BY AARON CARNES/ FEBRUARY 18, 2020
Jimmy Palafox had some impressive teachers—Adolfo “Fito” de la Parra, drummer of Canned Heat, and Jose “Chepito” Areas, percussionist of Santana, who are both family friends. Though primarily a drummer himself, Palafox started writing his own songs on the guitar in 2017, calling the project the New Horizons. Within a few months he found members to round out the four-piece band.
His original songs were highly influenced by the music of his mentors, a mix of Latin music and blues-rock.
“The band mostly evolved from the Latin and Blues stuff that I was playing. Then the new guys brought in their own touch. It kind of created this unique sound,” Palafox says.
In 2018, the band—which at the time was Palafox (drums), Owen Drew (lead guitar), Jacob Bayani (rhythm guitar/vocals), and Caleb Riley (bass/vocals)—recorded its first full-length. The songs reflect the diversity of the band—while still rooted in Latin music, psych-rock and blues, it goes into a lot of other areas.
“We don’t like to stick to a genre. We like to play a little bit of everything. You become a better musician if you play more styles and don’t just stick to one specific thing. Blues, rock, reggae, alternative, jazz. We’re constantly learning new genres,” Palafox says.
The group released two of the songs, “No Rich Man” and a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Slow Train” to online streaming services last summer, in the hopes of building the band’s fanbase and raising money to finish their album. The current version of the band still includes Palafox and Bayani, but now has Xai Clayton on bass and Sal Contreras on guitar. They hope to release the album later this year.