Texmaniacs up for GRAMMY Feb. 10 amid competition that celebrates cultural identity

Los Texmaniacs, who already won a GRAMMY for Best Tejano Album at the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards in 2009, for “Borders y Bailes,” face Mexico’s legendary Luis Miguel and his album praising Mexico and another album from past GRAMMY winner Aida Cuevas that honors another Mexican great, Juan Gabriel, in a category filled with artists’ whose music celebrates cultural pride. But Los Texmaniacs bring a timely and uniquely bi-cultural sound to the GRAMMY mix with “Cruzando Borders.” Even the title, half Spanish and half English, highlights the Tex-Mex, Mexican-American or Tejano life, where we live with both feet in America but in Texas, a land formerly Mexico, and where we must meet double the demands in our cultural, political and national loyalties. For more on the politics of this issue, check out my sylviasez.com blog. (I try to separate my political and entertainment views, but often, the two collide.)

Competition is touch in Category 43, otherwise known as, the Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano), which the Recording Academy defines as: “albums containing at least 51% playing time of new regional Mexican (banda, norteño, corridos, gruperos, mariachi, ranchera and Tejano) recordings.”

Nominees are:

Angela Aguilar

Calibre 50

Aida Cuevas (Past GRAMMY winner)

Los Texmaniacs (Past GRAMMY winner)

Mariachi Sol De Mexico De Jose Hernandez

Luis Miguel (Five-time GRAMMY winner)

“Cruzando Borders” touches on timely topics with English tunes like “Deportee,” featuring country great Lyle Lovett, and “I Am a Mexican,” featuring Tex-Mex artist Rick Trevino. My favorite is the first track, “Mexico Americano (Mexican American),” which speaks to me for obvious reasons as I’m sure many Tejanos will also relate. Another fave is Los Texmaniacs take on a song I first fell in love with when sung by Jay Perez during his years with the Latin Breed, “Don Luis el Tejano,” which features Rick Fuentes.

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