Brian Lopez Debuts New CD “Ultra” at Bar Pink on Dec. 6

| November 2, 2012 | 0 Comments

When one sees and hears singer/songwriter Brian Lopez on his first full length CD, “Ultra,” it’s understandable that a comparison to the young Bob Dylan occurs. From his mane of shaggy hair, reminiscent of the iconic silhouetted photo of Dylan from his “Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits” album to his voice, Lopez seems to channel Dylan, without any intent to do so. Several tracks in, though, one begins to hear the obvious influence of Beatles-like “Rubber Soul” classicism, literally, in that his band for Ultra includes violin, cello, accordion, upright bass and lap steel centered in rock, country, pop, and traditional folk all at once. Lopez, and his band, “The Black Hearted Conquistadors” will be appearing in concert at Bar Pink Elephant, 3829 30th Street, in North Park on December 6, and admission to this show is free, with no cover charge and no minimums. It will be one of the best free shows you’ve ever seen.

Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, just 40 minutes north of the US/Mexican border, the twenty-something Hispanic/Polish Lopez found himself in an environment that was both nurturing and challenging. After completing high school, he studied classical guitar at the University of Arizona, where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music, and a minor in Spanish and business. During that time he had an opportunity to live in Barcelona, Spain for six months, an experience that had a profound impact on him culturally. “People come to live in Barcelona from all over the world, nobody there is a native. It’s impossible not to have a greater global perspective after an experience like that.”

For the past several years, Lopez has toured the country several times over with his main project, “Mostly Bears,” recording around job schedules while honing his skills as a guitarist, singer/songwriter and front man. It’s paid off as they were picked by Las Vegas Weekly as one of the top 5 concerts of 2008, they made it to the final round of Zig Zag Live, and they left a great impression at SXSW in Austin, TX with their unique and captivating brand of what Lopez calls ‘Desert Space Rock.’

Now, Lopez is finally starting to get some recognition for his guitar-playing prowess in other genres. In addition to fronting Mostly Bears, Brian is currently playing with Sergio Mendoza Y La Orkesta, Mexican/Mambo/psychadelic/cumbia/ dance band fronted by Salvador Duran (Calexico, Iron & Wine). The twelve-piece band has played several shows around the southwest opening for Calexico as well as headlining shows at the historic Rialto Theater and The Wiltern in Los Angeles.

He has also found himself sharing the stage with Joey Burns and Calexico, something Lopez found challenging and a lot of fun. “It was an honor to be asked to sit in with Calexico,” says Lopez. “They are probably the most diverse, respected and successful musicians around.” As if all of this doesn’t keep him busy enough, he recently finished a European tour with French chanteuse, Marianne Dissard, playing guitar and singing back-up vocals (in French). Interested in different kinds of live music and composition, Lopez looks forward at chances to play and write music that seems challenging and exciting. “I like to transcend my brand of pyschedelia into Latin rhythms and progressions…to switch languages lyrically and still provide a universal sentiment musically.”

Lopez has been described as a “musical octopus, fluid, ambidextrous, and adaptable.” His prowess as a vocalist and guitarist is only surpassed by his ability to look at every curve ball as an opportunity. He sees the world as a myriad of possibilities, and that translates beautifully into his music.

You can hear songs from “Ultra” on YouTube with a search of his name, and on his facebook page as well. The show at Bar Pink will likely be a crowded one, so plan to arrive early for the 9:00 p.m. start. And, bring some cash, as you will want to buy the CD after hearing Lopez’s set of songs from Ultra.

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Category: Music

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