Trials and Tribu-lations

Austin-based salsa orchestra marries ghetto funk with barrio spice

It's McIntosh--writer or co-writer of most of the tracks--whom Sosa refers to as the band's "saving grace" on the record, bringing in both his songs and his jazzier, Count Basie-style influence.

As for Sosa's other band, let's just say the Scabs may have been picked for the last time. The critical acclaim for Schneider's Lonelyland has put his solo career into orbit. It also doesn't hurt that Schneider's girlfriend is an Austin resident and actress by the name of Sandra Bullock. (Hey, remember that Lenny Kravitz first won fame for dating a Cosby kid.)

In typical fashion, Sosa's wasting no time. La Tribu has already toured Europe, including a concert series in London's Hyde Park, which featured acts ranging from Radiohead to Sting to Tom Jones. Singer Arteaga continues to visit Cuba and build friendships with members of the Buena Vista Social Club. And the band has begun putting together material for the second record, which Sosa hopes will feature guest appearances by Schneider, Kim Wilson and guitar whizzes Ian Moore and Eric Johnson.

"The next record will be more song-oriented," he says, hinting at a less overtly straight-Latin approach. "The band is still trying to find its identity," he says with a laugh.

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