News Column

Singing to the same beat: A family band

August 4, 2014

By Marivel Resendiz, Kerrville Daily Times, Texas

Aug. 04--Jose Luis Villalobos' first musical performance was by his father's side at a local church. Together, they entertained churchgoers, as Villalobos played on the guitar and his dad played the accordion.

"It was what we liked to do," Villalobos said.

After several years of playing as a duet, two of Villalobos' sisters joined them, playing the drums and bass, making a complete band. The family performed locally for four years before they went separate ways.

"I liked it because we were a family, but I just keep going, playing by myself," Villalobos said.

Nearly 20 years later, Villalobos has formed another family band with his wife and children, and they call themselves Familia Villalobos.

The first member to join was his daughter, Myra, 17. At 12 years old, she was encouraged by her father to play the piano and learn harmonization. It came easy to Myra, who was influenced by her father.

"He made it look so fun," Myra, band pianist and vocalist, said. "I loved it."

Villalobos wife, Maria, soon found herself joining her husband and daughter. She didn't have any experience, but with some tips from Villalobos, she joined the others as the bass guitarist.

"I was just trying something that sounded good," she said.

Watching his family come together, Villalobos felt it was time to bring out songs he spent years writing but never sang publicly.

"It was one of my dreams to one day see my family singing my own songs," Villalobos said.

His youngest daughter, Monica, 13, presented her first composed song to her dad last year and has written two songs since then. She joined the group as an acoustic guitarist and harmonizer.

"He made it look so easy that I wanted to try, too," Monica said.

The family's youngest member, Jose Luis III, 10, has been with the band for less than a year and is the drummer of the group.

Lyrics are centered around family and walking with God. The group is a bilingual band, with Villalobos singing the Spanish-language songs, and Myra and Monica singing the English-language songs. Villalobos said the family has been "blessed" with gigs through word of mouth.

Familia Villalobos recently had a performance tour in the Dallas area and are now looking for sponsors to help the family perform full-time.

"This is something we really want to do," Villalobos said. "God has blessed us with one performance after another."


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Source: Kerrville Daily Times (TX)

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