Making music is nothing new for Mark Padilla.
As the owner of Lesmen’s Pro Audio, Lighting, & Video, he has done his share of mixing, engineering and performing on other musicians’ recordings. Until now, he has not released an album of his own. Padilla recently released “Songs From the Heart,” featuring 18 tracks of original music and some reworked covers.
“There’s some blues, there’s a little bit of jazzy stuff, there’s a lullaby on there that’s beautiful, some slightly Latin flamenco stuff,” Padilla said. “There’s a bunch of stuff, some rock. There’s a lot of good stuff.”
One of the songs, “Quarantine Love Song,” was inspired by the current pandemic. His song “”Cancion Para los Padres” was written about 30 years ago in honor of his parents. The other original songs were written by Padilla in the past two years. The music was recorded at Moonlight Recording Studios, inside Lesmen’s.
“All the songs, I played guitar, keyboards, percussion,” Padilla said. “… There were horn players, but I added them in. But I played all the percussion, I did on the keyboard, and I did some cajon, some live percussion on cajon, and all the guitar parts. The bass parts I played on the keyboard, except for a few songs I had a real bass player come in.”
The project took about a year and a half to complete.
“It’s just one of those labor of love projects,” Padilla said. “You know, kind of work at night, finish it up and say I want to put it out finally, let people hear it.”
Padilla, who is a past New Mexico Music Hall of Fame inductee and now the organization’s president, arranged all the music for “Songs From the Heart” and invited local and national singers to participate. The featured vocalists are Delphia, Kevin Pollock, Vicente Griego, Freddie Chavez, Morris Huling and his rapper son Dillon Huling, James Douglas, Deborah Solis, Michelle Mares, Marisol Flores, and Gil Garcia. Guest musicians include drummer Gary King, Sal Garcia and Pablo T. Chavez on sax, bass players Milo Jaramillo and Gabe Guzman, Chris Cordova on piano and Tony Lujan on trumpet.
“Songs From the Heart” can be found in digital format on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube and the Google Play Store. CDs are available at Lesmen’s and La Mexicana restaurant. Padilla has also done 12 music videos in support of his new release. The videos can be viewed on YouTube by searching “Lesmens Proaudio.”
Proceeds from “Songs From the Heart” will be donated to the Lexiam Heart Foundation. Padilla chose to contribute the profits in recognition of his grandson, who was born with half of a heart and has undergone several surgeries since he was a few days old. Padilla wrote the song “Theo’s Lullaby” for his grandson after learning of his heart condition. Delphia lent her vocals to the song, and Kevin Pollack helped write lyrics.
“He’s doing good,” Padilla said of his grandson. “It’s a tough heart condition. Too bad he has to go through that, but he’s a good kid. I wrote that song for him, and it did well on the radio, and that’s what triggered me to play more music.”