Los Lobos rocking out for the kids
By John Benson
CLEVELAND (Billboard) - Los Lobos will release a children's album filled with Disney classics in November, a disc that fulfills the roots-rockers' contract with their Disney-owned Hollywood Records label.
"It was built into the deal, and we never got around to it while we were signed to them," saxophonist-keyboardist Steve Berlin told Billboard.com. "So, they gave us our release and then also gave us a budget to do this album."
The new disc features such tracks as "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" and "When You Wish Upon A Star," and some might be heard during the group's monthlong jaunt with Los Lonely Boys that kicks off on Friday in Portland, Ore.
"The kids record doesn't sound like a kids record. It just sounds like Los Lobos playing funky old songs, so I imagine over time we'll probably be integrating some of those songs (into the set list)," said Berlin.
This isn't the first children's album foray for Los Lobos, which not only released the critically acclaimed 1995 album "Music for Papa's Dream" but contributed "I Wanna Be Like You (The Monkey Song)" to the 1988 compilation "Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films."
As for working on a follow-up to its last studio album, 2006's "The Town and the City," Berlin said the band isn't in a hurry.
"The way we compose is, nobody writes anything until there is a rationale for it," Berlin said. "So, we're not really even in the planning stages, but we're still trying to figure out what a record means anymore. The one thing I can assure you is that the next deal will not look like the last deal we signed. We've been signed to one label or another for all of these years and we own very little of our own music."
He added, "I think whatever that next deal is, it has to come with our ownership. I don't think anybody at this point should carry on giving people ownership of the music they create. I just think that whole paradigm is dissolved, or it should be."
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