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CD Review: deSol

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If you’re looking for something to heat up this year’s Christmas party, deSol’s debut, self titled album is a sure fire bet. The band’s hot Latin percussion, smooth, easy vocals, and seductive Santana-esque guitar will not only get the party started, but keep it sizzling’ well into the wee hours.

I mention “Santana-esque”, as The King of Latin-Rock’s influence is unmistakable, yet the collective tastes and talents of each of deSol’s seven members gives them a voice all their own. Rock, Pop, Hip-Hop, and Rap all play into the mix, keeping their music new, vibrant, and without a doubt, fun.

deSoL was formed in 2000 by Albie Monterrosa, the son of El Salvadoran immigrants. Monterrosa, who had grown up in Queens, N. Y., was well into the N.J. rock n’ roll scene when, while on a Caribean vacation, he met a Puerto Rican conga player named Wanda, who re-introduced him to his musical roots.

“When I jammed with her, I actually started moving my hands differently to accommodate the Latin swing. And I found out what I was missing was being true to myself. Being that music comes from the depths of you, I needed to express my culture” – Albie Monterrosa

Monterrosa returned to the U.S., and soon found a kindred spirit in Armando Cabrera, a Cuban born percussionist, who Monterrosa credits as being his guiding force.

“I call him ‘El Conductor'”, Monterrosa quipped, “because I look to him to guide me. I’ve been hearing this music in my head since childhood, and he defines it. I’m playing something, and he adds rhythm and structure to a song. He inspires me.” – Atlanticville

With a shared vision, the two started out as a duo, eventually adding more members to the band who not only shared their passion and dedication, but who would bring their own unique cultural heritage to the band’s sound. The result is a rich tapestry of El Salvadoran, Cuban, Mexican, Portuguese, Peruvian, Puerto Rican and American musical influences.

Four years later, the band’s future seems as bright as their name suggests. deSol’s extensive Summer ’05 touring schedule included dates with the legendary Wailers, Los Lonely Boys, and Widespread Panic. Also on their itinerary were performances at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, SXSW, and Lollapalooza, of which Giant Magazine declared the band’s rendition of “Oye Como Va”, “One of the best moments at Lollapalooza.”

Rounding off this year’s tour, deSol will be heating up the holidays in Texas, performing with Del Castillo from Dec. 1 through Dec. 10. As a special treat, the band has recently recorded their own version of the Christmas standard, “Little Drummer Boy”, produced by Curb executive Michael Lloyd.

deSol band members include:

Albie Monterrosa (lead vocals and acoustic guitar)
James Guerrero (congas, vocals and percussion)
Chris Guice (bass guitar and vocals)
Jeremy Hoenig (drums)
Andy Letke (piano and organ)
Ray Turull (timbales and percussion)
Soto (electric guitar and vocals)
 Also performing on the album are:
 George Saccal (Drums)
Armando Cabrera (percussion)

If you’re lucky enough to be in the area, the band’s upcoming tour dates include:

Dec. 1 Thursday – Concrete Street, Corpus Christi, TX**
Dec. 2 Friday – Times Square, College Station, TX**
Dec. 3 Saturday – John T. Floore Country, Helotes, TX**
Dec. 6 Tuesday – Cactus Theater, Lubbock, TX**
Dec. 7 Wednesday – Gypsy Tea Room, Dallas, TX**
Dec. 8 Thursday – The Axis, Ft. Worth, TX**
Dec. 10 Saturday – Antone’s, Austin, TX**
Dec. 31 Saturday – Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ

*Supporting Widespread Panic; ** Supporting Del Castillo

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  • I would have not known more about this band, “deSol,” up until now. An interesting group. Thanks!