Can You Ever Think
BARELA! A powerful eleven piece HORN BAND POP/R&B that hails from the City of Santa Ana, Orange County, California proudly release their first CD! The CD displays BARELA's unique and powerful sound in their original music Their musical influences were the likes of, TOWER OF POWER, CHICAGO, AVERAGE WHITE BAND, EARTH WIND AND FIRE, CAMEO, CON FUNK SHUN, SANTANA, BEATLES, SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE, MAZE, MALO and the Los Angeles based Latin band TIERRA who continue to inspire the brothers. The brothers BARELA understood and undertook the challenge of performing music of past decades, but more importantly, the burden and dedication it would require of both of them to hold a band of this size together to achieve their dream of recording their original songs. It started in 1989 with Tony asking his brother Richard if he wanted to start a band. The answer was yes, with the agreement that they were not going to stop until they completed an album of their own material and that they were not going to be a top 40's band, but a powerful horn band playing the difficult material. In the beginning, this meant performing CHICAGO'S Carnegie Hall album and All of TOWER OF POWER'S Music! This later proved to be a great satisfaction and at the same time a huge nightmare! The nightmare for Barela was in the beginning performances when the band was young, taking on gigs when they were still on shaky ground and trying to perform these difficult tunes. It would not be rare to find Tony throwing up in one toilet and Richard in another before every performance. For many years before each performance the brothers would always wonder, who was going to make the first mistake? Since this was the period of hiring, firing, and just straight out losing musicians (and it happened a lot!) you knew the mistakes were coming! For the brothers trying to find eleven players who loved the music and who would sacrifice for the BAND was extremely difficult since the strength of Barela was it's dedication to performing the classics correctly and making their original CD with their talented friends as a BAND together and not as a group of studio musicians recording an album. Bart was a fantastic talent. He could play Santana with ease. In 1993 Bart left Barela to pursue a solo recording career in Hollywood and this left Barela with a large void to fill. After some years of playing with OK players and auditioning single facetted Lead Guitar players, Barela could still not find the total package: good attitude, committed, complete top player. In August 1995, the Band was introduced to a fine Lead Guitar Player named Chris Hodges. Once again the band was blessed by the introduction of this fine talent but more so, a fantastic and kind human being who lived and breathed music. It was quite evident from the beginning that Chris's strength was his ability to put the effort to perfect whatever he played and he did, from Santana to Earth Wind and Fire. In 1997 Chris, a talented jazz and gritty strong Blues player, surprised the band during a concert at the Orange Street Fair in Orange California performing Chicago's 25 or 6 to 4 guitar lead part. Chris mesmerized the crowd that subsequently lead the Fire Marshall to stop the show because the audience grew so big that they blocked all walkways to see Chris Hodges shred the guitar solo! It was one for the Barela books. Chris who now display's his own creative talent on the Barela CD is getting ready for the next one. In the early days, it was not uncommon for the Barela Brothers to play without being paid, in order to afford talented horn players that could play the difficult scores; the brothers began to understand that while some of these talented players were just straight Prima Madonna's the majority were just hard working musicians with music being their only bread and butter. The searching had to continue for the right players. As the Band improved talented horn players, who understood Barela's commitment and the real meaning of the word BAND (i.e. a group of musicians sticking together and moving forward in good times, hard times and bad times) a united band began to emerge. Beginning in 1994 with the Mighty Jim Crawdad Crawford a talented Tenor and Alto Sax player with an edgy and gritty style of playing, only matched his GRITTY, EDGY AND ROUGH PERSONA! Since the rhythm section through the years became used to horn players who were to cool for school and a little too sensitive to constructive criticism and dirty jokes, Jim could bring the entire band to a laugh with one dirty comment! Jim was a much-needed addition to the band a cross between an educated refined and kind musician to a hard charging bar player! Jim brought a balance to the band that was so needed and through the years has become loved and a reliable comfort to Barela. Jim performs a gritty Sax solo on the Tower of Power tribute song TOWER POPS. As Tony says, Jim is the man! In 2002, a talented Baritone Sax player named, Rial Gallagher, joined the band. Rial brought to the Barela table his years of experience in the professional field of the music-recording scene, which was still new to the band. A great sense of importance and urgency was revived by Rial to get the band into the recording studio and record Barela's original songs, which the brothers welcomed with great enthusiasm. Through the years Barela has never had the touring information or recording background