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Your essential 5 records for Cinco de Mayo

By: Eddie Bunker

These are 5 records to enjoy Cinco de Mayo along with some delicious tacos and tasty margaritas. Including music from Mexican artists and from other countries but every record is heavily influenced by Mexican culture and latin folklore.

Cool records to listen on Cinco de Mayo

  1. The Last Bandoleros – Live From Texas

Tex Mex / Rock band formed in San Antonio, Texas has been surrounded by diverse musical influences like Rock ´n´ Roll, Blues and Brit-Rock. They managed to emphasise on songs and songwriting creating a compelling, contemporary Tex-Mex sound.


2. Lila Downs – Al Chile

Lila posses a wide cultural vision formed by contemporary issues as well as ancient roots from Oaxaca, México. Her music reflects on affairs of political, social, justice and immigration repercussions rooted in the human conditions. Grammy-winning Lila Downs, is a must to jump a little closer to Mexican folklore, music and culture.

  1. Santana – Santana IV

Carlos Santana formed the Santana Blues Band in 1966 and it has been a long, prolific and successful musical journey. Born in Guadalajara, México, Carlos achieve to fusion latin music and Rock. It is inevitable to talk about how Mexican culture and music has contributed to the world without talking about Carlos Santana. Album IV was released in 2016 and reunited almost all of the original Santana members.

  1. Rick Trevino – Whole Town Blue

American country singer Rick Trevino emerged during mid-90s and racked various hits over the next few years.Trevino has charted a total of fourteen singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and recorded seven studio albums. His highest-charting single, “Running Out of Reasons to Run”, reached No. 1 on that chart in 1996.

  1. Beck – Guero

Beck is a composer, singer, multi-instrumentalist born in California where he gained his intercultural exposure, specifically with Mexican culture. His musical range is a very interesting collage of Folk, Punk, Pshychedelic, Funk, Rock, Hip Hop.

This Guero (which means blonde in English) album is very impactful and reached No. 2 on Billboard charts. His extreme melting-pot style was the type that only a gigantic, weird city like Los Angeles could create, and Beck capitalized on that opportunity at the exact right time.

Amazing and super fun record to listen to on May 5th

A little bit of history...

Cinco de Mayo is, indeed, a special day in México. It’s a day of celebration. But it’s not the celebration of independence. Actually, México, commemorates Fifth of May,  because in 1862 the Mexican army, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza, defeated the French army in the current city of Puebla de Zaragoza also known as Puebla de los Ángeles. That was the first time a Mexican army defeated a foreign army.

In 1860´s decade, México was economically damaged, socially fractured and had internal severe political issues. This after half century of internal issues, conflicts and constant civil wars. The government under president Benito Juárez was not able to face payment commitments to foreign countries such as France, United Stated, England and Spain. Due to this delicate situation, President Juárez decreed a two year extension to pay the foreign debt to European countries.

In 1861, England, Spain and France subscribed to the London Convention and promised to send soldiers to México to claim their rights as creditors for a debt that amounted 80 million pesos. So Napoleon III, ruler of France at the moment, decided to invade México to establish a monarchy favorable to Europe, stock up raw materials and claim the debt. Future plans to expand their imperialism to the United States were also in effect. To this end Napoleon had to dissolve Mexican government established by President Juárez

In April 1862 the French army invaded México and undertook the military campaign towards the center of the Republic. After several attacks, on May 5th the battle on the hill of Loreto, at which was a chapel equipped as a fort to defend the city of Puebla, took place. General Ignacio Zaragoza, commanding almost 2000 soldiers and 2,700 peasants, was the hero of the battle defeating the French army.

Mexican victory lasted not very long. A year later French army defeated Mexican army and took México City. Emperor Maximilian was installed and ruled for 3 years. Upon the conclusion of the American Civil War and facing a persistent Mexican guerrilla, externals threats to France and the prospect of a serious scrap with the United States, French emperor retreated in 1866. Was recaptured in México City along with Mexican generals and all were executed in El Cerro de las Campanas in the city of Querétaro.

As a funny fact about Fifth of May is that it is more popularly celebrated in the United States than in México. The day has become associated with the celebration of the Mexican-American culture. Today Cinco de Mayo generates beer sales on par with the Super Bowl. In Mexico, the commemoration of the battle continues to be mostly ceremonial, such as through military parades or battle reenactments. The city of Puebla marks the event with an arts festival, a festival of local cuisine, and re-enactments of the battle.

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