El Paso Music Scene

Louie Speaking Eagle Interview

from www.louiespeakingeagle.com:
Louie has been playing drums for twenty years, and has covered many styles throughout his musical career. Louie and Tejano sensation Tormenta made history when they became the first band from El Paso to sign a record deal with a major record company (Capitol EMI/Latin Records). He has since played with various groups in El Paso, Las Cruces, and Albuquerque. He has enjoyed stints with bands like The Floor Boards, funk group Da'vizions, El Paso's Jazz Unlimited Big Band, Fuga, Mike Caranda's Big Band Swing Orchestra, Las Cruces variety band Caliente, and Albuquerque's own blues band Alex and the Rockets. Louie also spent four months aboard the Grand Princess Cruise as a guest musician playing with the Dino Fiumara Jazz Trio, as well as having recently returned from recording in Los Angeles.

EPMS: How long has the band been together?

Louie Speaking Eagle: Since last summer, when we started playing here (the Velvet Rose Lounge).

EPMS: How long have you been playing the drums?

Louie Speaking Eagle I've been playing drums twenty years.

EPMS: How long have you been in this band?

Louie Speaking Eagle Since the band started. It's my little band.

EPMS: What is your musical background?

Louie Speaking Eagle: I got started with school bands, all that. High school jazz band. After that, I started playing Tejano. (I showed him a ticket for the Emilio Navaira show at Dezert Demonz Dragway/ Desert Horizon Pavilion ).

Louie Speaking Eagle: We used to open for him all the time.

EPMS: In El Paso?

Louie Speaking Eagle: No, we used to play on the road. I used to play tejano, and had to relocate to San Antonio. I was in group called Tormenta. It was based in El Paso, but had to relocate to San Antonio.

He (Emilio) would know Tormenta. In fact, the guy who might know my name is his brother, Raul. We recorded at his studio. I was the original drummer for Tormenta, on the first two CDs, but I left after a while.

EPMS: Is Tormenta still together?

Louie Speaking Eagle: I don't think so. They lasted until '99 or 2000, maybe.

EPMS: Who are your musical heroes?

Louie Speaking Eagle: Locally, Ricky Malichi. a drummer, he's world class, he plays oll over the world, with all the top artists, like Herb Ellis, David 'Fathead' Newman, Chris Calloway.

I would say Jack DeJonette, Tony Williams.

EPMS: What places has this band played?

Louie Speaking Eagle: Here, every Wednesday. Private parties, corporate functions, I just had a big concert on April 15.

EPMS: What are your future plans?

Louie Speaking Eagle: I hope to release a CD this summer. It's gonna be all original music; I might release stuff I recorded with John Heard.

- Charles Hurley

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