Bajo sexto master Max Baca, cut his teeth with the hit-making, crossover band The Texas Tornados, founded GRAMMY award winning, Los Texmaniacs in 1997. He sought to form a group that espoused the traditions of Tejano music he grew up with and combined them with elements of blues, rock, country and jazz. He enlisted his nephew, Josh Baca, a highly skilled accordion player who, on Max’s urging, absorbed the fundamental style and repertoire of the deep Conjunto tradition – old-time Tejano polkas, redovas, chotises (schottisches), waltzes and huapangos – to create what Josh calls his “Texas gumbo – my own posole” (Mexican hominy soup).
The Bacas added drummer and multi-instrumentalist Lorenzo Martínez, who brought to Los Texmaniacs a style that incorporated both Mexican and Chicano cultures as well as American grooves (he’s a hardcore James Brown fan). Next came multi-instrumentalist Noel Hernández, who developed his skills as a performer deep in the heart of conjunto country in the Rio Grande Valley. Hernández’s virtuosic abilities and vast musical heritage made him a natural fit.
Los Texmaniacs is quick to point out that Cruzando Borders, their third album for Smithsonian Folkways, is more than music; it was crafted to send a message. Prompted by negative public rhetoric about the U.S.–Mexican border and Mexican culture, and inspired by the transcendent brotherhood and exquisite beauty of the border life they have experienced, Los Texmaniacs have created an album that asserts pride in both their native Mexican culture and U.S. nationhood. This CD is the follow up project to their GRAMMY-winning CD - Texas Towns & Tex-Mex Sounds which was influenced by sounds of San Antonio, Laredo, El Paso, Corpus Christi, Seguín, and other Texas towns.