The Port Arthur News
Singer/songwriter Jerry Diaz of Nederland and the members of the band Hanna's Reef love the beach and the lifestyles of people who have the good fortune to live near saltwater.
That should be obvious from the sunny collection of 11 songs on their new CD, On a Beach in Mexico, which will be released Thursday, Nov. 1.
The band's fourth album of original songs, all penned by Diaz, covers a wide spectrum of musical styles, from tropical pop to spicy Latin rhythms to Texas roots country and rock 'n roll. The songs showcase the creative and sometimes tongue-in-cheek lyrics that attracted a national following for Jerry Diaz & Hanna's Reef in the past 10 years.
On a Beach in Mexico, like the three previous CDs – Reef Madness (2002), Deja View (2004) and Home on the Gulf Coast (2009) – has a decidedly beach-oriented theme. It includes eight new Diaz songs and three new versions of songs that appeared on earlier albums.
“Our last album, Home on the Gulf Coast, was about the beaches of the United States,” Diaz said. “The new album is about going somewhere else where it is is nice and sunny, like Mexico.”
The eight new songs include the first cut, Beer in the Cooler, which sets the party atmosphere with lyrics such as “..if there's beer in the cooler, it will be alright....”
That is followed by the title track, On a Beach in Mexico, the Latin-flavored Welcome to Senoritaville and the rock-influenced Down to the Islands. The band then offers an up-beat love song, I've Got Love, and Diaz's haunting and sensitive ballad, I'll Be Thinking of You, before rolling out two humorous songs, the Cajun-style Ringy-Dingy Ding and Charley Tuna, a true story about three men who went fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and never returned, and the public speculation that it wasn't an accident and a love triangle led to their deaths.
“The new CD is much more mainstream than our previous albums,” Diaz said. “We've evolved from doing pop songs in the vein of Jimmy Buffett, to doing our own original songs. Each album stretched the boundaries of the music we created. On a Beach in Mexico has plenty of steel pan to give it our trademark tropical flavor. But we used more traditional instruments, such as fiddle and steel guitar. The new songs should appeal to a much larger group of people.”
Diaz and several members of the band will be in Key West, Florida, to debut the CD the biggest meeting of Tropical Rock music fans in the nation every year, the five-day “Meeting of the Minds” party.
They also will attend the Nov. 3 Trop Rock Music Association awards program, which could bring them more honors. Diaz is nominated for Best Male Vocalist and Songwriter of the Year. He and the band are up for Entertainer of the Year and Band of the Year.
In 2011, Diaz was honored by Parrotheads in Paradise, the national association of Jimmy Buffett fan clubs, which made him the second recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award. The first honoree, 20 years ago, was Buffett.
Information about Jerry Diaz & Hanna's Reef is available on-line at: www.JerryDiaz.com .