Joe "King" Carrasco
Carrasco comes on like an adenoidal Doug Sahm, minus the late Sahm's R&B obsession. He first signed to Stiff Records in the late 1970s on the strength of his ragged-but-right Tejano/Garage Rock. Mixing the pumping Farfisa organ sounds of Sam The Sham and the early Sir Douglas Quintet with authentic bits of Norteno and Tex Mex music, he developed a cult following at home and abroad. Carrasco has always been a critical favorite as much for his music as for his wacky live persona, which included wearing a crown and cape and acting genuinely hopped-up and out of his mind. As his career progressed, Carrasco incorporated other types of world music into his sound. His lyrics were openly critical of America's oppressive presence in Central America, betraying a lot more depth and belying his let-the-good-times-roll persona.