Mixing Cumbia, Ranchera, Rock and pushing the envelope of Americana giving it the flavor of Mexicana, Caguama will no doubt get you dancing. Originally from Santa Fe, NM, it was 2007 when Caguama became a full band in Portland, Oregon. Their rich sound continues to be noticed by music professionals and public audiences alike in ever-growing capacity, as is noted in the Feburary 3rd issue of Willamette Week.
"Caguama nails every beat of its seductive sound. But the band's not exclusive to the folksy, Spanish-language romanticism of its horn- and harmony-driven songs. Caguama's willingness to embrace tradition with guns and distortion pedals blazing marks the band as a rare blend of sweet and surly, a breath of fresh desert air." (Willamette Week Feb 2010)
Currently set to release their first full-length album, Caguama, (The Union Records), their self-titled debut consists of 11 songs ranging from the ballads of "Carolina," to the rock driven "Juarez Cowboy." "We wanted to put together a mix of songs that are consistent with the truth of our lives, and that's what people will hear." Bassist, Freddy Trujillo, says.
Caguama is looking to expand their musical horizons in all directions and will be touring through the Spring and Summer in support of their new release. Consistently playing shows throughout the Northwest has proven to be nothing short of excellent for these hombres as they have wowed crowds and gained a substantial following in recent years. This release will be supported by a massive promotional push via the label and its affiliates.
Originally, Caguama began out of necessity. Raul Ugalde (lead guitar and vocals) along with Antoine Erhardt (drums) ran an underground music venue in Santa Fe, NM and needed to fill a slot on a bill they had booked. They played their first show under Mexican wrestling masks at their own venue, concealing their identity from patrons, telling all to expect a touring punk band from Mexico. They only revealed their true identities after the sweat and heat onstage became too much under their masks. But their music that night overshadowed their theatrics – the response was immediate and electrified. Raul and Antoine realized this was not just a one-night gig but the beginning of something new.
The two soon moved to Portland, Oregon where the addition of Los Angeles born-and-bred Freddy Trujillo (bass) was nothing less than “the perfect storm.” Antoine befriended Freddy Trujillo (who was formerly of Federale with Luther Russell (Freewheelers), Jimi Bott (Fabulous Thunderbirds) and Marc Ford (Black Crowes)) at his new job in Portland. Freddy, at the time, was playing and recording with Ian Moore, Fernando, Luther Russell, Pete Droge, Elaine Summers, Mel Brown, and Curtis Salgado. Not yet fully acquainted with each other, Antoine began playing “Jefe de Jefe’s” by Los Tigres del Norte on the boombox at his new workplace. Freddy was surprised to find not only did Antoine share a similar love for traditional Mexican music but that he was in a band in need of a bass player with the sound he was looking for.
Raul had first asked Esteban Mendez (keyboards and accordion), a childhood friend from Ontario, Oregon, to sit-in on a couple special Quinceañera gigs when Caguama first moved to Portland. Now with Freddy as full-time bassist and a new established focus for the band, Raul asked Esteban to become a full-time member. Esteban’s addition gave the band the traditional accordion flavor they were wanting and solidified Caguama as the powerful Mexican rock quartet they are today.