Bio

 

Simi Valley, California-born, and Portland, Oregon-based singer-songwriter Freddy Trujillo is self-releasing his fourth solo album, I Never Threw A Shadow At it, May 24th. A very personal record based around Chicano experiences, it is the follow-up to 2022’s Sketch of a Man. Trujillo, who is also the bass player for The Delines and Richmond Fontaine, delivers an honest storyteller’s look at his life growing up in Southern California as a Chicano.

The record is so personal that the album’s title track, “I Never Threw A Shadow At It,” details a situation where Trujillo called the Los Angeles Police Department when someone attempted to steal his car, only to be treated like the criminal because of the color of his skin when the police showed up.

“I usually write songs about my life or memories,” he says of the song. “[This song] is about a personal incident I had with the LAPD in 1992. All songs, except ‘Corpus Christi’ and ‘Remember’ are personal songs or about someone that is close to me.”

Fueled by the 70s Nuyorican-soul vibe of the title track, a highlight of the album for Trujillo, and one of his proudest moments, I Never Threw A Shadow At It blends folk, Chicano-rock, and a lot of heart throughout its ten tracks. Featuring every member of The Delines on the record, and engineered and co-produced by The Delines’ Cory Gray at his Old Unconscious Studios, the album will appeal to fans of Trujillo’s other band, while sounding nothing like The Delines.

“This record has all The Delines on it in some way or the other. But the record is super different [than The Delines],” admits Trujillo. “I am exploring different beats and tempos. If I didn't say anything, a person wouldn't have guessed that it is the same group of people."

The album opens up with the bouncy, pop-driven rocker “Corpus Christi,” originally a song Willy Vlautin wrote for The Delines, but the band decided not to use. Taken by the song, Trujillo asked to use it for his album, giving the song a new spin, and its tale of addiction, abuse, and spiraling out of control sets the tone for the album.

“This album has been a great learning experience for me,” beams Trujillo. “I learned to collaborate with other writers. Willy Vlautin helped me close out ‘I Never Threw A Shadow At It.” I was about 3/4 finished when I just needed a way to close it up and he nailed it.”

Like many albums from artists with a lot of time on their hands during the pandemic, I Never Threw A Shadow Out It grew from needing something to do while you couldn’t tour or play out.

“This album was motivated by needing something to do during the pandemic. I finally had a group of guys that show up as my band and then covid hits. I felt I had to do something to keep us engaged since we couldn't play,” he recalls of the origins of the songs. “The Black Lives Matter movement got me thinking about my own struggles with the police throughout my life. Especially when I was younger. ‘Many Years of Minding,’ which closes out the album, is sort of a bookmark or review of what my experience has been in the United States. I am staying on theme with a lot of my past records, which is life as a Chicano. ‘I Didn't Cross the Border, The Border Crossed Me’ is exactly that, a look at the fact that Mexican culture was in the Southwest before it was considered America.”

Trujillo’s first three records - 2002’s debut Hawks & Highways, 2014’s Amexica, and 2022’s Sketch of a Man  - were recorded and produced by close friend and frequent collaborator Luther Russell on analog tape machines. However, due to social distancing, I Never Threw A Shadow At it is Trujillo’s first record not done with Russell and first recorded digitally.

“There was no particular reason [I didn’t work with Russell], besides that having to social distance in the pandemic the digital recording was easier to do that with. I recorded an acoustic guitar, bass line, and vocal first and handed that off to the other musicians. When they worked out their parts, we had them come in and record. And the record was born.”

When asked how the record fits in the musical landscape of today, Trujillo shrugs that he’s not sure if it does, noting he’s never really fit in prior. But, he’s still proud of the record and knows it fits in somewhere, and that those that connect with it will really connect with it.

“I am not sure. I haven't fit in very well up to this point. Although, I have been waiting for a time like this. I feel there are many Latino artists doing experimental things. Artists like Adrian Quesada, Gaby Moreno, Chicano Batman, Sacred Souls, and Angelica Garcia are moving things into new territory. I hope I can get noticed by the people that are putting these artists on the map. Latin music has always been so safe. Whether it be Mexican polkas or Latin dance grooves like Reggaeton, it’s been safe. I wanted to make a record that didn’t feel safe, but really spoke the truth, from my experiences.”

