Two accordions in one song. I fear what might happen tonight in Eastern Pennsylvania.
Anyone who has watched Breaking Bad knows the form of the borderlands ballad, a nortena song style that’s usually about criminals plying their trade and escaping the long brazos of the law.
One of the main characteristics of these songs is a metonymical tempo and a steady passionless delivery. This is Mexican music, but one that evolved out of the polka of the German settlers of South Texas. It is a dance music of the wooden soldiers.
Esteban Jordan, known unofficially as the king of the diatonic accordion when he was alive, subverted the rules. His is a music of swing, varying tempos, intemperate ejaculations (like Bob Wills), and a drive to rock the tempo out of it’s implacable groove, into one with just a little bit of surprise. You can see from Velerio Longorio’s reactions in the video, that Jordan’s mild improvs and filigrees are outrageous.
And the eye patch doesn’t hurt.