The Last Bandoleros bringing their Tex-Mex music combo to Steamboat this weekend
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — With a mix of British pop, country-rock ‘n’ roll, with a dash of Latin gusto, what could possibly result?
A Tex-Mex comboThe Last Bandoleros are known for creating, of course.
This weekend they will make their way to Steamboat Springs to headline the Rock the Boat Free Concert Series at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on the Steamboat Stage in Gondola Square at the base of Steamboat Ski Area.
Equipped with strong harmonies holding equal strength with solo vocals, the four members of this young country-rock band includes bassist Diego Navaira and his older brother, drummer Emilio Navaira, along with guitarists Jerry Fuentes and Derek James.
Each with their own solo careers they decided to join musical forces after what started as a writing endeavor soon took form as The Last Bandoleros in 2014.
In the last few years, they’ve made a name for themselves from being signed by Warner Music Nashville in 2016, spending the last year touring with Sting around the world and had their debut single “Where Do You Go?” released in July 2016.
Explore Steamboat caught up with Fuentes to chat about their upcoming show in Steamboat.
Explore Steamboat: Did you always want to be a musician in a band? Who or what inspired you?
James Fuentes: Ever since each one of us was a kid, we pretty much always wanted to be rockstars of some kind. Depending on what stage of our lives we were each in, our influences would range from The Beatles, Tom Petty, Van Halen and George Strait. Throw all that into a pot and stir it around and you have TLB.
ES: What inspired the name The Last Bandoleros?
JF: We were looking for something that could convey the Tex-Mex, Latin-twist to our sound but also represent us a band of brothers — or bandits.
ES: Your sound is described as a Tex Mex — what exactly is Tex Mex? How would you define that?
JF: Besides being our favorite type of Mexican cuisine found mostly in south Texas, it’s also used to describe a unique blend of country, rock and Tejano music. Especially in San Antonio, you can hear this fusion of Spanish-rooted dance music with American country and straight up rock ‘n’ roll vibes.
ES: How did you guys come to this sound after forming the band, or was that always the direction from the start?
JF: There was an initial idea of where to point the arrow musically, but really not until the four of us came together to write songs over several months, did the exact sound transpire into what we now know as TLB.
ES: What was it like touring with Sting?
JF: Unreal. As trite as it sounds, it really was like a dream come true. We would have to pinch ourselves many times as we were traveling the world with him last year.
ES: What were some of the biggest lessons you learned from him?
JF: Work ethic. No one gets to a level like Sting without working their assess off. It takes a lot of hard work and perseverance. Even to this day, Sting still works just as hard as he used to (if not more) and that was inspiring to watch and absorb.
ES: What sets The Last Bandoleros apart from other bands within the same genre?
JF: I think there are a lot of things that make every artist unique but ones that we have heard a lot from fans is our vocals. All of us sing and we take pride in putting together our harmonies – and, it’s fun.
ES: What can the audience in Steamboat expect for the show this weekend?
JF: To be flying high on the sounds of TLB!
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