Songs like “I Didn’t Cross The Border, The Border Crossed Me, “Mexican Hearts,” “World There Haunting Me,” and “Many Years of Minding” are eye-opening, cut-to-the-bone tales of life as a Chicano growing up in the United States. Growing up feeling like he never fit in may have worked to Trujillo’s advantage in the long run, something he feels may give his music an edge.

“I don't think I fit in anywhere,” he says with honesty. “I think it is a weird place to be. It is a good place when you finally get noticed, but it can feel a little lonely when you don't have that scene. I realize I need to get out of Portland more often because I don't feel like I fit anywhere locally.”

Though the record came out like he heard it in his head when he was writing it, there are parts of the record that surprised him, and still surprise him, when he listens to it.

“I think some of the guitar work that Ag Donnaloa and Kenny Coleman did was way different that I expected,” he exclaims. “Especially ‘Mexican Hearts.’ They came up with a guitar line that almost seemed out of the ordinary. It really grew on me. That is what is cool about collaboration. The tune ‘Windows’ was the last to arrive on the list. I had Patricia Rojas come in to record violin on it and she added vocals. That song is a clue to the new direction of my work. I have started singing duets with her and we just brought in a Chicana stand-up bass player.”

Now that the record is done and ready for release, Trujillo plans to tour and support the record any way he can, whether that means playing it out solo acoustic, with a stripped-down band, or his full band.

“As a solo artist, I will have to perform this record in a variety of ways. I play the songs with the band just like the record, but I will have to perform these solo as well. But, however I perform it live, I want to use it to spread more awareness outside of Portland. I hope to make my birth state of California, Washington, and other parts of Oregon just as much my scene as Portland. I really want to get out there more as a solo artist than I have in the past, and try to get this record to reach people.”



 

 

 

Music

Amexica

Trujillo

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Amexica is a sonic journey to "Aztlan", a new yardstick for psychedelic Chicano-rock and The New Brown Soul.

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Sketch of a Man

Freddy Trujillo

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Freddy Trujillo unleashes his most personal album to date, “Sketch of a Man.” Poetic memoir, melody and grooves shimmy and shine on this 10-track album, recorded in one, hot week with long time collaborator and celebrated producer Luther Russell in L.A., a stone’s throw from Trujillo’s old stomping grounds. Trujillo brings Western American soul

Freddy Trujillo unleashes his most personal album to date, “Sketch of a Man.” Poetic memoir, melody and grooves shimmy and shine on this 10-track album, recorded in one, hot week with long time collaborator and celebrated producer Luther Russell in L.A., a stone’s throw from Trujillo’s old stomping grounds. Trujillo brings Western American soul with Mexican swing to Sketch, creating an eclectic musical stew with lyrical themes exploring his Chicano roots, tracing his journey from his childhood home in Simi Valley to Hollywood California

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Hawks & Highways

Freddy Trujillo

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Native American folk meets rock in espanol; eclectic, melodic, well-written music embraced by ethnic flavors.

Freddy Trujillo was born in 1969 in Simi Valley, California. Throughout his life, Freddy Trujillo became more and more intrigued by Native-American culture, an interest, which blossomed after meeting and befriending many intertribal

Native American folk meets rock in espanol; eclectic, melodic, well-written music embraced by ethnic flavors.

Freddy Trujillo was born in 1969 in Simi Valley, California. Throughout his life, Freddy Trujillo became more and more intrigued by Native-American culture, an interest, which blossomed after meeting and befriending many intertribal families in the Pacific Northwest. Getting involved with powwows and native causes led Freddy to meeting the Trimble-Robideau family. He eventually married Monika Robideau, second cousin of freedom-fighter Leonard Peltier. Trujillo's dream of creating a conceptual rock and roll/pop record about the modern American Indian and Chicano experience has finally been realized with the birth of Hawks and Highways. Not since the classic days of Jesse Ed Davis, Redbone and Robbie Robertson of the Band has music come along that is at once rootsy and melodic as it is uniquely Native-American themed.

Freddy Trujillo began his musical career in 1988 playing bass with Pat Smear from the legendary L.A. punk band the Germs, later of Nirvana and the Foo Fighters. He was then with Geffen recording artists I Love You for a brief spell before joining forces with his sister, Amy Trujillo, who as Am'e Lorain had a top ten hit called "Whole Wide World." Along with drummer Victor Indrizzo (Beck, Macy Gray, Willie Nelson) they formed Family Affair, a multi-ethnic funk group that made a critically acclaimed album for BMG in 1990.

