The Blessing and the Curse
Out today is Lance Canales & the Flood’s new album The Blessing and the Curse (Music Road Records), a true blues-Americana-folk masterpiece. As mentioned in the Latino Rebels interview early in the week, Canales draws from his personal life and his Latino upbringing for inspiration. His lyrics are politically charged and poignant. Canales speaks for the migrant workers of central San Joaquin Valley, his melodic growls and heavy work-boot stomps transporting the listener to the sun-scorched imagery of migrant workers bent over in some unforgiving field.
The tracklist is an autobiographical manifesto —a folk opera of sorts— describing how one’s life could easily be either a blessing or a curse and is oftentimes both. The mood is set from the first song “California or Bust,” an upbeat, stomping hymn that celebrates Canales homeland in California’s Central Valley. Our protagonist follows his set-up with two self-deprecating songs, “Hich-Wyah Man” and “Cold Dark Hole,” in which he exclaims the lament: “Oh Lord! Oh Lord! I’ve been down.” With “The Farmer” he raises his glass to all those men and women, fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers who work until they “bury their bones,” honoring his own father and grandfather. “Weary Feet Blues” walks us through the harsh landscape of the desert and has us “begging for mercy from the burning sun.”
The latest hit “Death Don’t Have No Mercy,” which premieres exclusively on Latino Rebels today, settles the request for clemency: “sun got no mercy in this land.” This epic anthem features a wonderful female gospel voice chanting the same agony, as death slowly but surely arrives.
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