La Junta began early 2004 with a sound combining various musical styles. Influenced by so many genres, including jazz, blues, rock, reggae, Latin and hip-hop music, every song is significantly different from the next. Attempting to blend each sound, La Junta believes they have found something very refreshing in an industry of cardboard cutouts. With their unique style as a backdrop, La Junta reflects what they observe in everyday life as well as represent who they and where they come from in a positive way. This is the beginning of “Southwest Funk-Hop”.
Nick Peña (Acoustic/Electric guitar-lead vocals) began teaching himself to play and write songs in 2001 after being inspired by neighbor Tim Reynolds of The Dave Mathews Band. By 2002 Nick was jamming with David Fishback (electric/classical guitar) to waste away the nights. Around that same time an elementary school friend, Aaron Lamb (Drums/backup vocals) would begin to sit in to complete what was the beginning of La Junta. Shortly after, Matt Ojinaga was introduced to the group and by late 2003 La Junta was born. In early 2004 at a show in Arizona, Matt C.T. (Turntables/Vocals) jammed with La Junta for the first time, adding to the diversity of its sound.
With help from some friends in Santa Fe and The Conservatory for Arts and Sciences (AZ), and our friend Brian, La Junta recorded is first full length album entitled “Blue Collar Beats”, which was released in late 2005. That same year, original member David Fishback left the group, and shortly after, Matt C.T. left to focus on his own work.
Since then La Junta has made two additions: Danny "Corazon" Hart (Auxiliary Percussion/backup vocals), who brings to the group his love of music, enthusiasm, and charismatic stage presence, and Delmone Taylor (Alto/Tenor Saxaphone), who adds a musical talent, background and knowledge that would make Coltrane proud. Together La Junta creates a sound fusing Reggae, Latin, Rock, Blues, and Hip-Hop - music with poetic and thought provoking lyrics delivered in English and Spanish rhyme to create what some like to call “Southwest Funk-Hop”.
Recently La Junta released a new full length, industry standard album entitled “What it is” (May 9th, 2008). “What it is” can be described as: a plethora of outspoken word driven by no need for unique musical critique. Various voluptuous vehicles transport by way of rock, reggae, Latin and hip-hop music...but the truth is that without it, we're clueless. The constant energy of “What it is” keeps the listener interested by constantly introducing new flavors, emotions, and routes in which to explore while maintaining a great vibe all the way through. Overall, “What it is” is a powerful stepping stone for La Junta.
This long overdue arrangement of songs includes older songs that have never been recorded, such as: Resurrection, Haters, Pecos, M.J., I Can't, What it is, and Constialmente. Some newer songs on the album include: Richman, The Q-Song, Gente Mi Gente (People My People), No Lloras (Don’t every cry), and Madd Luv. We have been fortunate enough to work with some very energetic and positive individuals on this project such as recording and mixing engineer Josh Shepard of Timbre studios, as well as mastering engineer Doug Geist of Santa Fe Center Studios.
Though the album is an amazing fingerprint for La Junta, nothing compares to the energy, fun, and musicianship of a live La Junta show, fans often compare La Junta to groups such as Ozomatli, 311, O.A.R., Dave Mathews, and Sublime. Because of this La Juntas fan base continues to grow exponentially, based on a consistent incline of CD sales and attendance at live performances.