Los Lobos | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader
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Nearly three decades in, Los Lobos have yet to make a bad record--quite a feat for a group that's put out more than a dozen. The worst you can say about this LA combo is that it occasionally lacks inspiration (see for instance the band's previous studio disc, 2003's The Ride). But they've consistently snapped back, and on the forthcoming The Town and the City (Hollywood), due out September 12, they sound as passionate and hungry as a band that's just starting out. A brooding meditation on life in contemporary America, the album touches on substance abuse ("Hold On"), the brutality of the immigrant experience ("The Valley"), and the longing for home and simpler times ("The Town"). Most of the tracks were mixed by Tchad Blake, the engineer who helped Los Lobos make some of their most brilliant albums, including 1992's Kiko and 1996's Colossal Head. Here he gives the tunes dense, richly detailed settings that neatly cradle the extended lyrical guitar work and David Hidalgo's exceptionally soulful, gentle singing. Jackie Greene opens. Thu 8/24, 8 PM, Pavilion, Ravinia Festival, Green Bay and Lake Cook Rds., Highland Park, 847-266-5100, $15-$45.

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