From the Label
Singer-songwriter-guitarist-bandleader-producer Ned Sublette is one of the most original figures on the New York music scene, and COWBOY RUMBA (PALMCD2020-2), his debut solo album on Palm Pictures, is equally, and exquisitely, unique. COWBOY RUMBA is just what the name implies: Ned's lyrics, compositions and vocals combine with a dream team of all-star musicians from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, the New York salsa scene and . . . Texas, for an utterly danceable ride.
COWBOY RUMBA combines the storytelling tradition of country lyrics with state-of-the-art Latin music -- salsa, timba, rumba, son and merengue. The unexpected musical fusion of COWBOY RUMBA features the hottest players in the world of Latin music, spun together by an ex-Texan who runs the coolest Cuban label in the US of America. Qbadisc, the label that pioneered the popular uprising stateside of the music in and around Cuba, is owned and operated by Ned Sublette.
The album features eight originals and two covers: a merengue version of "Ghost Riders In The Sky," co-produced in Santo Domingo with Ramon Orlando, and a hardcore rumba version of Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away" with the greatest rumba group of all time, Cuba's Los Muñequitos De Matanzas. The album's pantheon of heavy-duty guests includes Cuba's NG La Banda (the trend-setting band of the 90s in Cuba), Puerto Rico's Yomo Toro, and Texas's favorite son Lloyd Maines on pedal steel and dobro. The supporting players are a host of first-call New York musicians, most of whom have worked with Ned for years, including such luminaries as pianists "Professor" Joe Torres and young Cuban firebrand Lisandro Arias, bassist Ruben Rodriguez, percussionists Jimmy Delgado, Johnny Almendra, and Eric Velez, drummer Robby Ameen, and many more, with legendary salsa engineer Jon Fausty at the controls. And at the center is what one critic called "Ned's rich Texas brew of a voice," telling stories of drinking, cheating, and love lost and found with shout-outs to Havana and Albuquerque.