By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
It's a family affair
What do the Dallas Cowboys and one of the area's hottest Tejano bands have in common? Not much, other than the fact that tackle Tony Casillas and local Tejano stars La Tropa F will be teaming up to provide a little night music, with the proceeds going toward needy area Hispanic kids.
The group--its name means F Troop in English--has been a major contributor to the Tejano music scene dating back to 1990, when they scored big with Mil Noches, its debut release. Although it has not yet crossed cultural lines, La Tropa F has gained national exposure through numerous Spanish-language TV appearances, including The Johnny Canales Show and Telemundos Padrisimo. In 1992, the band won the Best Local Conjunto award at the first annual Pura Vida Hispanic Music Awards, and then took the HMA's overall Best Conjunto award the following year. The group has also been honored by the Tejano Music Awards, taking the 13th annual show's Conjunto of the Year award last year. Several of its songs enjoy steady airplay on Fort Worth's La Onda radio favorite KICK (99.1 FM). Its debut single on the Hermanos label, "Que Me Has Hecho Tu," is receiving a positive nationwide response, and old favorites like "Tocando Puertas" and "Que Culpa Tengo" have proved to have legs in the fickle arena of Tejano radio as well. La Tropa F even delivers Randy Van Warmer's mainstream country hit "Just When I Needed You Most" with a special Tejano flair; the song has helped break the group nationally.
Look for La Tropa F to perform tunes from its latest release, Hermanos Esta El Fin, with the timing and precision that are the hallmarks of its live show. That almost foregone cooperation comes easily; La Tropa is a family act, composed of the six Farias brothers: Joe (bajo sexto and vocals); David (accordion and lead vocals); Juan (drums); Jaime (keyboards); Jesse (bass); Jesse Jr. (percussion), and Danny Farias, the group's manager. To see La Tropa perform is to observe a synergy of identities--as brothers, band members, and friends. Don't expect Tony Casillas to add to this synergy, though. He's lending his name and his face. Not his voice, thankfully.
La Tropa F plays Sunday, December 21, at the Bronco Bowl.