With a bombastic mix of vintage rock and roll, rhythm and blues, surf guitar, and latin beats, R.J. & The Del Guapos are poised to set record players ablaze with their debut album, "Rockin! with R.J. & The Del Guapos" on Teresita Records.
Singer and guitarist, R.J. Ronquillo has worked as a sideman most his professional life - backing artists as diverse as Stevie Wonder, Ricky Martin, and reggae legends Inner Circle. But in 2012, he decided to step to the forefront and start his own project, focusing on his passion for early rock n roll and blues.
"My first guitar hero was Marty McFly," referring to Michael J. Fox's character from the 1985 blockbuster hit "Back To The Future." "That's how I got into Chuck Berry. Then when "La Bamba" came out a few years later, I discovered Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly, and Eddie Cochran, and it just catapulted from there. So Hollywood played a big role, actually!"
"The music is really a direct influence of the cities I've lived in," says RJ Ronquillo. Born and raised in Detroit, MI, R.J. has lived in Miami, Los Angeles, and now Chicago.
"Detroit gave me Rock 'n Roll and Motown, Miami gave me Latin and Afro-Cuban rhythms, LA gave me West Coast blues and Surf music, and now Chicago - I feel like I'm home, with the deep history of electric blues and rock n roll that came from here.
Backed by his red-blooded rhythm section, The Del Guapos, featuring Ron Dziubla (Duane Eddy) on saxophone, Pete Curry (Los Straitjackets) on drums, and Rob Douglas (Nick Waterhouse) on Fender bass , "Rockin! with R.J. & The Del Guapos" is sure to become a new classic rock n roll record.
As rockabilly legend and self proclaimed guitar geek, Deke Dickerson says in the liner notes:
“It’s always a pleasure for a jaded old curmudgeon like me to see a dude like R.J. Ronquillo come out of nowhere, playing the living hell out of his guitar and singing great. A record like this will restore your faith in music! I was introduced to R.J. a few years ago, and I mainly knew him as a guitarist who played with other people, and I thought to myself, this guy is really, really good. Then he put this group together and recorded the record you are now holding, with fantastic results! Rock and Roll, rockin’ blues, a touch of rockabilly and soul, played with taste and conviction, with a great supporting cast in the form of Ron Dziubla on saxophone, Pete Curry on drums, and Rob Douglas on bass. How can you go wrong? I’ll tell you, you can’t go wrong buying this record. Just put it on and let R.J. Ronquillo impress the hell out of you the way he did me."