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Rain, and a lot of it.

From November to June every year, Oregon and its green trees and rivers collect almost sixty inches of the stuff. From Labor Day to Memorial Day it’s a steady and depressing drizzle. Ironically, from one of the soggiest places in the nation, Eugene, Oregon, comes one of the best latin-style bands in the country: Los Mex Pistols Del Norte. Don’t think of cumbias, or “La Bamba”. Think of a raging bull with a matador in his sights.

Los Mex Pistols Del Norte combine elements of traditional Paso Dobles (music played at bullrings to reward the participants of the bullfight), Tejana, Conjunto, Banda, Ranchera, Norteno, Spaghetti-Western, and instrumental rock and roll to play to a wide variety of audiences, in a variety of venues-from Performing Arts Centers and Amphitheatres, to sports arenas, festivals, rock clubs, and schools. They have opened for several Grammy award-winning acts, including Los Lobos, Flaco Jimenez, Ozomatli, the Neville Brothers, as well as an assortment of other famous and well-established acts such as Pink Martini, surf guitar legend Dick Dale, rockabilly great The Reverend Horton Heat, and songwriter Jonathan Richman. The band also has played with famous Mexican acts such as Banda Los Lagos, and has won “battle of the bands” contests at latino festivals. They have also toured throughout the southwest and were flown to Asia for a series of performances in 2004. Music from the band’s cd, “Esta Noche We Ride” has been featured in 6 films, and one commercial.

Incorporating traditional instruments such as guitarronne, mandolin, accordions, trumpets, sousaphone, tympanis, and concert chimes with electric and acoustic guitars and drums, as well as an organ, it is no wonder Los Mex Pistols Del Norte can play with almost anyone; they simply have other acts out-gunned. With a quick shift of gears, Los Mex Pistols Del Norte takes you to a whole different planet.

Funny what a little bit of rain can do to some people!