With it being Cinco de Mayo, it seems like an appropriate time to post one of the only authentic Mexican records in the Old Time Blues collection (at least at the time of posting)—one of numerous such recordings made within the state of Texas in the 1920s and 1930s. I can’t provide much information about this disc, as it falls outside of my typical milieu, and I don’t really know what resources to consult, but I’ll tell you what I am able to dig up.
Vocalion 8470, in their “ethnic” series, was recorded on December 5, 1932 in San Antonio, Texas, probably in the Gunter Hotel, by the Cuarteto Monterrey (or in English, shockingly enough, the “Monterrey Quartet”). The full personnel is unknown to me, but instrumentation consists of mandolin and two guitars, though that would seem to make it a trío rather than a cuarteto. Vocals are by Daniel Flores and Andrés Herrera, who likely also play the two guitars. In addition to these two sides, they recorded at least twenty-four other sides for Vocalion. A Cuarteto Monterrey also recorded for Okeh in 1930 which sounds to be the same group, but given the rather generic nature of the name, I can’t positively say whether it is.
Flores and Herrera recorded two sides previously, “Los Desocupados” and “Los Toros Puntales”, for Victor Records in 1931, also in San Antonio.
Their first tune, “La Bola”, was also issued on Brunswick 41551, and was later featured in 1996 on the Smithsonion Folkways album Orquestas de Cuerdas (The String Bands) – The End of a Tradition (1926-1938).
On the reverse, the quartet plays “Mancornadora de Mi Corazón”. This tune has also had its time in the spotlight as part of the album Texas-Mexican Border Music Vol. 5 – The String Bands (End Of A Tradition).