The Last Bandoleros, the country-rock band who blend elements of the early Beatles with Tejano vibes, have released a new song, the mysteriously titled “Dancing With Irene.”
Propelled by a twangy Buck Owens riff and country beat, the track highlights the group’s tight harmonies. But Irene is more of a warning than an actual person. According to the Bandoleros’ drummer Emilio Navaira, the name is shorthand for that which will derail you.
“Irene is your weakness. We all like to go out and drink, and every time you do it, there’s this thing looming over your head, where you can have too much to drink and get in trouble,” says Emilio, who with his bass-playing brother Diego Navaira make up the rhythm section of the group. “So Irene is that thing you have to be careful about, but you still can’t stop going back to.”
“Since you came along I’ve been lost in a fog / don’t be so mean, Irene,” go the lyrics, going on to hint at inescapable trouble with the law. “I know how it ends / red and blue or on the scene, Irene.”
“Irene is the booze, it’s the woman, or it’s just the thing,” says guitarist Jerry Fuentes. “I want to go have fun, but this could wind up really fucking me later.”
The Last Bandoleros, rounded out by guitarist Derek James, will hit the road in March on a spring tour, stopping in cities from Philadelphia to Boston. In April, they’ll play the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.