Hacia Ya Tiempo
Mision Norteña imports the accordion-fueled polka grooves of south Texas and northern Mexico to Minnesota—you almost feel warmer just listening. A mix of original tunes and covers, the band’s first album (the name of which translates to “It’d been a while”) will have you on the first plane headed south of the border, visions of margaritas dancing—to the polka—in your head, or at least curled under your sun lamp. The fast, sing-along clip of “El Panal de Miel” and “Suavecito Suavecito” will make you wish you’d paid more attention in Spanish class.
Lehto & Wright
Between the Jigs and the Reels
New Folk Records
Jigs feature prominently on this high-octane effort, as you’d expect from a Celtic rock band. The duo (sometimes a trio) has filled this album purely with instrumentals, some new, some previously released in other forms, all textured electric takes on traditional Irish musical fare. Throw back a hot toddy over the lively whistle on “The Monaghan Jig” and listen for the sweetly chirping bird on “Bonaparte’s Retreat.” These guys are genuine rovers, playing Grand Rapids, Bemidji—the works—so catch them at a pub or festival near you for the full effect.