While Latin music artists based in metropolitan cities such as Miami, Buenos Aires, and Mexico D.F. get all the press, it is the Regional Mexican groups are the ones that actually sell records. Case in point, Ramon Ayala. For over 40 years, Ramon Ayala, also known as “El Rey Del Acordeon” (The King Of The Accordion), has been selling out arenas in both Mexico and in the United States. He has over 105 releases, most of which sell in the 250,000 to 750,000 units. He’s been in thirteen movies and is a multiple Grammy winner. During his sold out show at The Gibson Theatre on Saturday, Ramon packed his two-hour set with hit after hit and had the crowd singing along to every song. Ramon played a few Los Relampagos Del Norte songs, a group he had in the sixties with the late great Bajo Sexto guitarist & vocalist, Cornelio Reyna, before forming Ramon Ayala y Sus Bravos Del Norte in 1971.
I was a little lost at this show. I’m only familiar with the early Ramon Ayala solo work. It’s like if you went to see Merle Haggard but were only familiar with a couple of his songs. He played the songs I knew, such as "Un Rinconcito En El Cielo," "Chaparra De Mi Amor" and his version of "Golondrinas," all which I have on his Greatest Hits CD that didn’t leave my car's CD player for a month. Why was it in my car CD player that long? Because of heartbreak, that’s why. When the girl (or guy) you love doesn’t love you back, nothing is better than blasting Ramon Ayala and singing the words on the top of your lungs. When he went into "Chaparra De Mi Amor," I sang loudly with everyone else and relived that pain of rejection. It’s funny because the cause of my great pain and heartache was with me at the show. She is my girlfriend now. I think she takes great joy in remembering how much she made me suffer.
It was a good time. So many Mexicanos in one place and more Pelones than a Psycho Realm show. I also liked the fact that some of the male audience members had the same sideburns as Ramon. Now, that’s a tribute!