Last night at Slim’s was the first Headline show for my beautiful friend Blanca Sandoval. I was worried about how she would hold up because I knew that she had been sick since Wednesday. When I greeted her on the sidelines, she gave me a hug and I joked with her about how hot she was (probably a slight fever and just plain ass nerves). I wished her luck and went back to being a social butterfly…hanging with members of La Ventana and meeting some great new friends. The first act up was Secrecy, who I’d never seen and was unaware that they were an R&B Band and featured my friends (and Latin Rock greats), guitarist Johnny Delacruz and conguero Delbert Ojeida. Since R&B ranks right alongside Latin Rock in my favorite music genres, I was not disappointed. Great vocals with a Latin beat thrown in were a great combination. Next up was En Vivo, and although several of their songs were Santana covers, I was pleasantly surprised and at times it reminded me of versions Santana played on the Sacred Fire-Live in Mexico City DVD. They did a fantastic version of Samba pa Ti taken from that DVD. Then…up comes Blanca, who was introduced by Dr. Rock (Bernardo Gonzales) as the “Sweetheart of Latin Rock, Inc” and I couldn’t agree with him more. I was amazed at her following, including children who sat on the floor in front of the crowd. You could tell that she was not feeling well, and after her opening song she announced that she’d been sick all week and that her voice was a little hoarse. As she went through her songs, her energy seemed to pick up and at one point requested a cough drop, bass player Oscar Tablada came up with one, another was delivered by someone in the crowd. During her performance, Blanca continued to smile and belt ‘em out, I was amazed at her composure and self-confidence, she had only one thing in her mind…give her fans a great show. In between songs, she was sipping from a bottle of water and something else I couldn’t identify, she later mentioned it was olive oil (Yuk), but it did a great job of keeping her vocals oiled and alive. I had only seen Blanca once before and would not have missed her first headline, no matter what the reason. I was not disappointed with Blanca and her band and will make it a point to go to all of her shows. Blanca, my dear…You are a Real Trooper. Bob Sandoval

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My Boys in BLANCA

Mike Juarez, Oscar Tablada, Robert Zamora and Blanca Sandoval.

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