La Rua
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La Rua

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The best kept secret in music


"Latino-Rock Movement Buds from Grassroots"

In 1994, as editor of the alternative music magazine Option, I sent gonzo rock writer Chuck Eddy down to Mexico City to report on an exciting new movement that was making inroads in the United States -- Rock en Español. He came back with a sprawling story about bands such as Caifanes and the enormously popular Maldita Vecindad, who were mixing Latin rhythms with the hard edge of American guitar rock. In the decade since, Latin music has made a huge impact on American rock. With the massive success of Ricky Martin and Shakira, and the re-emergence of Santana, it's only a matter of time before Latin songs -- sung in Spanish -- regularly top the Billboard charts.
Even in North Carolina, where talk of music movements usually revolves around the indie rock that comes out of Chapel Hill, you can find Spanish-language rock. Last weekend, right here in Charlotte, I got dragged uptown to Latorre's on Fifth Street to see a young band called La Rua. As we walked up the steps to the dance floor, I heard the sting of guitars playing the popular song "A Dios le Pido," by Colombian rock singer Juanes. There have been other Latin bands in this area, but these guys were cranking out a mix of popular Latin rock songs and original material with the passion of a group that seems on the verge of creating something special.
The place was packed with young people in their teens and 20s, mostly Latino. It was a fraction of the growing population of Latinos currently living in Mecklenburg County.
This is the way movements begin.
- The Charlotte Observer

"Rock en Español"

Rock en Español
Latin-rock piñata bursts in Charlotte as more bands and more venues build fervent fan base
The Charlotte Observer

A mohawked teen passes a group of brunettes in tank tops perched on the walkway railing outside Latinos Bar. Lively rock from the Charlotte band Pachanga 02 streams out of the club along with casually dressed twenty-somethings who gather in small groups at the corner of Elizabeth Avenue and Independence Boulevard.

It's a Friday night in October and the area is hopping with music fans. Just down Independence, indie-rock kids fill the Double Door Inn for a performance by famed N.C. producer Mitch Easter's new group. Farther up Elizabeth, other young people file into the Visulite Theatre.

But the real buzz on this night lies in the space between those two Charlotte clubs as young Latin rock fans pack the bustling Latinos.

The growing community of Latin Americans in Charlotte means young Latinos are finding their own clubs to go to for live music. In the past, you'd find young Latinos filling dance clubs such as Cosmos Cafe, Latorre's and Liquid Lounge, but not so much at rock clubs like Tremont Music Hall or the Visulite. In the past year, however, a number of Spanish-language rock bands have cropped up and have begun to attract more and more area fans.

Many assume Latin rock is simply a variation on Tejano or salsa. Although it sometimes incorporates those and other traditional genres, Latin rock is much more.

"It's like any rock band in America, but it's in Spanish," Tony Arreaza, guitarist of Charlotte Latin rockers La Rúa, says of his group. "With a Latin beat or flair," adds drummer Juan Miguel Marin.

Just like North American or British rock 'n' roll, Latin rock encompasses a diverse mix of styles and genres -- Latin pop, rock, heavy metal and hip-hop. On Spanish MTV, some of the bigger bands include Colombian alt-pop rocker Juanes, the eclectic Mexican rock band Maná and Mexican rappers Control Machete.

Charlotte-area groups are equally as diverse. El Clavo, which opened for La Rúa recently, draws from American hardcore and new metal. In its performances, the band mixes Spanish-language hard rock with tunes by Nirvana and the Deftones.

Pachanga 02 (Spanish slang for party) blends a cornucopia of classic and modern styles, including reggae, ska, tropical and alternative rock with hints of hip-hop and hardcore. Pachanga's fusion is a result of the band members' varied tastes.

"We have completely different personalities," says the group's bassist, Javier Anzola, 23. "Pachanga 02 is a mix. The best definition of it is tropical rock."One thing that brought the diverse musicians in Pachanga together was La Rúa, the band at the heart of the current local Latin rock movement. The five-piece band, which combines Latin rhythms with bluesy guitar, ska and alternative rock, works to not only promote its own music, but to create a supportive network of Latin musicians in the area.

