Ballad of the Ballis
The saga of Padre Balli and his heirs in song.
Ballad of the Ballis is an album that tells the history of Padre Jose Nicolas Balli and his heirs. Padre Island, Texas was once owned by Padre Balli and thus the name. The songs tell of his coming from Spain and building missions and churches. Ballad of the Ballis also tells of the struggles that the Balli heirs have had in getting what is rightful theirs as his heirs.
Ballad of the Ballis” is a beautiful collection of songs about the life, ancestry, and struggles of the generations of Padre Jose Nicholas Balli, which Padre Island, Texas is named after. I had met several of his descendents (Johnny, Pearl, and Emma Balli, to name a few) many years ago in my library and genealogy work, and had helped Pearl with the research of their family tree, thus learning much more of their extensive and colorful history.
I first met Leti De La Vega 20 years ago while she was writing her “Rancho Viejo” CD, about her family's ranch life on her great grandparents land on the southern border of the Rio Grande river. Understanding her interest in creating historical ballads of the families of this region where she was born and raised, I introduced her to the Balli family at a genealogy conference in Brownsville. Leti was then asked by Pearl's mother Leonor Cerda Balli, if she could write songs of their family's history too, based on the book they were writing “Trials and Tribulations – La Verdad,” about their great-great uncle, Padre Balli, and the struggles they have all endured to insure their family's birthrights.
This album is the result of their mother's request, and paints a touching picture in music.
Yolanda Z Gonzales Gomez
- My Inheritance Listen
- En La Primera Listen
- First Longhorn Listen
- Vamos A La Feria Listen
- Padre Island Lullaby Listen
- Our Day Is To Come Listen
- Quest For The Padre Listen
- La Promesa Listen
- Virgen De Guadalupe Listen
- Balli Song Listen
- Tribute To The Veterans Listen
Leti's debut CD.
On Leti’s frist CD (Leti De La Vega Y Los Downbeats), she performed songs written by her brothers Leo and Richard and her mother Eustolia. This CD has been re-issued by popular demand under the new title La Primera.
In 2005, Leti De La Vega released “La Primera.” a re-recording and remastering of songs she had on her debut CD, “Leti De La Vega Y Los Downbeats.” Her singing voice has grown and improved since that early release. Some of the early instrumnetal parts have been redone and the whole albmn was remixed and digitally mastered. The result is that although it looks like the same album, it is in fact a completely new and improved rendering of the material and should be considered and listened to as a separate release.
By: Virgina DeBolt
From: MusicAustin.com/CD Reviews
- Cerca Del Mar Listen
- Clouds Of Imagination Listen
- Lookout Listen
- Bluebonnet Highway Listen
- Left To Die Listen
- Somewhere Somehow Listen
- Musicos En Las Corridas Listen
- Amame Listen
- Mujercita Consentida Listen
- Days Gone By Listen
- The Old Fiddler's Waltz Listen
- Make My Life Right Listen
- Why Listen
Rancho Viejo, Mexico
Leti's second CD.
The songs on Leti’s second CD (Rancho Viejo,
Mexico) are taken from stories that appear in
that history. Also, this CD has two songs for
the Balli family. Leti co-wrote all the songs on
this CD. Four generations of the Sanchez-De
La Vega family perform this CD.
‘Rancho Viejo’ album reflective of family tree
Harlingen-born Leti De La Vega is not a familiar name in the Rio Grande Valley’s Tejano music scene
of today; however, she recently sent me a compact disc, which features her family’s special recipe of Tejano music interpretation.
The Sanchez-De La Vega family’s music (Sanchez is her mother’s side, De La Vega is her father’s side) doesn’t sound anything like we are used to today, but I must admit, it’s distinct. Today’s brand
of Tejano music is much more modern, progressive and mainstream. TheSanchez-De La Vega’s
Onda Tejana is much more traditional. They mostly use string instruments, such as the acoustic guitar and violin, in addition to the accordion.
On her 11-song CD, she sings English and Spanish tunes, her unpretentious vocals sounding agradable.
Most of her songs, such as “Shooting Star”,”Rancho Viejo”, “500 Horses”, Ballad of Florindo Sanchez” and Recipes of the Ancestors” document her family’s accounts, making the album reflective of a family tree. And no wonder - Leti is the family historian. She is currently working on a writing project about the history of Rancho Viejo, Mexico, the place she spent most of her summers, and the place where she was influenced by music from both sides of the border.
Leti co-wrote all the songs on the CD, in which four generations of the Sanchez-De La Vega family perform.
By: Vilma Maldonado
From: The Monitor, July 31, 2001
- Rancho Viejo Listen
- 500 Horses Listen
- Shooting Star Listen
- Ballad Of Florindo Sanchez Listen
- Recipes Of The Ancestors Listen
- Cemetery Song Listen
- Cascabel Listen
- Tribute To The Veterans Listen
- Los Vaqueros Listen
- Water Girls Listen
- The Balli Song Listen
Canciones De La Familia De La Vega
Leti's latest CD.
Leti’s latest CD (Caniones De La Familia De La
Vega) continues the stories of her family’s history
and musical heritage. All the songs on this CD
were written and performed by Leti or one of the
members of her family.
Teresa Leticia De La Vega was born in Texas, but spent many of her summers as a child at her grandfather’s ranch in Mexico. Her electric music reflects the influences of both cultrues, and this latest CD features mostly English songs by several generations of her family. “Papa’s Blues,” one of two electric guitar instrumentals played by Leo (Leti’s brother), is a shuffling blues that also serves as a tribute their father. A few tracks feature maricachi horns, while a few others feature accordion. Although a dozen or so musicians help out, the production is kept simple and uncluttered. The album is more consistent than Leti De La Vega’s previous album on the same label, and contains more tracks as well. This a good example of how a family can draw from its bicultural roots to produce appealing and honest music on a modest scale.
By: Paul E. Comeau
From: Dirty LinenCD Reviews
- Juanita The Traveler Listen
- Papa's Blues Listen
- Lupa's Song Listen
- Simple Man Listen
- Come To Me Baby Listen
- Blue Collar Blues Listen
- Road Dog Listen
- They Gonna Let Me Be Listen
- That's The Way Listen
- Friends Listen
- Vamos A La Feria Listen
- Shucking Corn Listen
- Mi Chiquita Listen
- Ranchita's Promasitha Listen
- All My Homes Had Altars Listen