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Felix Y Los Gatos
Friday the 13th Sur Valle CD release
By Jenny Gamble
Felix Peralta is old school; and not in a clichéd, doing-it-because-it’s-cool way. It just is who he is and how he plays. Charlie Parker once said, “Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn.” That's the best way to describe Peralta and how he plays his guitar. Every song is a story, every chord an emotion.
Sur Valle richly recounts the stories of Peralta’s life growing up in the South Valley with his grandfather. “I started playing guitar when I was 8 with my grandpa, who played Spanish music on the accordion. That’s where my music comes from and where I got most of my inspiration.” To flush out the album, Peralta called on two more accomplished local musicians—Diego Arencon (drums) and Jon Gagan (bass). “I just thought, I'm getting older and I want to put out an album with the best musicians I can before they aren’t here anymore," Peralta says, citing the late Brother Dave from the Tempted Souls and his own grandpa Adan, who died in 2003.
Peralta says he's most influenced by New Mexico's culture, everything from the food to the women. He also delights in gypsy jazz great Django Reinhardt. “My music goes back to Django all the time," he says. "I like the way gypsies did their thing and then left on a whim, partied down and played another gig after that."
After a stint in San Diego rooms like the infamous Tower Bar (home of the 1/2 PBR, 1/2 Guinness "Pabst-Smear"), Peralta is happy to be back in New Mexico, the place that's defined him and his music so eloquently. And to his fellow musicians in the South Valley and elsewhere, Peralta has some of his own fatherly advice to share: "Give it your all, for sure. Keep jamming, no matter what people say about how bad your music sounds. Play from your soul and it will work.”
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