Los Lobos headline the annual east-side festival's main stage on Sunday, July 15. Info
The Fete De Marquette's music lineup traditionally emphasizes music from Louisiana and other areas of the former French colonial world, and this year has its share, from groups including Dwayne Dopsie & The Zydeco Hellraisers, Cajun band Feufollet, and Lafayette, Louisiana indie-pop group Givers. But the biggest musical attraction here is Sunday night's headlining set from Los Lobos. Founded in East Los Angeles in the early 1970s, Los Lobos draw from early rock n roll, country, blues, and a host of Latin American musical styles from cumbia to norteño. (There's a whiff of zydeco in there too.) Sometimes that means playing one of the above straight-up, and sometimes it means mixing a few of those things together.
Los Lobos' 2015 studio album, Gates Of Gold, captures a vision that's still growing and evolving. After working so long at the intersection of so many different musical traditions, the band is writing songs that feel both rugged and expansive. "When We Were Free" meanders through morose yet funky verses and lyrical guitar solos, pushing the band into gorgeous desert-psych territory. The title track's gospel shuffle underlies lyrics that evoke the mixture of hope and trepidation in the American immigrant experience: "Almost there and yet so far is where we'll find our home / So close but still so far are stories to be told / Which way do we go, can't say that I know." There's also plenty of fun here, on the prickly garage-rock of "Too Small Heart" and gritty blues of "I Believed You So," but the album is shot through with a sense that this wonderfully grounded, humble band is eager to reflect.
This year's Fete De Marquette also boasts a strong electronic stage, which you can read about in a separate preview. —Scott Gordon