Los Rieleros Del Norte

Los Rieleros Del Norte

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San Antonio's Los Rieleros del Norte, are -- along with Los Tigres del Norte, Los Huracanes del Norte, and Conjunto Primavera -- among norteño music's "Big Four." Ever since issuing their debut album, Leonel Garcia, in 1982, Los Rieleros del Norte have influenced the direction of the genre. While their writing and playing are steeped in tradition, their instrumentation isn't; alongside the rhythm instruments (bajo sexto, drum kit, and electric bass), the saxophone has often been used as the chief melodic instrument under the vocals. Adding accordion to the mix, Los Rieleros del Norte create a warm, danceable, abundantly romantic sound. Their songs "El Columpio," "Te Quiero Mucho," "Amor Prohibido," and "Copa Sin Vin" are considered genre anthems. Among their more than three dozen albums, Stampida Nortena, Prieta Orgullosa, and Aventura Pasada are universally regarded as classics. For their efforts, Los Rieleros del Norte have thus far earned three Grammy and Latin Grammy nominations, numerous industry and popular awards, and a star on the Las Vegas Walk of Fame. Despite key personnel changes, they continue to flourish with co-founder Daniel Esquivel (vocalist/accordionist) at the helm. In addition to their recordings, the band's videos have also racked up hundreds of millions of views. 2019's long-player Seguimos Firme, and its concurrently released non-album single "A Ti Mi Lupita," both registered in the upper rungs of the World Music Latin and Latin streaming charts. The band was also among the first wave of Latin bands to play the Coachella Music Festival in 2019. Bajo sexto guitarist Manuel "Meño" Lujan founded Los Rieleros del Norte in Chihuahua, Mexico in 1979, where he worked on the railroad with co-founding members bajo sexto player Manolo Morales, his two brothers, and vocalist Milo Menendez. When they decided to get serious, they relocated just north of the border in Pecos, Texas, rented a room for rehearsals, and hired more players. They signed to Joey International

in late 1981 and released their debut long-player Leonel Garcia in 1982. Accordionist Daniel Esquivel and his brother, drummer Alfredo, were invited to join shortly thereafter. While lineup changes were common and near constant during the early years, the arrival of lead vocalist Polo Urias in 1985 for Corazón Cerrado was perhaps the most significant. Over the next decade, they racked up more than a dozen hit singles, including "Amor Prohibido," "No le Digas a Nadie," "En la Puerta de Esa Casa," "Una Aventura," "Me Lo Contaron Ayer," and "Copa Sin Vino." Urias left to form his own band in 1995 and signed to Fonovisa. Interestingly -- and much to Urias' chagrin -- the label also extended an invitation to Los Rieleros del Norte, with Esquivel claiming the lead vocal role. The chart and sales success of 1996's Invencible proved Urias would not be terribly missed. 1999's "Te Quiero Mucho" was the band's first to top Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks chart. In 2000, Los Rieleros del Norte issued the gold-certified Prieta Orgullosa, and undertook their first coast to coast tour of the United States, where their music registered in cities with large Latino populations including Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. In May of 2002, while recording the album Aqui en Cortito, Manuel Morales fell ill. He was rushed to the hospital, and underwent major surgery for an undisclosed medical condition. It took him close to two years to recover, after which he left the band to go solo. With Esquivel at the helm, the band continued to rack up hits. 2007's Linea de Oro spent 26 weeks on the Top Latin Albums chart. That same year, Los Rieleros del Norte played mentors and counselors to saxophonist Keith Nieto and his two brothers (all former members of Urias' band), helping them create hitmaking ensemble La Maquinaria Nortena. 2010's Ni el Diablo Te Va a Querer peaked at number five and spent 24 weeks on the chart, while Ayer, Hoy y Siempre peaked at 11 in 2012. All tolled between 2003 and 2015, Los Rieleros del Norte placed five albums in the Top 200, and another ten on the Top Latin and Mexican Regional charts including Abriendo Caminos, Y Que el Mundo Ruede, En Vivo Para Ti, and Corridos y Canciones de Mi Tierra. The lineup eventually cemented with the accordion chair, and Lujan moving over to electric bass, with Eugenio "Pemo" González on sax, and Daniel's nephew Jose Luis Esquivel playing bajo sexto. Between 2003 and 2015, Los Rieleros del Norte placed no less than five albums in the Top 200, and ten more on Top Latin and Mexican Regional charts including Abriendo Caminos, Y Que el Mundo Ruede, En Vivo Para Ti, and 2015's

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