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Miguel Govea: Reviews

LOS COMPAS

“One of the hardest working bands on the San Francisco scene, Los Compas is led by Miguel Govea – one time member of the seminal Chicano New Song band, Los Peludos - who has shaped a sound that embraces the diverse musical cultures that make up the Bay Area Latino community. Cumbias, merengue, Tex-Mex, salsa, Latin jazz…”no se rajan” (they do not shrink) from any musical challenge… - Latin Beat Magazine

“The repertoire of this San Francisco group is a true ‘salsa’ of Latin musical styles. Come dance to the beat of this hot band. – Jazz in Flight, Oakland, CA

“No band all day had more people dancing than Los Compas.” – San Francisco Examiner

“Los Compas are sure to pump you up!” – New Bernal Journal

“S.F.’s most widely booked Latin band, this 10-piece orchestra specializes in pan-Latin dance music, including salsa, merengue, cumbia, danzon, mambo, and bolero. Los Compas’ live show transforms even the most inhibited two-left-footer into a steamy Latin dancer. – S.F. Weekly

“We just wanted to say thanks for making our wedding a smash hit! Everyone was asking us ‘Where did you find this great band?’ You gave us a great show!” – Nancy Lee and J.R. Walker, San Francisco, CA

“If you want some music that will liven up your next party, then ‘Pachanga!’ is for you. The long awaited CD by Los Compas is truly a treat.” – El Tecolote

“Thank you so much for doing such a great job at our event. Your performance was amazing – a real hit!! We thoroughly enjoyed working with you and we’ll be sure to pass on the name ‘Los Compas’ anytime we hear someone’s looking for a great band.” – Asian Neighborhood Design staff, board and volunteers, San Francisco, CA

“Los Compas – the Mission District Afro-Mex band that plays everything from Mexican polkas to Dominican merengue to Cuban chacha to authentic Colombian vallenato-style cumbia, led by acclaimed Bay Area squeezebox king Miguel Govea, whose work has graced albums by Los Cenzontles and Dr. Loco’s Rockin’ Jalapeño Band.” – San Francisco Bay Guardian

“I wish to express my most sincere gratitude for your participation in the reception of Dr. Leonel Fernandez, President of the Dominican Republic in San Francisco on September 29, 1999. Your masterful rendering of the traditional Dominican Perico Ripiao, executed on the button accordion, provided one of the most memorable moments of the entire visit.” - Manlio Dorrejo, Dominican Consul, San Francisco, CA


FAMILIA PEÑA-GOVEA

“Stone cold conjunto norteño” – San Francisco Bay Guardian

“The family that plays together stays together. This is certainly true of the Peña-Govea clan in the San Francisco Mission District. In the last two years, they have become a cultural force in the Bay Area, performing traditional accordion based Mexican and Tex-Mex music. Performances…have brought them word-of-mouth acclaim. The spark propelling them is their talented daughter René, an accordion prodigy. On this recording [Rene at 15], she shares vocal duties and plays great button-row accordion on classic songs such as Los Laureles, Pajarillo Barranqueño, Atotonilco and other dusty oldies. Joining her on guitarron is her dad, Miguel Govea, who leads the popular local band Los Compas, and her mom, Susan Peña, on bajo sexto guitar. Her aunt, Irene Perez, sits in on trap drums and completes the family affair. As soon as you hear René play, you realize there is something extraordinary as she rips out clearly executed conjunto riffs with the nuance of a Flaco Jimenez. - Latin Beat Magazine

"A nice breath of fresh air for our woefully understocked Latin / Mexican music section, this cd features Rene Pena-Govea and her family; Rene plays button accordion and sings, while her parents supply back up vocals and pluck the guitarron, sexto, etc. Father Miguel leads the city's most popular Latin music group Los Compas, who are equally adept at cumbias, merengue, Tex-Mex, salsa, Latin jazz, and more, but this here record is a smaller and more intimate affair. As Chuy Varela said in a recent Bay Guardian review, "Rene is demonstrating some serious talent on the squeezebox. If corridos and dusty border classics are your thing, don't miss this one." Fifteen year-old Rene, we should point out, is also a seriously talented lyricist, given to such evocative and strongly worded phrases that translate as 'Our naughahyde dreams / of completely lucid identities / are impossible. / Camote and sweet potatoes with marshmallow. / We slip laughingly through the lines of racial prejudice. / The oregano and epazote of our existence / tinging the pale palatability of others.' Wow!" - Aquarius Records record review

Cotati Accordian Festival. Most of the people present on Sunday, August 28, 2005 probably came to see Flaco Jimenez, but from that day forward most people will come to see Rene. Her love for the music and the instrument she plays was palpable.
Since Sunday I've had the opportunity to tell friends, neighbors and relatives about your family's performance. Believe me my enthusiasm has not waned. I could go on and on about what the audience saw and felt when René picked up the accordion. Call it fate - call it destiny, but every once in a great while, when an artist and instrument come together, both are transformed and the audience is treated to magic. John Coltrane/Tenor Saxophone, Jimi Hendrix/Guitar and Yo-Yo Ma/Cello come to mind. To that list I add René Peña-Govea and the Button Accordion. Bravo! Bravo! Viva La Familia Peña-Govea! Thanks again, Mike Smith, Fresno 9-2-05

Dear Mr. Govea, family, and musical associates - I had the pleasure of seeing (and more so, of hearing) Los Compas at the Cotati Accordian Festival some years ago. Saturday I had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Govea perform on Trumpet, as well as accordion and bass, at the Tradewinds Bar in Cotati, with some members of two other bands. It was a rare treat. On Sunday I was expecting to see Los Compas at the Accordion Festival, but was very pleased by the performance of La Familia Govea - Pena, which was the favorite one of that day for both my wife and myself. Thanks for your dedication and devotion to this music, and for passing it along to your children. We appreciate that many of the songs you play are cultural and artistic treasures, and it is our good fortune to hear you play them so beautifully. Best Regards, John Aycock
Petaluma, CA 8-29-05

Dear Pena-Govea Family,
For our family your performance on Sunday was the highlight of the
Accordian Festival, and one of the best we've heard in the 12 years
we've been going to this wonderful get together. You have a great fan base here in Sonoma County, so come on up whenever you get the chance and we'll be there with our dancing shoes. Thank you so much,
The Denevan-Lynch Family 8-29-05