Joe "King" Carrasco Wishes Houston a "Tamale Christmas"

Categories: Texas Me

The recording also reunited Carrasco with drummer Ernie Durawa and bassist Speedy Sparks, who had been part of the original mid-'70s version of Joe "King" Carrasco y El Molino. Also on the track are accordionist Marcelo Guana and sax player Joe Morales.

Carrasco also shot two different videos for the song - one no budget and one low budget. The first featured a poncho-clad Carrasco pushing a shopping cart with his dogs around an Austin H.E.B. mixed with footage of the canines awaiting a tamale feast, filmed inside his manager's house.

"I had to take my car to the shop, and I just said 'let's walk over to the H.E.B. and shoot it there.' Security did come out to us, but we said we were doing promotion for the store," Carrasco laughs. "It also features my dog, Anna, who is 17. I don't know how many tamale Christmases she has left."

A second version features better film stock and has not only the dogs and another shopping cart sequence, but Carrasco lip synching while a Mexican couple makes tamales in a kitchen. The final product looks definitely plumper than what most Houstonians are used to seeing in tamales.

"Everyone down here has their own formula, and that's what's cool about it," Carrasco adds.

Photo courtesy of
Carrasco back in the day. He estimates he wore that shirt "about 300 times."
Speaking of Houston, Carrasco enthuses about the city as, the same way later in the interview, he would about the TV shows The Sopranos, Deadwood and "Breaking Bad. It's the "best place" he ever played, he says.

"The best shows I ever did were those Party on the Plaza shows they used to have [downtown]," Carrasco reflects. "Those were the craziest concerts. I have a lot of marks on my body from those shows!"

He also lauding gigs with his then-band the Crowns at Rockefeller's and Fitzgerald's. And after Santa has had his fill of his husked delicacies and Tamale Christmas turns into Tamale New Year, Carrasco is looking forward to playing Texas dates in January to support the upcoming release of his latest CD, Rucca.

"'Rucca' means 'girlfriend' in Spanish," Carrasco helpfully informs. "We wanted to call it 'Puta,' but we couldn't. We might have problems getting that song played. Especially down here."

To purchase and download "Tamale Christmas," click here.


The Ask Willie D Archives
Top 10 Bars, Clubs & Ice Houses On the West Side
Houston's Top 10 Bro Bars, Clubs & Ice Houses
The Five Most Insane Bands to See Live Right Now

My Voice Nation Help

I remember some of those Party on the Plaza shows. At one or two points during the proceedings, Joe "King" would launch himself off a speaker or a railing while playing the guitar. Truly great.

Now Trending

From the Vault


Houston Event Tickets