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Rock Pioneers Los Lobos Marking 40 Years

Los Angeles -- They are seen as the progenitors of Chicano rock `n' roll, the first band that had the boldness, and some might even say the naiveté, to fuse punk rock with Mexican folk tunes.

It was a group called Los Lobos that had the unusual idea of putting an accordion, a saxophone and something called a bajo sexto alongside drums and Fender Stratocaster guitars and then blasting a ranchera-flavored folk tune or a Conjunto inspired melody through double reverb amps at about twice the volume you'd normally expect to hear.

"They were Latinos who weren't afraid to break the mold of what's expected and what's traditionally played. That made them legendary, even to people who at first weren't that familiar with their catalog," said Greg Gonzalez of the young, Grammy-winning Latino-funk fusion band Grupo Fantasma.

To the guys in Los Lobos, however, the band that began to take

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