by Chad Campbell, senior producer
So there I was, sitting at my desk, mired eyeball deep in the production of our documentary The Mirage of War: A Day in the Life of the Army’s National Training Center. It was very early in the morning, I was the only one in the office and I needed a little break from simulated death and destruction in the desert, so I started going through the stack of books and CDs that had been piling up on my desk. I got to The People by a new band called Rey Fresco and I was blown away by the sound.
I took off my headphones and turned up the speakers and smiled in amazement at the first two cuts. I immediately wrote an email to the publicist to arrange a chat with Bob. After sampling the CD, Bob’s review was “it’s different!” The lead instrument is a 36-string homemade Veracruz harp, plucked by Xocoyotzin Moraza (more easily known as “cho-ko”) who also has a degree in ethnomusicology from UCLA. Roger Keiaho is the lead singer. He’s from Fiji and brings raggae and R&B influences to the band. The drummer, Andrew Jones (also known as Jenkins) is self-taught and makes his own drums out of fiberglass. Shawn Echevarria is the bassist who as Bob puts it, “looks like a bouncer” but seems more like a gentle giant. The four members of Rey Fresco met and became friends ten years ago at Ventura High School. Click here to see a short video where they tell their own story. Rey Fresco’s CD has been playing in my car for six weeks now and I hope you enjoy the music as much as I do. If you’re still not convinced, check out the video for the album’s second track, All in Awe.