Because there were so few local Latin rock bands, La Rúa's Arreaza, who moved to Charlotte from Venezuela ten years ago, began inviting musicians to seek him out after shows. He would take their names and put them in touch with other musicians interested in playing Latin rock."It is hard to find Latin musicians or American people that want to play in Spanish," he says.


Latin rock in Charlotte dates back to well over a decade ago. But when the four brothers who originally made up the band Peralta began playing around town in the early '90s, they were the only band in town playing Latin rock."We were doing (Latin) rock before anyone else in this region," says guitarist Chicho Peralta. "They were doing it in other countries, but not here."

As the Latin population grew, so did interest in Charlotte-grown Latin entertainment.The seven-member Peralta family arrived in Charlotte from Ecuador in 1970, when there were very few other families in town. Today, Latinos make up 6.5 percent of the population of Mecklenburg County and are the fastest-growing minority group in the state. Although the 2000 census says Mecklenburg County has about 45,000 Latinos, leaders estimate the population has shot up to about 75,000 or 80,000 today.

When Peralta formed in the early '90s, the group performed for American crowds in smoky bars, developing a following with hard-rock anthems like "Fly Away," which garnered attention from metal magazines including Hit Parader and Rip. The band opened for Poison, Winger, Warrant and Pantera, but just as Peralta was about to sign with MCA Records, Nirvana broke and pop metal fell out of favor.

Peralta, which has performed at Lowe's Motor Speedway and the Charlotte Coliseum, have little in common with today's Latin rock. The difference may be generational. Peralta draws on traditional Latin rhythms as well as veteran rock artists such as Santana and Van Halen.

"We don't sound like Juanes," says Chicho. "The style of music we do now is totally different."Instead of performing for metalheads, Peralta, which is currently recording an album for Charlotte's Green Dot Music, now plays at family-friendly American and Latin festivals.

Family is a common theme among all of the bands. Each of the three dominant Latin rock groups in Charlotte include a set of brothers, but the groups consider themselves families as well.<br>"It's not just a band, we're friends, like a family," says Pachanga guitarist Jaime Bueno, who commutes from his home in Statesville. As the oldest member of Pachanga, Anzola says he looks out for the others' interests. The four members all balance two or more jobs with school."We came to the United States to get an education," Anzola says. "So I don't want the guys dropping out of school for the band. If someone has a test, we move practice to another day."

Crossover dreams

Pachanga 02 may be primarily concerned with developing as a band and focusing on college, but La Rúa is making a conscious effort to cross over to English-speaking audiences. La Rúa was the only Latin band on the recent 8-CD box set, "Complex Radio Charlotte-Area Music Compilation." On Wednesday, the group performed its second crossover show at the Visulite Theatre, with Latin cover band La Marea and American rockers Hazel.

The crossover attempt is a gamble. Unlike Peralta, whose members sing mostly in English, La Rúa performs in Spanish and plans on keeping it that way. For now, it's unclear whether American audiences will embrace music sung predominantly in Spanish. All the big Latin pop stars who have crossed over -- from Selena to Ricky Martin, and Shakira -- have done so by releasing English-language albums. Still, La Rúa's music -- such as "El Chanchito," from the Complex Radio disc -- is infectious, radio-friendly pop in any language.

Another issue is whether Latin audiences will follow a band into non-Latin clubs. La Rúa's August Visulite show drew a crowd comparable to that of most area acts performing there on weeknights, but the turnout paled in comparison with the band's performances for 300-plus fans at Latin clubs like Latinos Bar or Skandalos.

"Latin people like to stay in their own neighborhoods," says Chicho Peralta. "Latinos don't come out to clubs (where we play). We draw mostly Americans, except at festivals. Normally, the Latin community listens to regional Mexican, Tejano and Salsa. Our music is not like that. "

La Rúa's Latin audience is younger than Peralta's, and includes not just young fans from Mexico, but people from all over Central and South America. What's more, while Peralta's set consists of 90 percent original material, La Rúa intersperses originals with covers of modern and classic rock from several countries.

Ricardo Machado, 28, who came to Charlotte from Venezuela, says the Latin community has become more aware of live rock bands just in the last few months. "When I see friends on the street or at work and say La Rúa is playing tomorrow night, they'll say, `Oh La Rúa, I've heard of them.' Four months ago they hadn't ... The Latin community will push bands to be better because people are wanting more bands."

