and songwriter Juan Barco, born in Lytle, Texas, brings
an enormous wealth of experience to the Tejano folk
music for which he is so well-known in the Northwest
and his native Texas.
songs are colored by his childhood experiences in the
migrant labor camps of the South and the Midwest, his
service in the military at the Army Firing Range in
Yakima, his rich musical family background, and by his
twenty years as a caseworker for the Washington State
Department of Health and Human Services.
he has lived in Seattle since 1974, Barco still feels
a close affinity with the Texas of his youth, and claims
to still "love Texas. I'm a Tejano and I'm happy when
I get to go there. I think so much of Texas and I always
remind myself and my family that it is our roots."
corridos often recall many of these influences, which
often serve as the inspiration for his songs, such as
his No Te Raches Maria, which chronicles his
sister's struggles to overcome domestic violence, poor-health,
and the loss of her job. Alli Lo Espera, or "There
She Waits" recalls the story of an old woman in a nursing
home who is always waiting for her family to visit.
sense of place, purpose, honor, dignity and responsibility
are qualities that pervade much of Barco's work. As
Barco says, "I guess writing songs from experiences
and people I know is my way of giving back to them.
I've written songs about our old home in Texas, about
my family and friends. It's like a picture, or chapters
in a book."