Rick Balderrama released his sixth album, Solo Tu, on his own label Chaz Records.
Rick gave insight on his father, Henry Balderrama, a Tejano legend who passed away in 2016. “(He) had a group called Henry Balderrama y La Patria back in the ’70s and ’80s,” he said. “My dad had a total of eight albums recorded and one movie soundtrack.”
Rick started performing with his dad at the age of 12, eventually singing at the age of 15. The horn section was important to Henry Balderrama. Rick played the trumpet, Rick’s brother Richie played the trumpet, Rick’s uncle “Red” was a vocalist and played the bass, Uncle “Stevo” was on keyboards and his uncle Jerry (who passed away in 1983) played the bass. A musical family, Rick was always amazed at how they put music together. After Henry slowed down, Rick took over the band.
I asked Rick how his slogan, “Tejano Ain’t Dead Baby,” came about? Rick laughed and said, “I was at a concert with some friends.” A guy went up to him and said, “Man Rick, Tejano music’s dead.” Rick responded, “Be quiet man, Tejano ain’t dead baby!” The friend gave Rick an excellent idea and suggested he make t-shirts with that slogan on them. After a few shirts were made and given away, people started requesting the merchandise.
A year ago, Rick released the single “Ay Una Solucion.” It is a song that helps find spiritual comfort during a worldwide pandemic. We all have been affected in one way or another by the pandemic. Rick has lost two friends. The single still resonates to this day.
Curious to know Rick’s answer, I asked him, “How do you think our Tejano genre can prosper?” Rick said, “It’s happening already. These ladies of Tejano music are just killing it. My hats off to them, because they are out there working, pushing, it’s moving up. Not to talk about the guys that they aren’t doing it or whatever but they’re just, their turn to shine but they are doing it. If they take over more power to them, Rebecca Valadez, Shelly Lares, all these, Di Marie just came out with a single.”
The new album, Solo Tu, from Rick Balderrama y La Patria was produced by Severo “Sevy” Contreras and the title track is the third single released from the album. Also to be added to the album is a classic that Rick sang at his father’s funeral, “La Barca De Oro.” The album is available on all digital platforms, at Janie’s Record Shop, and also this weekend in Las Vegas at the Tejano Music National Convention.
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