Cenobio “Bubba” Hernandez has the heart of a wanderer.
Sure, the San Antonio native has stuck fast to Denton for more than 20 years. But musically, this cat knows no boundaries.
Hernandez earned two Grammy Awards with Denton’s nuclear polka act, Brave Combo. Then he went solo, and Polka Freak Out, his 2007 album with powerhouse accordionist Alex Meixner, scored another Grammy nomination.
After that came Dancing En Fuego in 2008, which found Hernandez downshifting to a pop-rock wrestling match between old school funk and Middle Eastern lounge refereed by traditional Latin music. (It also includes the somewhat self-revelatory number “Crappy Boyfriend.”)
Big Pounding Heart, the full-length that comes out officially in August, represents yet another intriguing shift for Hernandez. Teaming up with Los Angeles guitarist and producer Scrote (who’s worked with Daniel Johnston, No Doubt and Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart), Hernandez set off on a project that would be organic and honest while delivering his incomparable fiery yearning.
Big Pounding Heart is a steel cage match between Hernandez’s penchant for enormous sound and his latest experiment with sounding less like — well, Bubba Hernandez.
“This had Scrote chasing me around the house with low-end mics and direct boxes as I played anything bang-able or strum-able in my path,” he said. And that included kitchen cabinets, keys, basses, guitars, box fans, wine bottles and washing machines.
After that, Hernandez took some of Denton’s music greats into the studio to round everything out.
Details: The Big Pounding Heart CD release show starts at 10 p.m. Saturday at Dan’s Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St. Bubba Hernandez y Los Super Vatos will perform, with opening act Mariachi Quetzal. Cover is $8.
Elsewhere in Texas: In August, Hernandez will perform in Austin and Houston.
— Lucinda Breeding