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Long Break Kept B-Side Players Inspired

Of the Oakland Press

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There was a six-year gap between B-Side Players’ last two albums, but the Latin rock group from San Diego certainly stayed busy during that time.

“We never stopped the recording process,” reports group leader Karlos Paez. “We’ve always just been in the studio recording and accumulated over 350 songs, so there’s a lot of unreleased stuff. That’s pretty much what got me a record deal, all the songs I’ve accumulated through the years.”

Signing with Concord Records, B-Side Players culled their new album, “Fire in the Youth” from that batch of songs, displaying a brew that stirs funk, reggae and Cuban Son flavors into the rock and Latino mix that’s at the band’s core. Paez, 35, says there’s also a thematic center to the album, hailing from immigration demonstrations he witnessed at California’s U.S.-Mexico border.

“We were doing a lot of benefits at those things,” Paez says, “and we noticed there were a lot of youth involved with the protesting. They were on the front lines. That was inspirational seeing that — just us getting older and seeing that the youth is involved in creating a better future.

“So on (‘Fire in the Youth’), a lot of these songs have that consciousness. It’s something we wanted to get out to the youth. Radio today is not providing that music ... that can support change and can support their revolutions. Hopefully this will help.”

B-Side Players, Salvador Santana and Cipes & the People perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday (Sept. 18) at the Pike Room in the Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw St. at Pike, Pontiac. Admission is $10. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.

Web Site: www.thecrofoot.com

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