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Felix predicts nice weekend in Madrid

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Felix Peralta is optimistic about this year’s Crawdaddy Blues Festival in Madrid. The lead singer in Felix y Los Gatos is hoping the weather will cooperate for the event.

“Last year it was a bummer because it was snowing,” he said during a recent phone interview. “We thought it would be a nice day and it didn’t turn out that way. This year is going to be better.”

Peralta said he met accordion player David Barclay about 10 years ago at a party. After playing for a while, the band formed about five years ago.

Crawdaddy Blues Festival
Featuring Felix y Los Gatos, Junior Brown, Broomdust Caravan, Todd Tijerina Band, Julie and the Jetz and Lightnin’ Malcolm
WHEN: Noon-7 p.m. Saturday, May 21, and Sunday, May 22
WHERE: The Old Coal Mine Museum, 2814 N.M. 14 in Madrid
HOW MUCH: $15 per day or $25 for both days. Available at the door

“This was about the time David bought an accordion and we started doing polkas,” he said. “Then I was in New Orleans and was influenced by zydeco.”

Peralta said the band now fuses polka, waltzes, zydeco and Tejano music. The band’s most recent album, “Green Chile Gumbo,” is a representation of that sound.

“It’s a mixture of our music being from New Mexico and New Orleans,” he said. “We just kind of free flowed and improvised the music when we recorded it.”

Peralta said the band will head into the studio later this summer to record a new album. It has plans to work with Blues Traveler frontman John Popper.

“He did a song with us on ‘Green Chile Gumbo’ and we’re asking him back,” he said. “It was amazing to have him on the album.”

Other collaborations include one with fiddler/violinist Ollie O’Shea.

“We’ve already got those tracks down and can’t wait for people to hear them,” he said.

Peralta said the recording process has gotten easier over time. Members know the sound they’re going for and they work together to achieve it.

“We’re all about collaborating together,” he said. “We enjoy making music and having that connection with an audience. It works because we all have the same goal.”

Peralta said the good thing about heading into the studio is that the band always records more music than the album needs.

“With the songs that don’t make the album, we end up doing a bootleg CD,” he said. “It’s something fun for the fans.”

Cutline – Felix y Los Gatos will head into the studio later this summer to complete its new album.