The members of La Rúa are mindful of the demands."We try to pick out songs from South and Central America," says Marin, who grew up in Ecuador. "There are people from Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, everywhere, so we try to cover the whole continent."

Pachanga's eclectic set consists of covers of Bob Marley, the Beastie Boys and Weezer, as well as original material. "For La Rúa, (playing covers) clicks because they play alternative rock and pop," says Pachanga's Bueno. "With our music it is harder to make it click."<br>"We want people to recognize us from our songs, not others," adds drummer Christian Anzola. Fans are already learning the lyrics of some of the band's original tunes, especially the comical adventures of accident-prone party boy "Juan Calavera," Pachanga's most popular live song.

"Here in Charlotte, bands are doing something different," says fan Machado. "In Florida, Latin rock is more (rooted) in meringue or salsa. La Rúa is more rock, because of the instruments. Pachanga 02 is similar to music in California or New York."

The enthusiasm of fans such as Machado is what keeps local Latin bands working. "It's so incredible how (people) get into our shows," says La Rúa's Marin. "(Big touring) Latin rock bands don't play here that often, so the (crowd) really tries to make the show the best they can."

Unlike many tension-filled rock shows, camaraderie among the fans at Latin shows is sunny and positive. The vibe during a Mexican Community Center benefit in November at Mi Mexico in Pineville is contagious. Men and women dance and sing along with the musicians, swinging with the beat, beers in hand, as a group of men in T-shirts and jeans take turns skanking in the middle of a small circle of people."Is anyone from Argentina?" La Rúa's vocalist asks the crowd before breaking into a bouncing cover of "Lamento Boliviano," a popular song by veteran Argentine group Los Enanitos Verdes.

The audience explodes.


"Interview with La Rua"

With its combination of catchy, Spanish-language originals and an eclectic mix of Spanish and English cover songs, La Rua, Charlotte's hotest Latin Rock band, has built a strong base of predominantly Latino fans.
Marin and his band mates guitarist Tony Arreaza, vocalist and guitarist Jorge Loor and bass player Juan Pablo Chavez were gathered at their practice space near downtown, rehearsing for their big crossover gig Thursday at the Visulite.
The members of La Rua come from diverse backgrounds. Arreaza, 30, grew up in Venezuela while the other members, ranging from 18 to 22, all hail from Ecuador. During a break, Marin and Arreaza talked about the band's music and their hopes of introducing more Charlotteans to Latin rock.

Q Do you find most North Americans don't know what to expect from Latin rock?
Marin: Some people think it's really tropical or salsa, or they'll compare it to Santana. There is a lot more music in Central and South America that people would probably never hear here. Arreaza: That happens quite a bit when I'm talking to an American guy and I say we do Latin rock. They think we do salsa. It's (actually) like any rock band in America, but it's just in Spanish. Marin: with a Latin beat or flair.

Q What are your influences?
Arreaza: I'm a big fan of Guns N' Roses, Lenny Kravitz and all the '70s and '60s (bands). We also like classic Spanish rock groups. Marin: Los Enanitos Verdes. They've been playing for about 20 years and are still playing. There are a lot more bands, but that's the one that we all like. They're from Argentina.

Q Did you know each other before starting the band?
Arreaza: I went to see (La Rua) the first time they played. I was in another band and we were the only ones (in Charlotte) that were Spanish rock. Then I saw a flier flyer that said "Spanish Rock Live," and it was so weird, because we didn't know any musician or anybody that played that music. I went there and I gave (Juan) one of my cards. We kept e-mailing each other and I kept telling him, "If you need another guitar player or want to jam."

Q Did you ever consider playing in an English-language band?
Marin: I definitely wanted to make music in Spanish, so it was a matter of finding the right people.
Arreaza: When I came here I was in an English band, but there is nothing better than playing in your language.

Q How did you become interested in music?
Marin: You have something in your soul that makes you want to play an instrument or make music. Nobody in my family was involved in music or anything like that.
Arreaza: In my house, everything that we do, we do it with music. Since I was a little kid the first thing I do when I wake up is put music on. I love rock 'n' roll, blues.

