Recording for the first time in Spanish, David Beck’s Tejano Weekend just released their energetic version of the cumbia, “La Ronera,” a cover of the early 1990s classic from Tejano music icon Roberto Pulido. The single and video, which premieres on Tejano Nation, is part of a two-song release called, “Dos Exitos,” which also features the Ramon Ayala standard, “Un Rinconcito En El Cielo.”
David Beck handles vocals and bass for his Tejano Weekend, a group who thus far has recorded Tejano music sung entirely in English, and he said he was excited to record “La Ronera” in Spanish.
“That was one of the first Tejano tunes that really just floored me and got stuck in my head,” Beck said. “I’ve been listening to it for years and the melody’s been etched in my head, so I just had to get down to the details.”
The upbeat cumbia, “La Ronera,” is a song about a wild, rum-loving woman, and Beck’s Tejano Weekend captures the music impressively. For the vocals, Beck said he learned about the story behind the song.
“I worked with a translator in San Marcos to learn the translation of (the song), like the story…about his crazy girlfriend, which most people can relate to that a little bit somehow,” Beck said. “I like to learn the whole story of everything. It helps so you know where the song is coming from and know where to sing it from.”
Beck said he also got help on “quality control” from the wife of his accordionist, David Herrera.
As far as comparisons to the original, Beck said you can’t escape that when you record a cover, but that he hopes fans will hear and feel the love that they put into recording the song.
“Anytime you do a cover, by nature of a cover, it’s going to get compared,” Beck said. “We put a lot of heart and love into the song and that’s all we can really do. But I love the original. I’m excited.”
“This is another version that they can crank up and party to. It’s just one more version. This all came from a place of loving these songs. And it’s a way to connect to our audience, too, singing in Spanish, singing stuff they know. We’re just spreading the love around.”
David Beck’s Tejano Weekend will celebrate the release of Dos Exitos on May 14 with a performance at Austin’s Sam’s Town Point. Find out more on the group’s Facebook page.
A San Marcos, Texas, native, Beck first got turned on to Tejano music after seeing the video of the iconic 1995 Astrodome performance by Selena y Los Dinos. That was in 2017. Since then, the group released their first album in 2019, “David Beck’s Tejano Weekend Vol. 1.”
The two-song collection, “Dos Exitos,” released May 14 and contains “La Ronera” and “Un Rinconcito En El Cielo,” is available on all digital music platforms. “Dos Exitos” follows another two-song release that David Beck’s Tejano Weekend put out earlier this year, “A Tip of the Hat,” which featured songs from country music legend George Strait that they recorded Tejano style, including “Ocean Front Property” and “The Cowboy Rides Away.”
“David Beck’s Tejano Weekend Volume 2,” which will be entirely in English, will come out later this year. Beck was honored to have Tejano music pioneer and accordionist David Lee Garza record on a couple of the songs for the new album.
“We thought it was a huge ‘Hail Mary,’ like a ‘Hail Mary pass’ to see if he would even do it and he said, ‘yeah,’ so we couldn’t believe it actually happened,” Beck said. “Just getting to hear him play in the studio was…From the first notes that he played, we all just kind of yelled and ran around the studio and were like ‘Oh, my God!’”
In addition to Beck and Herrera, the rest of Tejano Weekend includes Dees Stribling, Drums; John Saucedo, Guitar; Peter Huysman, Keys; and Brian Donohoe, Alto Sax.
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