experience that Rial brought with him. Rial, a hard hitting, bottom thumping Baritone Sax Player completes the Barela horns with knee dipping slams that Richard Barela drives on! In the summer of 2004 The Barela band was blessed again with the arrival of two excellent Trumpet players, Brian Mantz (1st Trumpet) and Carlos Villa (2nd Trumpet). The Barela trumpets, in the horn section, always fell just short of being able to hit the high C and hold on to it. These seats are the most demanding and hardest to fill in a horn section that love's performing Tower of Power music, especially Your Still A Young Man. The trumpet intro on this song always seemed to separate the good players from the great players, and Barela found two of the great ones. Both students from the great music program at Cal State Fullerton and both filled with energy now found themselves in a young horn musicians' rare opportunity, to be permanent players in an established POP R&B Funk and Soul band that carried a five piece brass section. But once again with each new addition Brian and Carlos stepped up and raised the bar and have completed this great horn section to complete the band today known as BARELA. The Brothers Barela hailing from Santa Ana, California, had music in their blood from the beginning coming from two musical families. Their father, Andy Barela, played guitar in Trio's during the 50's in Santa Ana Bars, Church revivals, and a number of times on the radio at the KWIZ radio station in Santa Ana with Trio Embajador. All of Andy's brothers and sisters had beautiful singing voices especially his sister Dolores who could sing Angel Baby so perfect and beautiful but stopped short of pursuing a professional singing career due to the times. The Brothers' mom, Annie Barela, loved music and is still the Brothers' biggest fan and supporter of her sons. Growing up Annie always had music in the Vargas home, and the strength of that music was Richard and Tony's grandmother Sally. She loved music and would support any of her family who played an instrument from the guitar to the accordion. For the brothers, spending the night at their grandmas was their joy and twice as fun if you got to sleep in grandmas room so you could bother her until she threaten us with a beating by broom or varra! But once Grandma Sally knew that her kids and grand kids were in bed asleep or thought they were, it was not uncommon to find her with her head under the blankets with a tape recorder, flash light, paper and pen writing lyrics from the Mexican music she loved. Grandma Sally would do this so she could sing these songs with her sister Antonia Serrano, being accompanied by her Son in law Andy Barela and Richard and Tony's Nino, Victor Mello on the guitars when the families would get together for camping at the La Jolla Indian Reservation which she loved so much. During the 1960's, Richard and Tony were greatly influenced by their Uncles the Vargas brothers. They would sneak into the back room at their grandma Sally's house and watch them rehearse in their band and every chance they got during the bands breaks Richard would sneak onto the drums and Tony would grab a guitar until they would get screamed at to get the hell off the equipment. To the brothers it was the greatest. This was when the Mid-niters were coming out. The Brothers first attempt at a band was in the early 1972. There grandma, Sally, would let the brothers sneak out there uncle's equipment from the shed with a promise that they did not say anything and put it all back before their uncles got home. Their song line up at the time comprised of three songs Born on the Bayou by Credence Clear Water Revival, It's Alright by BJ Thomas, and Them Changes by Buddy Miles and that was it! Over and over! Until their Grandma got tired of the same music and told the brothers and their cousin Gilbert Magana (Keyboards) they needed to put the equipment away because She didn't want them wasting the equipment ! To the Brothers it was funny. Their Grandma Sally was the beginning of the bands for the Barela Brothers and Vargas family. This Album is dedicated to her Celestina Jacobo Ramirez (Sally or Granny). From Tony and Rich: We are proud to have finished what we set out to with our friends Andy Nemchek, Armando DelaCruz, Carl Nelson, Chris Hodges, Greg Haake, Jim Crawford, Brian Mantz, Carlos Villa, and Rial Gallagher. To us this is what it's all about in music. When we think of the good times and hard times we went through during our16-year run as brothers performing in a band together, the paths we've crossed and the people we've met we are blessed, especially for the opportunity to have met or enjoyed the music of brothers doing music together, we have a great respect and can appreciate their accomplishments. During the building of this band we have fought with each other, drank with each other, fought for each other and always took care of each other. But best of all we got to play music together as brothers. Much respect to the other brothers; Henry, Jojo and Ringo Garza of LOS LONELY BOYS Maurice and Verdine White of EARTH WIND AND FIRE Carlos and Jorge Santana with SANTANA and MALO Billi and Eric Mondragon with DOWN WITH THREE Bruce and Artie Soto with SOTO Ruben and John Aceves with SOUL INCORPORATED Rudy and Steve Salas of the SALAS BROTHERS Rudy Salas of TIERRA And to all the other brothers who we did not mention We hope you all enjoy the CD! Respectfully, BARELA.