In 1993, after Family Affair disbanded, Freddy moved from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon to pursue an education at Portland State University. His focus was classical bass and Chicano/Latino studies. This led to playing in the school symphony and getting heavily involved in M.E.Ch.A., a student movement dedicated to the awareness of Mexican-American culture. Still, Freddy had always wanted to play his own music, which took over as his main goal after years of the college grind.

In 1998, Freddy started to drift into the local Portland music scene, which led to forming the short-lived group Federale with Luther Russell (Freewheelers), Jimi Bott (Fabulous Thunderbirds) and Marc Ford (Black Crowes). Federale managed to sign with Geffen, but disbanded prior to delivering a record. Nonetheless, this change in fortune provided the genesis for Freddy Trujillo's solo debut Hawks and Highways, after he was persuaded by old friend Luther Russell to give his own music a whirl. Luther, who has produced countless independent roots-rock and rock en español albums in the Northwest, helmed the recording of Hawks and Highways along with engineer Mike Coykendall of SanFrancisco's own Old Joe Clarks.

Hawks and Highways emerges as the first true Native-American-themed rock and roll record of the millennium, with echoes of Freddy's Chicano background and musical influences as diverse as Stevie Wonder, Los Lobos and the Beatles. Songs like "Red Bones" (which has already been covered twice) and "Hawks and Highways" address Trujillo's feelings about his heritage, while "Sides" and "Owl Dance" reflect his Mexican influences. Hawks and Highways is not without it's rambunctious humor, where Luther Russell's "Art of Hangin' Loose (In An Uptight World)" and the Latin Brothers'"Buscándote" get fevered readings. The sound of the album is homespun and colorful, Inglés y Spanish, Red and Brown, Pop and Soul and something different for a new generation of music listeners and rock and roll fans.

¡Disfruta!

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Videos

Store

Hawks & Highways: Vinyl
  • Hawks & Highways: Vinyl
  • Hawks & Highways: Vinyl

Hawks & Highways: Vinyl

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Limited Edition Black 160 gram 12" vinyl. Cover is a matte finish. The album is debut solo release, which deals with the intertwining of Native American and Chicano experiences in Rock n' Roll form. Tribute to bands like Redbone and El Chicano with a little Beatle pop influence.

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Amexica: Vinyl
  • Amexica: Vinyl
  • Amexica: Vinyl

Amexica: Vinyl

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Release Year- 2014 Limited Edition Black 160 gram 12" vinyl. Cover is a matte finish. Second album, is more Chicano-themed with songs tributing Tejano artists like Freddy Fender.

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Hawks & Highways: CD
  • Hawks & Highways: CD
  • Hawks & Highways: CD

Hawks & Highways: CD

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Release year 2002 First Edition Compact Disc in Jewel box with full-color disc and four-panel sleeve.

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Amexica: CD
  • Amexica: CD

Amexica: CD

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Release year - 2002 First edition full-color disc and full-color sleeve. 888295029889

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Sketch of a Man: CD
  • Sketch of a Man: CD
  • Sketch of a Man: CD

Sketch of a Man: CD

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$12.00

Release Year- 2022 First Edition Compact Disc Black and White disc and Digipak. Poetic memoir, melody and grooves shimmy and shine on this 10-track album, recorded in one, hot week with longtime collaborator and celebrated producer Luther Russell in L.A. The album is an eclectic musical stew with lyrical themes exploring his Chicano roots and

Release Year- 2022 First Edition Compact Disc Black and White disc and Digipak. Poetic memoir, melody and grooves shimmy and shine on this 10-track album, recorded in one, hot week with longtime collaborator and celebrated producer Luther Russell in L.A. The album is an eclectic musical stew with lyrical themes exploring his Chicano roots and tracing his journey from his childhood home in Simi Valley to Hollywood California.

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Sketches of a Man T-Shirt
  • Sketches of a Man T-Shirt

Sketches of a Man T-Shirt

Size

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Sketch of a Man album cover print White 100% t-shirt with a black print.

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Press

Freddy Trujillo of Delines & Richmond Fontaine Premieres 'Little Birds' Video” - Cara Gibney

No Depression

Freddy Trujillo on The Delines, Richmond Fontaine, and the Music of his Mixed Heritage” - Cara Gibney

No Depression

Episode #14 featuring Freddy Trujillo”

That Much Further West Podcast

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