Q How do you choose material to cover?
Marin: We really try to pick not just what is fresh, but what is classic. We're playing for a big Latino population; we're not focusing on teenagers or mid-20s. We play for teenagers to people in their 30s.
Arreaza: We play some (songs) from South America and Central America. There are people from Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, everywhere, so we try to cover the whole (Spanish-speaking world). - Charlotte Observer

"Latinos de La Rua Triunfan con su Rock en Espanol"

Desde de su debut en Charlotte en octubre de 2002, cuando hicieron estremecer a un público latino con sed de escuchar rock en español en vivo, la carrera de la recién constituida banda La Rua, ha ido en continuo ascenso, logrando llenar cada uno de sus shows, caracterizados por una mezcla de versiones de canciones clásicas y actuales de rock en español, con sus temas originales, que han logrado poco a poco meter en el gusto del público.
Hoy, a casi un año de su primera presentación, y gracias a un “demo” con cuatro canciones originales grabadas por ellos mismos, esta joven agrupación ha logrado colar una de estas canciones en la estación de rock angloamericana 91.7 FM, y su canción “Chanchito”, que habla del sueño de un joven por traer a su novia que está al otro lado de la frontera, fue seleccionada para formar parte de un CD que recopilará la música de las más importantes bandas de las carolinas.
Sus presentaciones incluyen la apertura para el grupo “Fulanito” en Greenville, Carolina del Sur, una participación en el festival “5 de Mayo” en Lowe’s Motor Speedway, el Festival Latino de la Independencia el pasado 4 de julio en Rock Hill, un show acústico a casa llena en Latino’s Bar, en Elizabeth Avenue y otras exitosas presentaciones en LaTorre’s, Skandalo’s, Zapata’s y La Casona, entre otros. Además, la banda acaba de obtener un espacio para presentar su música el próximo 21 de agosto en el Teatro Visualite de Charlotte, recinto que cada semana recibe a importantes agrupaciones musicales del país.
El éxito, según sus integrantes, se debe a los deseos de la juventud de Charlotte de escuchar rock en vivo en su propio idioma.
“Llegamos en un momento en que la gente se estaba cansando de sólo escuchar música de DJ; cuando los amantes del rock en español querían escuchar este tipo de música en vivo”, dice Juan Miguel Marín, vocalista y baterista de la banda, y creador además del nombre “La Rua”, que en portugués quiere decir “El camino”.
“La vida es un camino, nuestras carreras son un camino, la música misma es un camino”, comenta Marín, al preguntársele el porqué del el nombre.
Además, agrega Tony Arreaza, guitarrista de la banda, el éxito es consecuencia “de hacer lo que te gusta y hacerlo con pasión y dedicación”.
“Cuando disfrutas lo que haces, lo haces bien y lo quieres mejorar. En eso nos hemos concentrado, en ser mejores cada vez que presentamos nuestro espectáculo”, dice Arreaza, antiguo integrante del grupo Los DePaula, quien debutó con La Rua en febrero de 2003, uniéndose a los originales: Jorge Loor, en la guitarra y voz, Juan Pablo Chávez en el bajo y los coros, y Juan Miguel Marín, voz y batería.
Con la llegada de Arreaza, un venezolano con 12 años de experiencia como guitarrista, la agrupación, cuyos otros tres miembros son originarios de Ecuador, encontró el elemento que le faltaba para consagrarse totalmente en el gusto del público.
“Cuando Tony llegó y comenzamos a ensayar, inmediatamente sentimos que había química, su música se mezcló perfectamente con la nuestra, y desde entonces nos hemos sabido coordinar a la perfección”, dice Juan Pablo Chávez, el bajista, que aunque sólo tiene 17 años, afirma haberse estado preparando para este momento desde niño en su natal Ecuador, donde tocaba desde hace seis años junto a su amigo de la infancia y ahora compañero de banda Jorge Loor.
“Siempre nos reuníamos y tocábamos en fiestas y eventos locales. Siempre hemos llevado la música dentro de nosotros”, afirma Loor.
Sin embargo, no fue hasta hace un año en Charlotte cuando estos dos se unieron a Marín, quien formaba parte de una agrupación en su país natal, para comenzar lo que hoy conocemos como La Rua.
“Decidimos comenzar a hacer lo que es más importante en la vida de cada uno de nosotros: la música. Comenzaron los ensayos hasta horas de la madrugada, comenzaron a llover la ideas para canciones y comenzamos a darnos cuenta que si trabajábamos duro para sacar nuestra música adelante lo podíamos lograr”, recuerda Marín.
Hoy en día, cuando aún siguen en una búsqueda constante de éxito, confiesan que el camino no ha sido fácil.
“Desde convencer a los dueños de los locales que nuestra música le va a gustar a la comunidad y que sí hay un público para el rock en español en Charlotte, hasta ser nuestros propios promotores en las estaciones de radio y con los organizadores de festivales, y crear nuestros posters de promoción y entregar volantes en las fiestas y en las calles, nuestra labor ha significado mucho trabajo, y nos hemos dado cuenta que esa es la única manera de salir adelante”, afirma Marín.
Su triunfo se lo deben al recibimiento del público.
“Es indescriptible lo que sientes cuando estás en el escenario, y el público corea nuestras canciones originales. Ver a la misma gente desde el primer concierto hasta los más recientes, nos demuestran que ya tenemos seguidores y es una satisfacción muy grande”, dice Loor.
“Es lo que nos hace seguir adelante”, agrega Arreaza. “El público es quien nos hace ver que lo estamos haciendo bien y por ellos es que tratamos de hacerlo cada vez mejor”.

