Tuesday November 4 marked a little reunion of sorts as I played with Olmeca, whose group includes Gomez Comes Alive! on bass. This was like a microcosmic Slowrider reunion, even with a Slowrider song being played, Con Respeto. It was great to hear that Olmeca has stayed very true to his aesthetic of hard-hitting, political, bilingual hip hop and it was great to experience the group from the inside out.
Due to a family emergency for the group's guitar player Alex Hernandez I was asked to fill in at the last minute so the set was very abbreviated. This was a concert that was part of the 21 Day Fast for Human Rights encampment and march at Olvera St. The march was today, with the hunger strikers breaking their fast as well. Although the weather was cold and we had to compete with election day, it was a good set. Olmeca started by rapping to a backing track, to which Gomez and drummer Josh Duran joined in. From there I joined in on The Product (a song to which I contributed to originally), Batalla, Remember Your Foundation (on which we were joined by singer Laura Rann), and ending with Con Respeto. I felt good about the set, at the very least making it possible for the band to be part of the event in Alex's absence.
It's after a gig like this that I reflect on how music and life can take us all in different directions, but we'll often return to a core or center, if only briefly. With Gomez, Olmeca and myself I believe that core exists strengthened by so many years of playing, traveling, and spending time together.