

Guerrero's older brother Cruz was involved in a group named La Coleccion Latina. They would practice in the Guerrero family basement, and leave their instruments there after they were done. Guerrero decided then that he was going to try his hands at the keyboard.

"I learned it all on my own," Guerrero said, who began singing and playing the keyboard on stage by the age of 14.

By the early 1980's, Guerrero was having a blast performing with three different bands in the Aurora and Chicago area. One of those groups was a four-piece ensemble that would come to be known as La Sombra.

"I originally started La Sombra from scratch," Guerrero said. "With a cousin of mine, a nephew, and a friend."

Guerrero would end up leaving the other two, and sticking with La Sombra after the release of Mi Guerita Coca-Cola (1984).

"La Sombra recorded that first record, and it blew up," Guerrero said.

Some of the elements that Guerrero introduced to his style still stand out to this day. He thinks that having an interest in music outside of the Tejano genre helped him break out.

"To be honest with you, my passion for music when I first started was hip hop, R&B and rap," Guerrero said. "I was in love with Michael Jackson. I wanted to be like Michael Jackson. I was always in the basement, trying to learn his moves."

While he admits that he couldn't quite master those elite moves, he still choreographed his own dancing routines.

Two of the best examples of Guerrero's brand of music are "El Sancho" and "El Sapo".

The "El Sancho" music video, which features all the band members and a man that looks like David Byrne in True Stories, is wild nostalgic trip. The comedic piece ends with a rap by Guerrero where he warns men that if they don't take care of their women, a sancho (lover) will come along to do so.

"El Sapo" is a goofy cumbia that starts off with frog ribbits. It remains one of La Sombra's biggest hits.

"That song went gold and platinum," Guerrero said. "It was a very big surprise for me. I liked the song, but at the same time it kinda freaked me out because I thought, 'This is a song about a frog.'"

When looking back at his career, Guerrero likes to use the year 1984 as his starting point. That's when he knew he was going to have a future, thanks to the success of his debut album.

While he has been influenced by many over the past thirty years, he still points to his mother as his key inspiration.

"I was like a mama's boy," Guerrero said. "I saw a lot of groups performing as I was growing up, but most of (my style) came from my mom."

Who: La Sombra de Tony Guerrero
Time: 9:00 PM
Date: 8/8
Cost: $10.00
Phone Number: 956-821-6156
Location: Gaslight Club, in McAllen.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Cantando en el Whataburger

Juan Moya, Luz Garcia y Aaron Alberto Barrios. 
At the end of June was when I first saw it. A friend of mine shared it on my Facebook timeline, knowing I would like it. Then it began popping up throughout the Summer, from various friends and pages I followed online. When I was talking to a local musician recently, he eagerly asked me if I had seen it.

To those out there that know what I'm talking about, yes, "Cantando en el Whataburger" is awesome. To those that don't, let's start from the beginning.

The idea for the video came from Juan Moya, a fifteen-year old student of Roma High School, while he was browsing online.

"I was watching some videos on YouTube, of some guys that would go to Burger King," Moya said. "Los Hermanos Marias, but they would only play corridos. I wanted to play a song at Whataburger, but I wanted to play the order."

Moya has been picking at the bajo-sexto for four years. One friend he regularly plays with is Luz Garcia, an eighteen-year old who has been squeezing the accordion for ten years now.

The two first met four years ago.

"My dad era tapicero (was a upholsterer)," Moya said. "Y le tapizo unas straps for his accordion. My dad told his dad that I played the bajo-sexto. So my dad invited Luz to come to my house so we could play together."

Moya started pushing for his idea to become a reality a few days after Garcia graduated from Roma High School. Garcia felt a bit hesitant at first since it was near midnight, on a weeknight.

"I didn't want to go cause it was all late," Garcia said. "The next day I had to go to the Summer program, as a teacher's aide."

The two contacted Aaron Alberto Barrios, a twenty-year old who has been singing since the age of three. Barrios first met the pair while attending Roma High School.

After hearing Moya's plan, Barrios' reply was simple.

"Les dige, 'Pos vamos'," ("I told them, 'Let's go',") Barrios said.

The three got together that night, and started composing their food order in the form of a song.

How long did it take them to work on the lyrics?

"En un ratito nomás," ("In a short while,") Garcia said. "Just like 30 minutes, at most."

It was past midnight, and the musical trio hopped into a car to. Joining them was Joel Garcia, who was shooting one angle of the video. Barrios shot from a different angle on his cell phone.

They arrived to the Whataburger drive-thru in Roma.

"I guess we were nervous, I was nervous," laughs Garcia.

Moya, who was playing the guitar for this occasion, begins by requesting a number five. Garcia, with his accordion, and Barrios follow, requesting a number thirteen and number one respectively.

As their Spanish-song concludes, Barrios asks the Whataburger employee if she understood the order. She answers back with the total amount due.

When they drove to the window, they were informed that she wasn't the only one that heard their performance.

"They put it on the intercom, so everyone in the restaurant could hear," Moya said.

"Cantando en el Whataburger" was uploaded on YouTube by Barrios on June 4. The same video was then uploaded by many different users on Facebook's video service in the weeks that followed. Moya notes that it took two to three weeks for it to become a hit.

"All of sudden, people started sharing it," Moya said. "My mom didn't believe it."

As the video grew in popularity, Garcia looked for an explanation.

"I thought it was because it was on Aaron's page, and he gets a lot of followers," Garcia said. "But no, it was because I guess it was good."

Barrios was in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon when he found out the video had gone viral.

"Realmente, yo no me imagine que este video fuera pegar tan fuerte," ("Really I didn't imagine that this video would be such a hit,") Barrios said.

The one share on Facebook that took all of them by surprise was by musician and comedian Chingo Bling. Bling wrote, "These kids are my heroes! Best way to order at the drive-thru! JAJAJAJAJA #CHIDO #FERIATEAM."

"Nos hablo que esta interesado en nosotros, en hacer un video con nosotros," ("He called us saying that he's interested in us, in making a video with us,") Barrios claims. "Me senti bien orgulloso." ("I felt very proud.")

On YouTube, the video currently has over 51,000 views and 1000 likes. Since it was posted by so many, it's hard to tab how many likes, shares, and comments the video has received on Facebook. However, the one posted by Bling has over 17,000 likes, 16,000 shares, and 2,000 comments.

Past the talk of their video phenomenon, Garcia and Moya dream of recording their first CD in the future. Barrios, who has sung with Mexican music star Gerardo Ortiz, is currently working on finalizing a CD by the end of 2014.

Earlier this week the three, along with their tuba-playing buddy Roberto Garza, got in front of the camera once again for a new video performing "Mi Padrino el Diablo". Before Summer closes out, we might be seeing even more cool videos from these talented musicians in Starr County.

"Si le gusto a la gente, pos por que no?" ("If the people like it, well why not?") Barrios said, when asked if they are interested in shooting new videos. "Hay que seguir haciendo mas videos!" ("We will continue to make more videos!")