Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Champs 2000 - Tejano Nightsdotdotdot
artworkThe tracks on this CD were recorded in the nineties for the most part. Dave Burgess's modern vision of the Champs is different, older, and more subdued than his sixties Mexican rock 'n' roll band. The originals are almost entirely from Burgess' pen. There are no new Tequila's here. It's a little mild mannered, but very nice. The final six tracks are original Champs releases. the rest were recorded in Nashville in 1995.
Picks: Frijoles, Green Onions, Risque, Watermelon Man, Sonora Red, Oye Como Va, Jalapeno, Smokie (Pt. 2), Tejano Nights, The Girl From Ipanema, Meltdown, Peter Gunn, Hot Salsa, Last Night, Tequila, El Rancho Rock, Chariot Rock, Too Much Tequila, Limbo Rock, Midnighter

Track by Track Review

Frijoles dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Great rhythm here, with a cool slide guitar and honkin' sax. "Frijoles" relies on its infectious rhythm and sixties repetition to carry the day. Nice track.

Green Onions dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a subdued cover of Booker T. and the MG's' "Green Onions." The sax work is quite nice.

Risque dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Delicate guitar work opens "Risque," which floats gracefully on liquid bass and airy melody lines. But wait, the second verse drops into a honkin' R&B groove that's pretty tasty.

Watermelon Man dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man" is delivered with a funk guitar and a whole different feel. Restrained, yet enjoyable.

Sonora Red dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This Dave Burgess tune is like a soft spoken soulful "Mexican Hat Dance." Fluid and oh-so Mexican with a saucy R&B sax and great Latin percussion. A fine track.

Oye Como Va dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a kinda loungy version of Tito Puente's classic tune. There's touches of Santana and the Champs.

Jalapeno dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Jalapeno" is a kinda honky classic Champs track. Fun, but not overly memorable despite the chorus shoutin' "jalapeño."

Smokie (Pt. 2) dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a moderate version of the Bill Black Combo's "Smokie." It has a lot of Las Vegas about it, but not much magic.

Tejano Nights dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Herky jerky Latin chunk is the hallmark of this deliberate track. Too mechanical for my taste.

The Girl From Ipanema dotdotdot
Jazz (Instrumental)

The Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto's classic jazz hit "The Girl From Ipanema" gets a new face on with saucy sax work and a predictable rhythm track.

Meltdown dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Howling guitar in back and thundering drums drive this track. Its sound is quite unlike the rest of this CD, with a hard edge and tuff drums. Not melodic, but kinda pumped up.

Peter Gunn dotdotdot
Waterfront Jazz Rock (Instrumental)

Henry Mancini's ultra tuff "Peter Gunn" is delivered with a post beatnik groove and sensual sax. Quite a nice version of this tune.

Hot Salsa dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Hot Salsa" is a subdued heavy track. That many seem contradictory, but if you've heard it, you'll understand. Big power, but not loud. Heavy liquid bass and distortion with sultry sax. Pretty cool track!

Last Night dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Mar-Keys' "Last Night" is delivered unceremoniously. Pumped with energy, and sporting tinkly keys. A credible cover.

Tequila dotdotdotdot
Latin R&B Rock (Instrumental)

This is their BIG HIT!. It is a sax based number that was probably the frat house standard, long before "Louie Louie" was. The spoken "Tequila" at the end of the lines has become a standard of Latin party rock. Very infectious.

El Rancho Rock dotdotdot
Latin R&B Rock (Instrumental)

"El Rancho Grande" saxed up like "Tequila" with lotsa fun damped guitar rhythm work, and a honkin' good sax performance.

Chariot Rock dotdotdot
Latin R&B Rock (Instrumental)

Saucy sax, choked guitar, nifty percussion, and a melody line that speaks in whispers of "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" while sportin' fifties jammin' rock sensibilities. There are several musical reference to "Tequila."

Too Much Tequila dotdotdot
Latin R&B Rock (Instrumental)

This is one of several follow ups to their "Tequila." It is a sax based number, slower than it's inspiration, and with more of an "El Rancho Grande" sound to it. The guitar break is acoustic and quite nice.

Limbo Rock dotdotdot
Latin R&B Rock (Instrumental)

Billy Strange's "Second Line Limbo" is one infectious tune. It is incarnated via the Latin frill of the Champs for this entirely infectious 1962 hit. Except for the "la la la" chorus, this is delightful.

Midnighter dotdotdot
Latin R&B Rock (Instrumental)

Raw sax R&B based rock, pumpin' a party jam, drivin' the poodle dress crowd nuts. Fine jammin' dance tune from Champs.