Let’s go down to Texas today for drinking song #9. In Heaven there is no Beer is an old polka. There are many many version from various countries, but my favourite was recorded by Flaco Jimenez on his fine recording Squeezebox King, in which he sings the tune in three languages. Here he is playing the tune live with Max Baco on Bajo Sexto.
Flaco Jimenez is the most well-known of the Conjunto button accordion players, at least in part because he has worked with pop figures like the Rolling Stones and Ry Cooder. I read an interview with him once in which he described what he played as simple music made to sound complicated. I think that comment applies to folks music from many countries.
Mr. Jimenez was also involved with a “supergroup” in the 90s that also featured the core of the Sir Douglas Quintet, Doug Sahm and Augie Meyers along with Tex Mex crooner Freddie Fender – The Texas Tornadoes. Here’s a fun polka that has a drinking component for Drinking Song #10. If you got the Dinero, I got my Camero…..we’ll buy some Cerveza, drive up the mesa, watch the sun go down.
Flaco Jimenez is the best name I have encountered in some time. You know I have to listen now.
Not only does he have a great name, he plays a mean squeezebox. His brother Santiago is a fine player too – I saw him and his band play in San Antonio a few years ago. These guys play Tejano – the border music of Texas. In Texas it’s also known as Conjunto and in Mexico, it’s known as Norteno, since Texas is the north. I confess I love Mexican polkas!