While Dining in a small café outside of Yuma, Arizona, during the warm winter season, I looked up to see a women walk in and remove her sunglasses. Her face was tanned and wind burned but was untouched by the sun where her sunglasses protected her face from the elements. Her face reminded me of a raccoon with the colors reversed and without thinking I remarked, “Look, she has Desert Eyes”. The term stuck with me and led me to compose the song. Desert Eyes is licensed by the University of Texas at San Antonio Cultural Affairs Department for use on their Website.
Desert Eyes ………. 5:04
To date my most drastic two movements composition. Many times I have spent hours looking across the International Border of the Rio Grande outside of the small town of Eagle Pass, Texas. I have viewed Mexican families living in a totally different society and environment just across the river and on one occasion I watched as a mother came out of the woods on the Mexican side of the river. She had two young boys at her side and a baby cradled under one arm and with her free arm she was washing a garment in the river. From where I was standing I could see the strength and resolve in her face as she stood up and looked across the river where I stood. The river was very narrow at this particular spot and I could clearly see her strong facial features immediately dissolve into tenderness as she must have realized that just a mere 30 or 40 feet width of the river separated our worlds. She made the sign of the cross across her chest, gathered her children and walked away from the river back into the woods. I felt certain that her request to God was for strength and a continued willingness to be faithful to her obligations and commitment to accept reality as a Border Woman.
Border Woman ………. 6:06
This composition was named by my wife. I claim no knowledge as to the meaning!
Tease-A-Me ………. 5:55
A long violin introduction brings the composition into focus at the altar. After the vows of the Sacrament the song modulates to a higher declaration of Love with an Angelic Chorus Background. To date, La Boda has been used in many wedding ceremonies that I am aware of!
La Boda ………. 4:58
Originally composed at the direction of now deceased Movie Producer, Steven Reed, for use in the Soundtrack of a film adapted from a screenplay written by a former American born Matador who was seriously injured in the Plaza deToros in Madrid, Spain, and was deported back to the U.S. when it was discovered that he was not a true Spaniard. I actually had written two separate compositions and was displeased with both of them. Out of desperation I tied the two together and was still unhappy. However, my arranger, Gary Leach convinced me through a series of his own visual interpretations that the song accomplished the desired effect, so I kept it as it is. Unfortunately, the Movie Project was canceled, due to the death of the Director/Producer.
The Last Bull ………. 6:21
A fun song that develops a serious nature in the bridge or second movement. Again the classic mariachi twin trumpets with a violin in between provides a path for the guitar harmony melody line. Ms Margarita is used in their soundtrack of a movie short we filmed in Baja California, Mexico, entitled “Stone Curse.”
Ms. Margarita ………. 4:08
The introduction is a classical Spanish movement that seagues into a shadowy, swaying, motion that to me projects an image of dancers clothed in shadows. This particular composition causes children and infants to sway back and forth; apparently many for the first time to the amazement and delight of their parents.
Shadow Dancer ………. 6:08
I wrote the melody and chorus as it was given to me as I had considered it to be the final track with no thoughts of a future Rio Grande Album. The bridge of the song was an idea that had swirled around in my mind since the early 70’s from an idea given to me by Ray Navarez, in Redwood City. If anyone is from the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and hears El Rio, they will invariably come up to me and ask if I am from “The Valley” because the song immediately reminds them of home. I lived in the area as a child but left at the age of six. There is no definable sound for the area that has been identified or marketed but somehow I seem to have captured a sound that commands the attention of anyone from that area. Perhaps I will someday be considered as one who developed the Rio Grande Valley sound!
El Rio ………. 5:35