Who is Beto?/¿Quien es Beto?
Beto was born in a small town located smack in the middle of a large urban city, in a hospital connected to a cantina. It was the middle of the night when most things are sleeping - except dreams and good conversation. Some claim it was deep in the Mexican frontera, although it just as easily could have been Central Texas. All we know for sure is that Beto was born from parents of contradiction... past and future, Mexican and American, hope and realism, tradition and pop. Mostly though, Beto was born from conversation.
Over the course of several months in 2002, Beto began as Sunday afternoon musings between four like-minded guys huddled in an Austin neighborhood kitchen and grew to a 5-piece collaborative that performs regularly around Texas. Beto now happily exists in that moment between music and people - a sonic conversation in and of itself. Like Son, a genre of traditional Mexican folk music, Beto's music aims for the heart and the head, realizing this primordial soup of people, feelings and music creates a special sense - el sentido del son where he can thrive, where he can walk... donde es ambulo...
Traveling between musician and audience, Maneja Beto is an extended conversation about communities, minds and hearts. In a sense, Beto is everyperson -- the musical and mental personification of a generation's ideas about their world and how they move through it. From the traditional sounds of Mexico, to the postmodern moods of brit pop bands, Maneja Beto produces sounds with no conception of borders, diverse and eclectic, accented by a political conscience, and a willingness to defy prepackaged genres, like Latin, traditional, pop, emo... lo que sea... they write songs that make you think, dance and feel - all at the same time. A crashing of influences, they revel in that difference and take pride in their creation of music that is altogether their own.
"But, Beto, what does it all mean," you ask, a look of concern and consternation across your furrowed brow.
He'll answer, "It's (son)ambulo."
It's that place where consciousness can dream and music reaches everything but your ears. Soneros, musicos, and poetas tell us that musicians have a responsibility to create opportunity in people's lives, an opportunity to celebrate, to create community, for justice, to dream... like you're sleep walking. If you don't understand, come around and see Beto. Dance with your eyes closed and your heart open. You'll understand soon enough.