San Antonio’s 83-year-old Flaco Jiménez (son, grandson, and brother of a famous accordionist) has won six Grammy Awards, most recently a Lifetime Achievement Award.
In the late ’60s, my friend Doug Sahm asked me if I wanted to blend in with his playing of country rock. He was recording for Atlantic Records, so I said yes.the album is Doug Sahm and bandThat was my first major label experience, where I met Dr. John and Bob Dylan. From there, rumors spread that he could play not only conjunto music, but also country and a little rock. He started getting recording offers from big names like Dwight Yoakam, Buck Owens and Linda Ronstadt. It was my prime.
I like to cross If you can understand what an artist is doing, you can get a feel for it and immerse yourself in it. When I did “Streets of Bakersfield” with Dwight and Buck, producer Pete Anderson said, “Bump your butt.” So when they started recording, I started doing some weird things, Pete said. doing something inappropriate. Keep it as simple as possible so people can understand it. ‘ I was playing something more progressive, more advanced, but I was very careful when I blended it so as not to overwhelm the person I was recording with.
In the process, Doug, Freddie Fender, Augie Myers and I formed Texas Tornado. There was no plan at all. we were in san francisco. It was a place called Slim’s. I was on tour with a band and Freddie and the others were playing somewhere nearby. No rehearsals, no Nada, invited to jams. I played about 3 songs and the response was good. Warner Paige on his record Levi spoke with Doug and made plans to record an album. texas tornado [in 1990]Our hit song “(Hey Baby) Que Paso” was a big hit. So everyone knows “(Hey Baby) Que Paso”. We made four albums and then Doug died in 1999. We kept playing until Freddie passed away in 2006. two tornadoes.
I think this younger generation of conjuntos has changed a lot. Some bands started adding synthesizers and other types of instruments. I think it’s too mechanical. I don’t feel it. They put too much sugar in their coffee. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but old-fashioned is real. In the old days, Conjunto was not respected at all. They called it cantina music. Today Conjunto is revered all over the world.
Ever since I got my accordion, music has been my life. It’s the instrument you wear. You can speak to the accordion to make it react. make you happy or make you cry. I started at a young age when Conjunto was really fresh. I’m not young anymore, but I think I can still handle the accordion. it’s in my blood.I can say take it easy for a while because of me
Despite my age, music is my inspiration.
This article was originally published in the February 2023 issue. texas monthly with heading “Accordion King” subscribe today.