Bandolero were a Puerto Rican psych-rock band that released a self-titled album on small-press Truth in 1970.

Members: Félix “Gadget” (drums, percussion), Ismaelito (keyboards), George Matos (bass), Junior “El Loco” (guitar), José Nogueras (vocals)

Bandolero issued their singular album in the U.S. and Puerto Rico on one-press Truth Records in 1970. It features 11 originals composed by frontman José Nogueras, three in collaboration with Jerry Garcia (not of the Grateful Dead). The front and back cover photos depict the band as bandoleros (Spanish for “bandit”). The album was engineered by Pedrito Henriquez, who notched numerous technical credits on Hit Parade and other local Latin labels with acts like Azuquita, Cortijo, El Gran Combo, and Orquesta Cábala.

Musically, Bandolero combines the soupy currents of stateside downer-psych (Vanilla Fudge, Iron Butterfly) with rhythmic strains of the nascent Latin-rock style. Assortments are heard in the organ-dripping lurch of “Temura,” the introductory shimmers of the light/dark opus “Salsa Friquea,” the fuzzed-out scales and cymbal mist of “Don’t Hang Me,” and the snare-pummeled slow blues “My Life Is Always Going Through Changes.” On “Truth and Understanding” (the longest track at 7:49) the verses mine dark soul-ballad territory before yielding to a buzz-guitar solo and, later in the song, an extended percussive jam. The drummed-out organ-riff rocker “Together” was issued as a single, backed with the garagey singalong “Love Me Tonight.”

Nogueras sang one track (“La Lluvia”) on the popular album Y su Maquina del Tiempo by Cortijo & His Time Machine. He later launched a solo career and had a creative hand on albums by Trapiche, Cheo Feliciano, Conjunto Canayon, and Orquesta La Terrifica.


  • Bandolero (1970)

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