Rockin' & Rollin' with the Marines in Reseda

Louie Parra & The Mad Latins join the Marines for Friday Night at the Legion

By Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: June 15, 2009

Rockin' & Rollin' with the Marines in Reseda

This past Friday night was a time for dancing, romancing, rockin' and a rollin', as Louie Parra & The Mad Latins Band made their first San Fernando Valley appearance ever, at the invitation of the San Fernando Valley Marine Corps League.

Continuing their on going popular "Friday Night at the Legion" series of dance/concerts at the Reseda American Legion Post, the SFV Marines, family, and friends were pleasantly surprised and totally entertained, as the Mad Latins put on a superb performance of hot dance party music, and made many new fans & friends on this night.

As host and emcee, I was once again lucky enough to share a stage with the Mad Latins, a talented and popular group out of the Inland Empire area that specializes in Funk, Soul, Latin Soul and "East Side sound" Oldies, that I have been fortunate to call friends for a couple of years...I also got in some boogie time of my own.

"Our usual and large following from the Inland Empire wasn't with us tonight, so we felt a little nervous in front of such a large crowd that we didn't know, and who didn't know us," lead vocalist and band leader Louie Parra said. "Besides being honored to be performing in front of a group of Veterans I highly admire and respect, we felt the challenge of letting new people know who we are was a great motivator for us to just come out and give it our all, sharing the love, and hoping that people like our music."

That hope being granted, Louie and the Mad Latins kicked it up hard, and made the warm balmy evening even warmer, as they sizzled through three sets of great music that had people dancing and romancing all night long, especially through their trademark oldies medley. Their funk numbers are something to talk about if you've never seen the Mad Latins in action.

"I've never heard them, or heard of them till now, but man! These guys played their heart out for us tonight, and helped us make it a truly great party, and I'm glad I know them now!" SFV Marine Corps League Commandant Bennie Najar Jr. said as he addressed the crowd. "Everybody's having a great time, I'm surrounded by my fellow Marines, my family, and our friends in the community, a great band, and that's what it's all about. People coming together, having a great time,and helping support the SFV Marine Corps League. The Mad Latins are virtually donating their time to our Veteran's cause, coming all the way out here to the San Fernando Valley from the Inland Empire, and I can't thank them enough from the bottom of my heart, on behalf of all the guys in the Detachment & their ladies." The loud roar of approval from the crowd indicated he wasn't alone in his sentiments.

Like all the other Marines from the SFV Marine Corps League Detachment 1277, when he wasn't busy interacting with guests making them feel welcome and comfortable, Bennie was out there getting his boogie on with his lady.

With each successive set becoming more lively as everybody became more familiar and comfortable after some good food and drinks, Louie and the band took it to the top with their James Brown tribute of "Sex Machine," as the band shifted into nuclear~funk mode, and Louie wowed the crowd with some fancy footwork and moves even James would take a second look at. Drawing screams & "oooohs" from the ladies in the crowd, Louie dropped to his knees on stage while continuing to dance, groove, and sing his heart out.

He did the same as he went into oldies mode, almost crying out the feelings of love and tearing heart strings, as he crooned his way into everybody's heart, and causing folks on the floor to start some smooching. (...yeah...I'm busted... I ain't gonna lie...)

A truly professional performer, it was hard to tell who was having more fun, Louie or the crowd. He & the band effortlessly combined with the crowd, glided into everyone's heart, and the evening & good time was just too short!

Surprising all the lucky patrons in the house, we were all given a treat when Louie and the band unexpectantly called up guest drummer George Salazar original THEE MIDNITERS) for a nostalgic Midniters medley, starting off with "Whittier Boulevard", and cruising into a marathon oldies grinder medley that brought back the memories, including one of the better versions of "That's all" you're ever gonna hear.

"Thee guys are so classy and fun to play with. I think they are probably one of the best in L.A. to give you that true Midniter~East Side tribute sound. That Louie Parra can sing beautifully, too !" George Salazar said afterwards.

"What talent. What a great performance. What a show. I hope we can satisfy the crowd when we get here as much as the Mad Latins have tonight". Veteran guitarist Chris Reserva of the renown SATISFACTION Band said .(The Satisfaction Band is scheduled for Friday, June 26th.

...a better endorsement you couldn't buy!

To prove they can easily slide into other genres than their trademark, the Mad Latins easily made everyone's musical evening enjoyable, as they flawlessly went through a wide array of genres, masterfully performing Cumbias, Disco, Latin Soul, Mambo, Tex~Mex, Chicano Rock & Roll, R & B, and TOP 40, keeping the crowd happy and and dancing till closing.

Like all good songs and all good rides, this show came to an end, with a lot of happy people leaving with a good music and dance experience.

The party continues with the "Friday Night at the Legion", and nights like these are not lost forever. The Mad Latins are expected back in the future, but more good music, bands, and good times are still coming.

Friday, June 26th sees the powerful SATISFACTION Band cruise into town, and many others are scheduled. For more info: USMCsgt7@aol.com or Castrellon5@yahoo.com or fred.flores@gmail.com

To contact the MAD LATINS band: TheMadLatins@msn.com

About Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor:
Frankie Firme is the Al Capone of the microphone & the Hitman of West Coast Chicano Soul heard daily on World Wide Internet Radio
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