La Noticia
- La Noticia

"La Rúa band launches new Latin-rock festival"

Carlota n' Rock is an area first

The Latin music scene in Charlotte has had a growth spurt over the past few years that rivals that of Britney Spears' ... well, you know.

Tonight, three area Latin-rock bands come together for the city's first Latin-rock festival, Carlota n' Rock." It's a scene that one of those bands, La Rúa, has been tirelessly organizing for two of those years.

"We have Greek and German festivals, but so far we haven't had a space specifically for rock in Latin," says Juan Miguel Marin, La Rúa's drummer and singer.

He hopes the festival will make non-Spanish-speaking Charlotteans more aware of the quality and diversity of the burgeoning Latin-rock scene in this area.

"We want Charlotte to be aware of this scene," he says. "We don't want it to be a Latino-only thing."

Carlota N' Rock will feature the ska-funk act Bakalao Star (which features former members of Pachanga '02); La Marea, a tropical rock quintet; and La Rúa, which blends Latin rhythms with traditional rock and blues and has opened locally for nationally-recognized Latin artists including Los Lonely Boys and Los Amigos Invisibles.

"We share the same language and rhythm, but we all have a particular sound," Marin says of the trio of bands performing at the festival.

With the help of Pedro Santillan, owner of Don Pedro Mexican Restaurant and the neighboring Latin dance club Skandalo's, where the concert will be held, the members of La Rúa have organized an event they hope will grow in coming years.

"Maybe next year we can have it outdoors," Marin says. "We would love for it to grow to the level that we could bring in (internationally known) Latin acts such as Café Tacuba or Enanitos Verdes."

Marin already has been contacted by other area Latin-rock bands interested in appearing at the festival and expects next year's event to include more acts. But for now, Marin and company are taking it one step at a time.
- COURTNEY DEVORES Special to the Observer

"La Rúa delivers a solid debut"

La Rúa delivers a solid debut


"Una Noche de Abril"

Grade: A

Charlotte Latin rock quintet La Rúa charmed Latin music fans early on by
filling its set lists with covers of current Spanish-language hits by stars
such as Juanes. But it wasn't long before fans started singing along to La
Rúa's original tunes. Those songs, catchy in any language, will be available
Friday when the band celebrates the release of its 12-song debut, "Una Noche
de Abril" ("A Night in April") at the Room on Montford Drive.

