Inspiration comes to us in all forms. For Gene Jaimez, growing up in Cotulla, TX, the inspiration came from the airwaves. Situated along the Nueces River in South Texas, Cotulla was in the perfect spot for Gene not only to listen to Conjunto music and pop and rock radio classics of the time, but it was also geographically set in the perfect spot so that ionospheric refraction allowed A.M. blues stations from Louisiana to reach a young Gene’s ears at night before going to bed. Who knew that heavily charged ions in the atmosphere over the earth’s atmosphere could bring such joy to a kid’s heart and inspire songwriting? And for Gene Jaimez that’s what it did and still does. Although Gene has played with a variety of bands of different genres, from Conjunto, (including the legendary Los Pavos Reales), to Tejano to Country and has paid his dues playing covers of the day as part of a house band for a nightclub at the Holiday Inn back in 1970s Laredo, Gene’s main musical inspiration is the Blues he grew up listening to and Funk Music he played with friends while living in Tokyo in the 60s. This Blues and Funk influence, along with his exposure to traditional Conjunto, Tejano, Rock and Funk is what has led to the creation of this Chicano Funk Rock project.
With the help of some friends and former bandmates, Gene Jaimez created a project called Mezquital. He took the demos out of the vault and revamped them with the help of Carlos “Chale” Castillo on drums and Ruben Ramirez on bass. The recordings were engineered by Carlos “Curly” Castillo who also helped out with percussion and guitar.
Gene has history with Chale and Ruben. Chale, with a Grammy recognition as a member of Little Joe y La Familia, has played drums for many years. He and Gene played the Laredo music scene together in a band called Belts and Buckles. Ruben’s relationship with Gene goes back even further. He was a very young bassist playing on an instrumental album by Gene’s band El Gusano called Fantasia del Barrio. Ruben has also played with Tejano super group Xelencia and still plays music as a member of his own Conjunto-Tejano band from Cotulla called Retama. Chale, Ruben, along with Curly, help Gene add to the recipe of some bluesy, funky, from the heart music that will create a feel-good vibe for anyone that listens.