The celebration for 100 Years of Texas State Parks picks up the tempo today with the release of the first single from Texas Wild, a genre-bending album featuring Texas artists covering Texas classics, with all proceeds to benefit wild things and wild places in the Lone Star State.
“(Hey Baby) Que Paso,” by Houston artists Fat Tony featuring Paul Wall, the first public taste of the highly anticipated album, is now available on digital music platforms today. To listen to the single, click here.
The original song was popularized by the Texas Tornados, a Tex-Mex supergroup that formed around 1990 and featured Texas legends Flaco Jimenez and the late Freddy Fender.
For the 2023 arrangement of “Hey Baby,” producer and Austin singer-songwriter Walker Lukens — who wasn’t born when the song was written — collaborated with members of Grupo Fantasma, the Texas Gentlemen, and Sir Woman, who take their own creative turns on other tracks of Texas Wild as well.
Lukens begins the track with stripped-down bass and drums, harder driving than the original. Soon after, the Song Confessional podcaster begins to layer in steel guitar and other instruments to build the full sound but — sorry, conjunto fans — said adios to the trademark accordion of the original. You won’t miss it for long, though, because when the beat drops, Paul Wall’s inventive rap adds a whole new element of storytelling that’s sure to make you hit repeat until you catch every word.
“(Hey Baby) Que Paso” is just the first of several single releases slated for Texas Wild, with a second single scheduled for release in June and a third in July, culminating with the digital and limited-edition vinyl release of the entire work this fall.
“Texas music has helped shape our inimitable spirit, just as the iconic landscapes of our Texas State Parks have inspired our last 100 years,” said Anne Brown, executive director of TPWF, Texas Wild sponsors. “In places like Garner State Park, music has inspired magical summer nights for decades; visitors have danced to Texas tunes beneath the stars at the historic pavilion since the 1940s.”
Texas Wild blends the traditional Texas mix of blues, cumbia, and country with unexpected modern flavors like hip-hop, R&B, and electronica.
“The two best things about Texas are its physical beauty and its music,” added Lukens. “This record, which was made by some of the finest musicians in our state, benefits Texas State Parks and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, who take care of our public lands. What’s cooler than that?”
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