Mixing the familiar sounds of
Duane Eddy, and the
Los Straitjackets create their own version of energetic surf guitar twang
complete with Mexican wrestling masks. Los Straitjackets began in the summer
of 1988. Eddie Angel (guitar), L.J. "Jimmy" Lester (drums), and Danny Amis
(guitar) formed an instrumental trio called the Straitjackets, which played
local Nashville shows throughout the summer. After a six-year hiatus, the
Straitjackets reunited, added E. Scott Esbeck on bass, and changed their
name to Los Straitjackets. In November 1994, the band signed with Upstart
Records. They released their first single,
on Sympathy for the Record Industry in February 1995. In March 1995,
the band's first album,
The Utterly Fantastic and Totally Unbelievable Sound
of los Straitjackets, was released on Upstart. Since than the band
produced a set of albums with great guitar instrumental stuff as well
as well as vocal numbers featuring collaboration with
Reverend Horton Heat, Big Sandy, the Trashmen and many others.
dropped in 2006, followed by the all-star
Rock en Espanyol Vol. 1 in 2007.
Los Straitjackets get their primary inspiration from 1960s-era pop culture.
But as Angel explained to Curtis Ross of the Tampa Tribune, Los Straitjackets
find their musical passions excited by a wide range of artists and genres:
"Our tastes are all over the place, from The Sonics to Link Wray,
Henry Mancini to 'West Side Story.'" While their roots are firmly in the past,
they have not shied away from the present. The group produced an instrumental
cover of "My Heart Will Go On," the theme song from the movie Titanic, that
rivaled the pop passion of its original singer, Celine Dion.
Los Straitjackets have continually found new ways to expand their horizons.
Whether through collaborating with legendary artists such as Clearwater,
Link Wray, or The Ventures, or scheduling holiday cruises for their fans,
Los Straitjackets can be counted on to explore all the angles. At the
same time, their sound is a constant reminder of their rock and roll
roots and deep connection to pop culture. As Angel explained to Wirt,
"We're just fans of pop culture, whether it's rock 'n' roll, monster movies,
Mexican wrestling. It's just fun, pop culture stuff."
Musician Guide by Eve M. B. Hermann
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