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Don and Victoria Armstrong

Frank Ross of The Street Minstrels writes about musicians Don & Victoria Armstrong who performed at the Travis Edmonson tribute concert on May 9, 2008.

 I am still basking in the glow of a wonderful Sunday afternoon at my house in Tucson . I invited just a few friends: Don and Victoria Armstrong ,professional singers who had the pleasure of performing Malagueña Salerosa at the most recent Travis Tribute on May 8 , 2009 ;my neighbor : Rubén Morales   ; my friend Humberto Escobar - who heads up Trio Montecarlo here in Tucson ;and  my friend Taco who is a new fan of Bud and Travis.

We heard stories from the recent tribute at Fiddler's Dream . Don and Victoria felt so honored and scared to play for Travis , someone that they had  heard since back in the early 60's . Don shared that he used to listen to the Santa Monica vinyl record over and over again , and just recently told a joke without realizing that he had heard it first  from that very album !! We compared The Smothers Brothers' humor with Bud and Travis' humor . B&T's humor to me , seemed more spontaneous , and their timing was simply flawless.

Guitars were tuned , and Don and Victoria began with a lovely rendition of Los Dos .Fine harmonies , nice guitar picking. They followed that with La Vaquilla Colorada . Then a stunning version of "El pastor ", which was performed many years ago by Mexican legend : Miguel Aceves Mejías . What a song , what falsettos !!

Don & Victoria Armstrong
Don & Victoria Armstrong entertain at the home of Frank Ross

We talked about how Travis taught Bud all the Spanish songs PHONETICALLY . And that the group Travis most admired and wanted to pattern himself after was Trio Los Panchos . With Travis' lovely voice  the help of Bud's fine picking and harmonies , they did a fabulous job . There is a cadence and a style of bolero that B&T managed to capture perfectly . Then came the time when Don and Victoria performed Malagueña Salerosa . Oh my Lord ! It was different , yet many aspects were patterned after B&T's version . When they started doing their falsettos, I couldn't believe my ears . Their voices were so pure , so well in tune that I could close my eyes and hear Bud and Travis performing it .  It brought tears to my eyes and touched my soul so very deeply.

Both Don and Victoria held their high notes with such feeling and passion, it moved my heart  to the very core .Even in our small little gathering , I felt like giving them a standing ovation , as I know they were given at Fiddler's Dream . I was so happy , and it made me wish and hope that other young people could hear this sound , so that they would fall in love with it and carry on this beautiful tradition.

Frank Ross and Humberto Escobar
Frank Ross and Humberto Escobar singing "No me Quieras Tanto" at Frank's home in Tucson

Bert and I had some fun playing No Me Quieras Tanto, Sabor a Mi and Cu-Cu-RRu-CuCu Paloma.

We talked about old mexican trios , about songs like :  Alma Llanera  , about how Travis seemed genuinely to enjoy the evening , and how warm and receptive the atmosphere was at the Fiddler's Inn. It was a great evening of fun and music.
Frank Ross
May 2008

PS- A plug for the Armstrongs : get on, and get their lovely CD "Chico and The Cherokee gal."

Then check out and check out our latest  CD's : "A Minstrel Christmas" and  "Barely Live from Bookman's " ($18.00 includes postage and handling)I'm quite proud of them.



Don & Victoria Armstrong
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