La Rúa's debut captures the band's refreshingly unpretentious enthusiasm for
live performance and all facets of its varied influences. Band members --
brothers Juan Miguel and Herman Marin on drums and keyboards, respectively;
guitarists Jorge Loor and Tony Arreaza; and bassist Juan Pablo Chávez -- are
well-versed in both American and Latin styles. There's the Santana-esque
blues of "La Jeva" ("That Chick"), the Latin-tinged radio-ready pop of
"Chanchito" ("Piggybank") and the funky ska sound of "Palabras" ("Words")
and "Poder Olvidarte" ("Ready to Forget You"). The bluesy rock guitar leads
of Loor and Arreaza owe some debts to Guns 'N Roses axeman Slash, Carlos
Santana and Lenny Kravitz.

Throughout the album, La Rúa demonstrates a knack for crafting pop-rock gems
with memorable choruses, such as the sing-along tracks "Búsqueda"
("Search"), the harder-edged "Perra Vida," ("Life's a Bitch") and "Adicción"
("Addiction"). After a few spins, even folks who skipped high school Spanish
will catch on to the words, although the meanings may remain blurry. Here's
a hint: Most of the songs focus on male/female relationships, both bad and

Although all of the lyrics are sung in Spanish, non-Spanish-speaking
listeners won't have a problem interpreting the emotions in the songs. The
longing in Juan Miguel Marin's voice on love songs such as "Rompecabezas"
("Puzzle"), "Abril" ("April") and the album's closer, "Tortura" ("Torture")
is abundantly apparent. -- COURTNEY DEVORES
- The Charlotte Observer

"La Rúa"


Source: COURTNEY DEVORES, Special correspondent
La RuaCharlotte rockers La Rua may be the Latin-rock scene's hardest-working group. The band's catchy mix of Latin rhythms and melodies and blues-based rock and pop has begun to attract English-language fans. In just a few years together, the quintet has played a variety of rooms in the region: Latin music venues Skandalos, the Cartagena Club in Statesville, and LaTorre's, where the band got its start; intimate acoustic cafe the Evening Muse; and the 400-plus-seat rock venue the Visulite Theater. This Saturday, La Rúa will be at the new Bricktop Lounge in NoDa.

Despite the band’s English-language crossover potential, the Ecuadoran – and Venezuelan-born members of La Rúa remain committed to keeping the band’s Latin flavor, still writing and singing mostly in Spanish. The band is currently putting the finish touches to its long-awaited debut CD, due in late January or early February. Drummer/Vocalist Juan Miguel Marin promises a 12 song disc that recreates La Rúa live: “We wanted it to show the essence and energy of La Rúa as if you were listening while being in the same room with us.”

In 2004 alone, La Rúa opened for Texican blues-rockers Los Lonely Boys and Venezuelan funksters Los Amigos Invisibles, as well as with English-language groups such as Charleston’s Hazel Virtue. La Rúa was the only Spanish-language act on the nine-disc “Complex Radio” compilation of the area music last year. In August, La Rúa organized the area’s first Latin Rock festival, “Carlota n’ Rock 2004,” along with other area bands.

Published on November 26, 2004, Page 14H, Charlotte Observer, The (NC)
- The Charlotte Observer

"Una Noche de Abril"

La Rúa
Una Noche de Abril
Una Noche de Abril (One Night in April) is an all-Spanish recording by the Charlotte-based quintet La Rúa. It's filled with 12 cleanly produced tracks that are more straightforward Top 40 fare than Latin-influenced music. There are touches of Latin music, mind you, but most tracks are essentially melodic pop and rock tunes, just sung in Spanish. Props do go out to them for staying true to their roots, as they could have thrown in a couple tunes sung in English to hit a broader market, but there's really no need for that. This is essentially better Spanish Top-40 rock.
Rating: 4 Stars
-Samir Shukla – Creative Loafing
- Creative Loafing


Debut Album: Una Noche de Abril
Released on Jan. 2005
To buy the album visit

La Rua was the only Latin Rock band in Charlotte featured in "Complext Radio,", an 8-CD set showcasing 120 local Charlotte bands. Their popular hit, "El Chanchito," is the only track in Spanish.


Feeling a bit camera shy


La Rúa, Charlotte’s premier Latin Rock band began in Charlotte, NC thanks to three curious and eager musicians from Ecuador. These were Jorge Loor (guitar, lead vocals), Juan Miguel Marin (drums, lead vocals), and Juan Pablo Chavez (bass, vocals). La Rua’s inaugural concert took place at Zapata’s, a popular Mexican restaurant in Charlotte, on October 18, 2002.

