Happy Go Lucky
Hector and David Saladana formed the Krayolas in the mid-‘70s in San Antonio, Texas. At a time when area rock was king, the Saladana brothers took mid-‘60s sounds like the Hollies, the Sir Douglas Quintet and ? and the Mysterians as their inspiration. Toss in a little Motown and Stax and you have the Krayola’s recipe for classic (if underappreciated) power pop. Contemporaries like Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, and Joe “King” Carrasco achieved commercial success with similar sounds. The Krayolas, alas, never broke out of their south Texas home turf. The newly remastered edition of the Krayolas second album shows that they were worthy of a wider audience.
I am partial to the upbeat numbers like title track “Happy Go Lucky” and “Roadrunner John.” I like the free-wheeling energy of young Texas on these tunes. I can imagine the guys whipping a crowd into a frothing sweat in the basement of a small town VFW hall back in the day. The slower tunes, like the Motown inspired “Love is Gonna Getcha” are all right. I suppose you’ve got to slow down occasionally to catch your breath.
The song that speaks to me the most in this election year is “We the People.” It’s a buoyant singalong with a Woody Guthrie vibe about the people having the power to change their world. In my dreams, the Krayolas will get to play this at Beto O’Rourke’s victory party. I can dream.