Emanuel Gonzalez: True Country in The Rio Grande Valley

Tell us about yourself and your music

I’m 50 years old and live in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas. I’ve played guitar since I was eight years old. I enjoy listening to all types of music but have gravitated more towards Country Music. In my opinion, Country Music songs are songs born from Heartland. They convey humility and are simple to sing and play. I enjoy writing and composing songs too. I’ve been interested in the Country Music genre since Kenny Rogers debuted his albums, “The Gambler” and “Coward of the County”. Then, when I heard some of the songs from the “Urban Cowboy” soundtrack, I was blown away. I loved Charlie Daniel’s “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”. In fact, I remember when I was ten or eleven years old, I shared the song with my parish priest and some of the parishioners in my Catholic Church. When the news got to the mother of my questionable taste in music, I was in so much trouble. I explained that the lyrics had nothing to do with why I enjoyed the song. It was about absorbing the tempo, music riffs, and the melody of the song. Music has always come easy to me, both vocally and instrumentally. Of course, being from Texas, Willie Nelson, and George Strait were big influences, but I listened to a lot of George Jones, Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty, Marty Stuart, Merl Haggard, and Garth Brooks. These are the Country Music artists that have inspired me. Being raised down on the border allowed me also to also absorb some of Mexico’s greatest “Rancheras” and “Boleros”. I was heavily influenced by Pedro Infante and Jose Alfredo Jimenez. So I’d like to think I’m driven by the best of both worlds when it comes to my music.

Talk to us more about your latest release

I’m not on SoundCloud. I went through CD Baby, and here is an artist page below.

This is my first official release. I had a late start in music because I dedicated most of my time and effort to my family and teaching Math. Now that my sons are older, I’ve dedicated some time to writing and composing. I’ve been doing this since the fall of 2015. I remember my first song. I felt I had accomplished something extraordinary, so I just kept on writing until I accumulated about 30 songs. Within the next five years, I researched how to utilize a Tascam 8 track machine and I laid down tracks of the best songs that I thought would make a good album. With further research, I discovered CD Baby and I used some of their tools to master the tracks, and here I am. If you listen carefully, I only use Spanish acoustic guitar, drums, and bass. I feel that keeping it simple allows for the song to shine. I feel that many times the message gets lost in the arrangement. So many songs today are meant to cater to big arena performances, and that’s not what I’m about. I place a lot of attention to the song, and I record it in such a way that the audience can really admire it. I guess that being older has made me realize that I only have so many years left to make a difference, and I at least would like to make the best of those years producing fine Country music, regardless of where I live and who I am.

What inspired you to write this release?

My belief in God and the support of my family and close friends.  The title track and album title were inspired in memory of both of my parents who I lost in the early and mid-2000s.  They were very important to me and very supportive of my musical pursuits.

Describe the writing and recording process

It’s kind of simple for me.  I twiddle around with the guitar to find a progression.  Once I think I got something, I start finding a theme that leads to the lyrics.  I scribble in a spiral notebook until it’s all laid out.  I’m very old school when it comes to recording.  I just do it over and over again in my Tascam until I feel I got it just right.  I know that there are easier methods of utilizing computer software, but that’s not for me.  I really enjoy doing it my way.

Any plans to release a video?

Any plans to hit the road?

I have no plans to hit the road nor do I have any pending concert dates, but I’m always open to appearances if a band is willing to back me up.  I played all the instruments in my recordings, so I don’t have a band of my own, but hopefully, God willing, that’ll change in the future.

As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?

My brand is about True Country.  I’m “true” to myself, my sound, and who I am.  I’m at a point in my life where I’m not thinking about fame and fortune in the industry, but I’d love to have something wonderful come out of my music, whether it is featured on television, the big screen, or even licensed out to a bigger artist.  I at least want to feel the satisfaction that I made a difference by giving it my all.

Who have you been listening to lately?

I listen to Prime Country on Sirus XM.  I enjoy the music by Brad Paisley, Eric Church, Luke Bryan, and Carrie Underwood.  Track 3 of my album (Twilight Bay) was written with vocals by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley in mind…hint…just kidding.

Who are your biggest influences?

George Jones, Conway Twitty, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers, Marty Stuart, George Strait, and Garth Brooks. If you really listen carefully, you’ll hear the style of these brilliant guys in my songs.


Tell us about your passions

I’ve been a math teacher for 28 years to 5th graders in the Rio Grande Valley.  It’s been a wonderful ride as a teacher.  I’ve seen many of my students become wonderful and productive adults.  Some of them have even come back to thank me.  It really makes me feel that I have inspired them and I have made a difference in their lives.  My other passion is grilling on Saturdays.  I don’t want to brag, but I think I make the best beef “fajitas” in South Texas.  Haha. 

What else is happening next in your world?

I’m already producing my second album.  Next time I’m going to belt out my skills with electric guitar and accordion.  If not with the real McCoy, well I’ll at least try in my Casio Keyboard. HaHa.

Thanks for an awesome interview, Emanuel Gonzalez

Connect with Emanuel Gonzalez

Website: https://hearnow.com/settings/analb02078885#nt_base_menuFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100052574214348Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/emanuelgonzalez1169/Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aahgaTc9wCk&list=OLAK5uy_mcuvzxl_PTVjqi8neYAyhT7CDRp9ZKek8

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