After several performances in 2002, La Rúa invited Venezuelan native and guitarist Tony Arreaza to jam during rehearsals. The chemistry between the four musicians was perfect, and Tony Arreaza became La Rua’s second guitarist. In August 2003 shortly after arriving from Ecuador, Herman Marin, Juan Miguel Marin’s brother, became the band’s fifth member, playing percussion and keyboards.

Spring 2003, La Rúa began receiving coverage by both American and Latin American media, thanks to several feature articles in The Charlotte Observer, and in La Noticia, one of Charlotte’s leading Spanish-language newspapers. By December of the same year, La Rúa was the only Latin Rock band in Charlotte featured in "Complext Radio,", an 8-CD set showcasing 120 local Charlotte bands. Their popular hit, "El Chanchito," (Piggybank), is the only track in Spanish.

La Rúa has been invited to play in numerous festivals in Charlotte’s Latino community, various clubs, and has performed to raise funds for charity. On Sunday, January 18, 2004, La Rua was featured in a two-page article in The Charlotte Observer’s Arts& Books section. The article described the evolution of Latin Rock in the Charlotte area, with La Rua paving the way for other local Latin Rock bands.

Soon after the 2-page article was published in The Charlotte Observer, La Rúa played at Skandalo’s, a Latino club. In addition to the regular Latino crowd, many non-Latino men and women came to see what Latin Rock was about, thus furthering La Rúa’s effort to introduce Latin Rock to the American Rock audience.

Just a few months after La Rúa performed at Skandalo’s, they were invited to open for multi- Grammy nominees, Los Amigos Invisibles and Los Lonely Boys, sold-out show at famous venue “The Visulite Theater”. This performance introduced La Rúa to a whole new audience (95% American), getting an outstanding response. Shortly after the Visulite Theater’s performance, La Rúa started preparing for two very ambitious projects that began between June and July 2005.

La Rúa partnered with the experienced producer David Pell in order to record their first full- length album, which was planned to be comprised of twelve original songs 100% in Spanish. As an interesting note, producer David Pell had no knowledge of Spanish, which made this project even more challenging for both parts.

Loco Sound & Recording Inc., was the selected studio, and just days before August 2004, the recording sessions began.

At the same time while recording their first album, La Rúa created and launched "Carlota n' Rock 2004", which was the first Latin Rock festival in the Carolinas. Three Latin Rock bands from the Charlotte area, including La Rúa as the headliner, comprised this first edition of the festival. The event gathered over 500 people and was so successful, that La Rúa has now trade-marked the name “Carlota n’ Rock,” and will be bringing the festival to Charlotte every summer as the Latin Rock scene grows.

Almost 5 months later and very long hours, the album was mixed and ready to go to mastering at Studio B, one of the best mastering studios on the East Coast. On Monday, January 24, 2005, the Album titled “Una Noche de Abril” receives its first official review. The Charlotte Observer’s Courtney Devores gives La Rúa’s debut album an “A”.

LA RÚA DELIVERS A SOLID DEBUT. "Although all of the lyrics are sung in Spanish, non-Spanish speaking listeners won't have a problem interpreting the emotions in the songs".

Courtney Devores The Charlotte Observer.

Friday January 28, 2005, La Rúa releases their first album “Una Noche de Abril” with a live performance at THE ROOM. Over 400 La Rúa fans supported the band and made this one of the best show for La Rúa to this day. At the end of the night, members of La Rúa even signed some autographs to fans and friends that bought the album.

In February of 2005, La Rúa joins funksters Los Amigos Invisibles as the opening act for their mini-tour on the South East (Asheville/Charlotte/Chapel Hill, NC and Atlanta, GA), visiting legendary venues such as Cat’s Cradle (Nirvana, Pearl Jam) and The Orange Peel (Los Lobos).

La Rúa’s sound is best described as the result of 5 guys making music after growing up listening to bands such as Enanitos Verdes (Argentina), Soda Stereo (Argentina), Jarabe de Palo (Spain), Maná (Mexico), and other artists such as Lenny Kravitz, The Police, U2, Santana and The Beatles.