Louie Ortega

Although best known nationally and internationally for his unobtrusive yet fortifying guitar licks and the warm, smooth vocals behind such groups as the Sir Douglas Quintet and the Texas Tornados (Freddie Fender, Flaco Jimenez, Augie Meyers and Doug Sahm), Louie Ortega can and does stand on his own as a singer/songwriter/guitarist.

With a career spanning more than three decades, Ortega got his start in 1969 as the front man for Columbia and Atlantic recording artists Louie and the Lovers. When the group disbanded, Louie joined forces with his friend Doug Sahm for a series of recording projects and European tours. His songs, such as "Little Georgie Baker" and "County Line," were mainstays of the group’s releases on Sweden’s Sonnet Records. During this period, Ortega also quietly pursued a career as a solo performer and songwriter in his hometown of San Luis Obispo, California.

From 1989 to 1996, Ortega toured extensively throughout the U.S and abroad with the Texas Tornados. His performance and translation of  "Soy de San Luis" on the group’s first album helped secure the band a Grammy in 1990. Their CD Four Aces, released in 1996, features two of his compositions, "Amor de mi Vida" and "Mi Morenita."

He has performed with the newly revitalized Sir Douglas Quintet (Doug Sahm, Doug Clifford, Augie Meyers and John Jorgenson) on Elektra Records. He has also released two solo CDs: You & I and In My Heart, featuring a collection of well-crafted tunes that demonstrate Louie Ortega can take front and center stage with the best of them.

 

Reviews

"He’s got a hauntingly sweet voice, the perfect vehicle for his smartly written songs about love and life...  Im giving this CD my highest recommendation. It hasn't left my CD prayer since I got it. Run, don’t walk to the nearest record store and pick up your copy. "

Strictly Starkey
New Times
San Luis Obispo, California

 

The arrangements have more chardonnay sweetness than salsa bite, but Ortega’s smoky, soulful vocals save the album from slickness, and his writing reflects superior craftsmanship. Opening the album is "County Line"‘, a song the Sir Douglas Quintet borrowed as a highlight of its recent reunion album.

Don McLees
Austin American Statesman
Austin, Texas

 

Albums

 

 

Rio Salinas

In the ’60s, a new form of music was changing an entire generation.  It was during this fertile time in the development of rock and roll that three friends, Louie OrtegaFrank Paredes, and Randy Pybas began their musical journey.  Heavily influenced by, not only rock and roll, but by country, blues, gospel, and the singular sounds of traditional mexican music, they began a journey that would span five decades.

In their late teens, Louie and Frank formed the seminal band, Louie and the Lovers, and began to craft a unique and vibrant sound that caught the ear of their neighbor, who coincidentally happened to be Doug Sahm, band leader of the popular Sir Douglas Quintet.  Impressed by their music, Doug took them under his wing and introduced the boys to management at Epic Records.  The result of that meeting was to become their first single and album RISE, which shot to the top of the playlists of disk jockeys across America. Bolstered by their success, Louie and the Lovers went on to record for Jerry Wexler at Atlantic Records.

As the ’60s gave way to the new sounds of the ’70s, Louie and Frank along with Randy became the core of their new band, Salsa Brava.  Continuing in the spirit of Louie and the Lovers and the eclectic musical influences of their youth, they charted a six year course honing their skills while playing alongside some of the best know acts of the time. Eventually, the three friends ventured off the pursue solo musical endeavors, all the while maintaining their friendship and common love of music that had so heavily influenced them.

It would be 25 years later that former Salsa Brava guitarist and band mate Don Kirkpatrick (currently of the Rod Stewart band) would make the suggestion that the three lifelong friends revisit the musical quest that they had originally begun.  Supported by guitarist Rob Espinosa, formerly of It’s a Beautiful Day and drummer Dean GilesSalsa Brava has become what is today Rio Salinas. Back in the studio and on stage, they are once again performing the music they have spent over 40 years perfecting for their eager fans worldwide.

Visit their website at www.riosalinas.com.

 

 

Louie and the Lovers

Louie and the Lovers, featuring Louie Ortega, Frank Paredes, Steve Vargas and Alberto Parra are home based in the Central Coast’s San Luis Obipso County.

Original members of the band since they were in high school, the band is experiencing a kind of rebirth with their music, their fans, their friends and their families.

The band performs at local venues throughout the county and/or out of the area events. The band is available for hire for your Private Parties, Corporate Events and Major Concert Events. Contact us if you are interested in putting on something special together with us.

Visit their website at www.louieandthelovers.com.