Joe Treviño

Joe Treviño


Joe Treviño (aka Blue Cat) has been making records in San Antonio for over 30 years. His first recording was a project for a local comedian, doing comedy interwoven with rhythm and blues music. Great fun along with developing old school recording and editing techniques. After that, projects started leading into one another and soon the studio starting buzzing with the vibrant San Antonio underground music scene of the early 80s. Shortly after, he outgrew his home/garage studio and moved to a larger commercial building in North San Antonio.

Work began there with a very ground breaking concept. A Rap opera. Elephant Tracks studios is where things really started happening. Staying true to the original concept of making high quality recording available to local musicians, we built our new model up from there. Soon the bustling Tejano scene started to explode and we started attracting some of the larger acts that were getting signed to major labels with legitimate recording budgets. Jay Perez, Super Groupo Mazz, Latin Breed, Michael Salgado, La Diferencia David Marez, Henry Gomez’s fantastic Mariachi arrangements, Steve Jordan etc.etc. Those were some crazy times with many teething pains. We were too big to be small and too small to be big but we stepped up and it payed off. We started racking up hit singles and gold records. I think that the artists and their labels liked our no-rules approach to recording. If it sounded different but still worked for the song we trusted our instincts and went with it. In hindsight, we influenced a lot of the sounds that are the norm in those genre’s today.

By now we were competing on a regional level and started receiving accolades from larger markets. Very strange when we started receiving bookings from other cities and other states based on the sound of something we recorded. It felt like we were still doing the same thing we always did except that luck (fate?) intervened. People started becoming aware of us and who we were recording.

About that time, with Tejano / Norteño music at the height of its popularity, Nashville started giving us a serious look and they formed a division of Arista Records called Arista Texas. They gave us our first big record. Our first encounter with a real Hollywood producer working with one of the true legends proud to call San Antonio home. Bill Halverson recording the great Flaco Jimenez. We hit it off with Flaco instantly and thus became the beginning of a long fun ride that’s still going strong. Recording Flaco and his assorted session musician projects that come to us from all over the world never gets old! Did I mention that the studio picked up its first Grammy with Flaco’s project? YeeHaw!!!! More work ensued with Los Lonely Boys, Augie Meyer, Texas Tornadoes, Los Tex Maniacs, The Krayolas, Los Lobos, The Maverick’s and many regional and international acts. Along with three more Grammy’s and 16 nominations for records produced and recorded at our studio. Keep in mind that all this works concurrently while still staying close to our roots and making time to collaborate on local self financed projects that benefit artists from our community. It truly has been an awesome ride with no signs of letting up with yet another crop of artists discovering our history.

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