Music

Los Tigres Del Norte’s Tribute Album to Vicente Fernández Is a Charming Homage

Lead Photo: Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla

Norteño working-class heroes Los Tigres del Norte pay a charming tribute to Mexico’s most iconic charro, Vicente “Chente” Fernández on Y Su Palabra Es La Ley: Homenaje A Vicente Fernández. Freshly off releasing their 2019 critically acclaimed album, Los Tigres del Norte at Folsom Prison Netflix documentary and live album, the San José family band deliver a heart-rending ode that consists of 14 Chente renditions and an original Tigres song on the closing “Un Consentido de Dios.”

“As Mexicans, of course, we have a deep respect for an icon as true as Vicente Fernández, and feel a natural connection to his music,” Los Tigres said, according to a press release. “Having been blessed to enjoy a friendship, it has been an honor to perform every song on this album and we believe it is a great fusion of his mariachi music with our Tigres style.”

Consisting of brothers Jorge, Hernán, Eduardo and Luis Hernández, including their cousin Óscar Lara, Los Tigres have been winning the hearts of millions with their cinematic corridos for nearly half a century. They immigrated to San José, California from Mocorito, Sinaloa and formed the band shortly after. Along with their ravishing falsettos and brilliant accordion riffage, their norteñas often detail historic events and social-political tensions that empathize with the immigrant experience on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. With over 50 albums under their belts, Los Tigres have earned five Grammy Awards, seven Latin Grammys and sold over 60 million records worldwide.

Also launching his singing career in the ’60s, Vicente Fernández Gómez began to showcase his unmistakable vocal chops as a busker in his hometown of Huentitán el Alto, Jalisco – the Mexican state that globalized mariachi and charrería, with much help from Chente himself. In fact, his ardent rancheras and mariachi music have become synonymous with Mexican cultural identity. They candidly illustrate Mexico’s fascination for all-things melodrama, passion and agony – even when at the pits of despair drinking those tragos amargos during a self-pitying rampage. Charming a myriad of ranchos (or small towns) and big cities the world over via his heady catalog, this cultural icon has sold over 50 million albums across the globe and continues to be widely recognized as the indisputable King of Ranchera Music.

On Y Su Palabra Es La Ley, the corrido storytellers of San José match hearts with El Charro de Huentitán via their gut-wrenching harmonies and heartfelt regional Mexican fusions. On their cover songs, they’ll occasionally swap blaring brass with accordion riffage, and navigate through banda, polka, baladas and mariachi with effervescent candor. The confessional “Acá Entre Nos” brims with spine-chilling emotion, and “Por Tu Maldito Amor” features horns that touch our soul. Lastly, their original mariachi song “Un Consentido De Dios” must be one of the most beautiful legends-to-legend homages made, where Los Tigres belt out, “Heaven gave you the talent, it put magic in your voice / You put in the feeling and also the heart… Without a doubt you are number one in Mexican song / You give yourself like no one else… You know how to shine when you dress like a charro / I won’t stop applauding for you to keep singing with us.”

Vicente Fernández retired from singing in 2016. Los Tigres del Norte are currently on tour.