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Rockin' Around the Block

Rocky Padilla's CD release party and debut live show in Pico Rivera is a huge success with the help of family & friends

By Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: April 12, 2017


Rockin' Around the Block


Music has always been a soothing tonic, a welcome distraction from the hectic pace and vicissitudes of life, and a memory maker as well as a timeless expression of art & life when done well.

Producing a successful live music show is as entertaining now as it has been for hundreds of years around the World.

That being said, it must also be considered that putting on a good , live music show with top notch talent that meets the above criteria is no easy task…but when things work out, the results can be marvelous!

Last weekend, popular L.A. singer, songwriter , and musician ROCKY PADILLA, well known as the "Legend of Underground R & B" added promoter & producer to his list of accomplishments by producing his first live music show with the help of family and friends at the A MI HACIENDA Restaurant & Night Club in Pico Rivera…and the results were marvelous!

Hosted by KUCR FM's Thee Angel Baby and DJ'd by yours truly spinning before & in between the cuts, the A MI HACIENDA was packed to capacity as the large crowd was privy to a great show, as Rocky unveiled the release of his 4th album/CD.

Opening the show was Rocky himself and the group that has pretty much helped his claim to fame around Southern California and the southern states, non other than good friend RAY CARRION and his LATIN LEGENDS All Star Band.

Featuring veteran artists Steve Salas on lead vocals, Ray Carrion on guitar & vocals, Bobby Loya on trumpet, Bobby Navarette on saxophone, flute and backup vocals, Gilbert Stokes on vocals, Tony Hernandez at keyboards, Mike Castanon at percussion & backup vocals, Victor Orlando at percussion, Wallace Walker at drums , brother Danny Padilla at percussion, and of course Rocky on bass guitar and lead vocals, "The Rock" put out the kind of dance-yer-assoff kind of music performance that he's become known for, as the Latin Legend All Stars proved once again why they have become one of Southern California's and Chicano Music's most popular draws, as the dance floor filled quickly and stayed that way…and Rocky's new CD broke the ice!

Next up, also announcing the successful release of their new CD, DOWN WITH 3, aka DW3, came on stage and gave up a stunning and electrifying performance as core members , Billy & Eric Mondragon, and Damon Reel, took turns "wowing" the crowd with their velvety voices, and along with their band, smoothly and masterfully
spread the Latin Soul-Funk-Jazz-R&B genre to a new live level.

Rocky joined them for their last three songs of their set, ending it with their trademark "Me & Mrs Jones/Fire & Desire" medley that had the ladies swooning & screaming on the dance floor!

After a brief intermission where I was able to play some Old School and Oldies but Goodies music requests that kept the Veteranos & Veteranas happy and dancing (and some were even smooching!), Brenton Wood came on to close the show to a still full house that stayed till closing.

Showing the style and charisma that has endeared him to the Chicano Music community for almost 50 years, "Mr. Oogum Boogum" sang and danced his way on stage to some of his most popular tunes that had many in the audience singing along, and also gave up some great cover renditions of Oldies, most notably the Flamingo's timeless "I only have eyes for you".

Noted in the crowd were a large contingent of members of the VIEJITO'S Car Club, who kept the dance floor packed with some very pretty ladies all afternoon long…and speaking of pretty ladies on the dance floor, it just ain't a party without San Fernando Valley's well known DANCING MARY kicking up the chancla and having a good time with everybody out on the dance floor.

Although I was supposed to be working the show, I couldn't help myself as I, along with brother East L.A. Revue Radio DJ Sugarbear, took to the dancefloor with our ladies and joined in on a great party when all the bands got the stage!

Afterwards, a tired but contented & smiling Rocky Padilla said "It all worked out…I was kinda worried for a minute…but it's always good to have family, friends, and supportive fans in the house! They got my back, make it worth the effort…this worked out real well…I gotta do this again!".

All during the show, Rocky and Host Angel Baby were more than generous with shout outs, birthday & anniversary well wishes, and Ray Carrion donated several tickets to his upcoming shows which were given away in raffles.

Ray Carrion adds "It's always so good to see a packed house where everyone's having a good time, and there's no problems or worries…except maybe running out of food & liquor (laughing). But seriously, the time & effort, the planning, the rehearsals, the promotion in getting the word out, selling tickets, dealing with the venue's, sound and equipment, interacting with as many as 20 or more different artists and their families, friends, and fans, setting up security and arranging for safe parking…and then finally performing the actual show!...it is a SERIOUS time consumer and hard effort..."

"I know Rocky's tired and glad it's over…but he did well…I know the feeling!".

..and so…the shows go on! See you at the next one!

About Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor:
Frankie Firme is the Al Capone of the microphone and the Hitman of West Coast Chicano Soul
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