Luis y Julián

Nuevo Leon, Mexico's Luis y Julián Garza Arredondo are a prolific, charting sibling corrido act who have been recording and singing together since the early 1970s. They have released over 80 albums since 1975. Both men began composing corridos during their adolescence. They participated in a 1972 song competition and won. Luis' "Canto a la Villa" has since been registered in Nuevo Leon's historical annals. Despite winning the contest, the pair's true ambition at the time was to write for other singers. They took their songs to Carlos y Jose, who turned them down; instead, they were encouraged to record their songs themselves. Carlos Salazar was especially supportive. When the duo couldn't find a label to record them in Mexico (rejection from Discos DLV was a bitter disappointment), Salazar took them to Texas, where they recorded their initial singles for the Alto label. They were accompanied on accordion by Lupe Tijerina of Cadets de Linares. Upon hearing the singles, DLV's canny label boss Basilio Villareal realized his initial mistake in turning them down and saw a unique opportunity. He approached Luis y Julián with a contract and they signed. In all, the duo cut 12 albums for the label between 1975 and 1982 before leaving to record for a series of labels -- both independent and major -- including Falcón, Gas, Zarape, Joey, Viza, Ramex, DMY, Musical Sonitus, Roma, LyJ, TH-Mex, Fonovisa, and Disa. Their hits include corrido classics such as "La Venganza de María," "Tres Tumbas," "Pistoleros Famosos," "Nomas Las Mujeres Quedan," and "Misa de Cuerpo." The band's songs were licensed for dozens of Mexican films, and their tours became the stuff of legend as they filled arenas across Mexico and the Southwestern United States. Their music influenced generations of Mexican Regional Artists who followed, and their songs are still often covered -- even by the alternative corrido artists. In the 21st century, the duo made the charts in the U.S., while 2005's La Mejor...Coleccion, Vol. 1 and 2011's Corridos del Puritito Norte both scored prominent places on the Latin Albums lists. Though the duo slowed down a little in the second decade of the 21st century, Luis y Julián remain prolific, issuing at least two albums per year. In 2016, they released Los Consentidos de Nuevo Leon and Corridos y Rancheras (as well as two compilations), and the following year a pair of split albums with Carlos y Jose -- Duelo de Leyendas and Norteñas Llegadoras (the latter also included tracks by Adolfo Urias). ~ Thom Jurek

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