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Review: DePedro Debut Album

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating





The Bottom Line

If you like Tex-Mex border music like that performed by Calexico, this is an album that you will savor. From surrealistic desert sounds through rock and blues, DePedro is ideal easy listening for a hot summer night.

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  • Sterling debut by Spain's Jairo Zavala (DePedro)
  • "La Memoria," "Don't Leave Me Now" standout tracks


  • None


  • Eleven tracks of Tex-Mex style border music from rock to ballads
  • Calexico performs as back-up band for some of the tracks
  • Released August 2009 by Ingrooves

Guide Review - Review: DePedro Debut Album

I downloaded and listened to DePedro not knowing anything about the artist and self-named album and from the first melancholy, discordant, sliding brass notes of the album opener, “Como El Viento” I thought: This sounds like Calexico, though maybe a little upbeat for that group.

I was both right and wrong. DePedro is Spain’s singer/guitarist/composer Jairo Zavala; he’s served as Calexico’s touring guitarist and Calexico returned the favor by acting as the back-up band on some of the tracks.

But Zavala’s credentials are quite a bit broader than his association with Calexico. The tracks on this album, his first solo project, were written over his years of writing and playing songs for Spain’s Amparanoia and Los Coronas as well as during his tenure as the front man and founder of rock/blues bands Vacazul and 3000 Hombres.

All of which explains the variety that's offered on DePedro. Mostly these are the sounds of Tex-Mex border music in various styles from the bluesy “Que Puede Hacer Por Ti,” the border rock of “Comanche” through “Te Sigo Sonando” which is reminiscent of a ballad ala Marty Robbins. There’s even one famous folk tune, “La Llorona” that Zavala sings solo to the accompaniment of a couple of guitars.

Three of the tracks are in English, the rest in Spanish. This album is a stellar debut for both DePedro and National Geographic’s new label, Nat Geo Music.

It’s not quite like anything you’re likely to hear in the current musical ionosphere but it feels like it is just the type of album that we’ve been missing.

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