The Caliente Column

Rick Trevino: "Rayo De Luz"
By Doug Shannon (

Rick Trevino's new releases "Looking For The Light" and "Un Rayo De
Luz" are like the sun and the moon.  They were created from the same
elements but for very different reasons.

"The goal on 'Looking For The Light' is to have country radio accept
my records," he said.

"The only reason I cut these albums in Spanish is because it gives me
a chance to grow in my own culture and to speak Spanish."

You can hear three versions of the single "Looking For The Light"--
Spanish, bilingual, and English.  The video only comes in two
versions--Spanish and English.

The 22-year-old Austin native is finding popularity in the Tejano and
country markets simultaneously.  His slim, boyish looks have made him
a staple of CMT and TNN.  "She Can't Say I Didn't Cry" won the Tejano
Country category at the 1995 Tejano Music Awards.  However, his
conspicuous absence at the awards show ruffled some feathers.

"It's very, very, very flattering to be recognized in the Tejano
market but the bottom line is I don't have time to do both," he said.

Trevino's country success requires that he tour as far north as
Minnesota, Calgary, and Edmonton.  He's currently opening for Sawyer
Brown.  And after selling 400,000 copies of his self-titled debut
album, it's easy to see why he wouldn't have too much time to spend
on the Tejano market, where only a handful of releases sell over
100,000 copies.

"I'm signed to Columbia Nashville, not Sony Discos.  But I wanted
to service 'Un Rayo De Luz' to Sony Discos so just in case anyone
wanted to hear my country songs in Spanish, they could."

Just one year after the release of "Dos Mundos," Regional Mexican
labels like Disa and FonoVisa began signing Mexican-based country
acts.  Trevino says he isn't too impressed with what these groups
have been recording--mostly loosely translated covers of American
country tunes.

"I guess that's their prerogative," he said.  "When you listen to
tracks like mine, which are cut in Nashville, there's a big
difference compared to the tracks recorded by the south-of-the-
border labels.  I'm not really surprised it happened."

The most personal song on "Looking For The Light" is "San Antonio
Rose To You," a song that Trevino wrote and dedicated to his late
grandfather, who wasn't a musician but loved to hear Rick play the
piano.  Trevino said it wasn't hard for him to share that song with
the public.

"That's something that a lot of people can relate to.  The only
time it would be hard to share a personal song would be if it was
a little too hard or too personal.  'Si Tu Ves Un Hombre Llorar,'
from my first album, is about as personal as it gets."

"Looking For The Light" and "Un Rayo De Luz" were produced by Steve
Buckingham and Blake Chancey.  Buckingham, who also produces Ricky
Van Shelton, originally "discovered" Trevino in Austin and helped
him win a good recording contract.  Chancey is head of Artists and
Repertoire at Columbia Nashville.

Trevino also brought in respected songwriter Manny Benito to do the
Spanish translations.  Benito's musical background made the
translations go more smoothly, especially on shuffles like
"Full Deck of Cards."

"'Poor, Broke, Mixed-Up Mess Of A Heart' was the most difficult song
to translate.  I don't think I can sing it live in Spanish yet,"
Trevino said.

Though the bulk of his chart success is in the English market,
Trevino will continue recording for his Spanish-speaking fans.

"I'm more proud of my heritage than ever...I'm not going to stop
doing albums in Spanish.  I know more Spanish than I've ever known
in my life."