The Last Bandoleros
Fusing Tex-Mex and rock & roll with high spirits and studied cool, the Last Bandoleros are a trio featuring Jerry Fuentes on guitar and vocals, Diego Navaira on bass and vocals, and Derek James on guitar and vocals. Both Fuentes and Navaira were raised in San Antonio, Texas, and Navaira's father was the celebrated Conjunto musician Emilio Navaira, Sr. Fuentes and Navaira were raised on a musical diet of classic Texas artists like Doug Sahm and Flaco Jimenez, as well as classic rock. James, meanwhile, hailed from New York City, and had a taste for roots rock and Brit-pop with jangly guitars. Fuentes and Navaira had both worked for a while at a recording studio in San Antonio, where a producer suggested Jerry hire Navaira and his brother, drummer Emilio Navaira, as his rhythm section. Fuentes and Navaira found they worked well together, but Jerry relocated to Brooklyn, New York, where he met Derek James. Fuentes and James started writing tunes together, and soon Diego Navaira joined them. As Jerry, Navaira, and Derek developed a distinct sound and style, they began playing out regularly in 2014, with Emilio as their drummer for live dates. Adopting the handle the Last Bandoleros, the band soon earned a reputation as one of the best acts in Brooklyn and San Antonio. In 2015, the group was approached by manager Martin Kierszenbaum, who liked their work and their style. Kierszenbaum signed them to his Cherrytree Management firm, and soon they were hitting the road regularly, headlining at venues like New York's Webster Hall and touring as the opener for ambitious country-pop combo the Mavericks. In 2015, they released a pair of digital singles, "I Don't Want to Know" and "Where Do You Go," which captured their mix of honky tonk attitude and Tex-Mex heart quite well. In 2016, Warner Bros. Nashville signed the Last Bandoleros to a recording contract, and a reissue of "Where Do You Go" arrived in April 2016. ~ Mark Deming
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