By Judy Cantor-Navas
February 17, 2015
Los Tigres del Norte
Album from inspirational Disney movie drops as Los Tigres tour the U.S.
The great Norteño musicians and immigration activists Los Tigres del Norte bring some authenticity to the just-released McFarland, USA soundtrack album. Los Tigres’ pan-Latin pride song “América” is featured in the opening credits of the film, which stars Kevin Costner as the coach of a scrappy high school team of cross-country runners in a California farm workers town.
The album dropped Tuesday (Feb. 17) in advance of McFarland‘s theatrical debut on Friday, Feb. 20.
Music from the film includes Juanes‘ previously released single “Juntos (Together),” an upbeat message vehicle with the Colombian star’s familiar rhythmic hook. Tracks from West Coast ’70s crossover band War (“Me and Baby Brother”) and Mongo Santamaría’s 1962 “Watermelon Man” contribute to a grooving barrio vibe that runs through the soundtrack, which is more thematic than it is a faithful recreation of the film’s ’80s time frame.
“América” was the opening track on Los Tigres’ 1986 Gracias!…América…Sin Fronteras, an album that went to No. 1 on Billboard’s Regional Mexican chart and won a Grammy for Best Mexican-American performance.
“From América, I am… The ones from the North say that I’m Latino,” the song says in Spanish. “They don’t want to call me American.” The song goes on to name check Latin American countries, negating the United States’ claim to the name “America.” In 2011, Los Tigres performed the song together with Calle 13 for their MTV Unplugged album.
“Our career is based on telling the stories that our people live,” Los Tigres frontman Jorge Hernández recently told Billboard.
Los Tigres are currently on a national tour, which started in the Northeast and heads to Florida this weekend. The band will later play dates in the Midwest, New Mexico, and Arizona. Los Tigres del Norte’s tour wraps up at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on April 18.