Café Peyote Self Titled Written by Jennifer Carney

Prog rock. Once the staple of arena concerts, today prog is either lumped in with electronic music or perhaps accurately re-imagined as jazz fusion. But prog rock has retained a core of dedicated followers who continue to look beyond the simplistic turns-of-song that typify rock music today. Enter local musician Ricardo Beas. He has been playing music since his teens, honing his musical skills in Tijuana cafés throughout the ‘70s. His own contribution to the prog genre, Café Peyote, is the brainchild of Beas and the talented multi-instrumentalist brothers Paco and Luis Elorza.

Born of the desire to express his thoughts on an increasingly troubled world, this debut has already gotten the attention of Baja Prog Radio mere weeks after its release. At first blush, Café Peyote might appear to be little more than an album of hymns to latter-day mysticism; indeed, the songs do speak to all that lovely hippie stuff: the search for deeper meaning, lauding of the inward journey, eschewing materialism, etc. But this CD was two years - perhaps almost 40 years - in the making, and it has all the hallmarks of a carefully crafted work. Café Peyote is an album deeply indebted to its influences - Yes, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, ELP - all of whom are clearly evident throughout.

Beas' voice is pure, the musicianship is excellent, and the songs don't often suffer from the kind of overproduction that weighed down prog rock towards the end of its heyday. The album opens with "Tribute to the King," which calls to mind most of those influences, followed without pause by "Why," also richly instrumented and full of sonic bombast. His Spanish-language songs are more straightforward-sounding tunes. "Ven Acá" is a mid-tempo ballad that would be at home on any Spanish-language radio station, and "En Mi Mente Siempre Estan" is a soaring homage to childhood and being both a son and a father to a son.

Beas' songwriting is strongest on "Consumer Joe" and the obligatory prog suite, "You Decide," comprised of three movements: "Good and Bad," a spoken-word dirge imploring the listener to decide what they truly want out of life. "No Tolerance" feels like a ‘60s generation lament about how they let things "get out of hand." The final movement, "If Only I Could Draw," captures a dreamer's idealism in a wistful tune; if he could draw, he would create the perfect world - no suffering or injustice. "They're Bombing Again" and its guitar-as-air-raid-siren rips through the utopian whimsy like a song of social outrage should. The album closer, "The Common Law" is an up-tempo tune that none-the-less rails against the loss of civil liberties - kind of like a proggy, Latin-tinged "Get Up, Stand Up."

Beas' lofty ideals and skillful musicianship make Café Peyote an album for any prog fan to check out. He comes across as a man who stands by his ideals and makes the music to match.

Private Citizen Launches Action Plan to Demolish Mandatory Vaccines

Ricardo Beas, a concerned citizen and parent of three school-age children in California, is determined to do the seemingly impossible. He has set out to shed so much light on the illegality and health hazards of mandatory vaccines that the vaccine lobby will be overruled by public opinion. Calling upon the First-Amendment’s right to petition for redress of grievances, Beas wrote an amazing 39-page document in the form of a petition that has the format of a legal document. It lists the grievances, shows how constitutional and civil law has been violated, and calls for the President of the United States to empower an official investigation of the charges and report to the public. It is anticipated that sufficient investigation (done by people and institutions that are financially independent of the pharmaceutical industry) and sufficient public awareness of the results of that investigation will lead to corrective political action.  People can do more than just be keyboard warriors. By participating in this action, which costs nothing but a few postage stamps, we can do something really meaningful. Today.

Profoundly beautiful and sensitive. I listen to the words of the Eleanor Rigby Song as if for the first time. The clarity of your voice and musician ship is astounding. The quality of each word is heartfelt as your voice reaches out to touch a life. This is a different type of protest, the protest of social isolation and social rejection that speaks to a world in need of more love. Thanks for being that messenger for both love and activism. Looking forward to playing this on the air!

I wanted to let you know how wonderful your concert was last night at the Mission Trails Regional Park for KNSJ FM Radio in San Diego.  Your musicianship and songs are poignant, speak to the concern of people and are inspiring.  Your video Program companion was also very well done enjoyable and contained some interesting editing/technical "choreography."  What a  perfect setting for the concert--a venue of a park for the enjoyment of the people as a backdrop for your music  about the worth of "everyman." Thank you for you vision and words.

- I listened to your song "The Common Law" and was struck by your voice, the music, and the remarkable images that accompanied the song. The lyrics say so much.

- (About the Song "Howard's Song To The People"): "Thank you so much for your song. My wife and I listened with pleasure. The lyrics are certainly appropriate. Best wishes."

I loved your 1 person show! ... I totally appreciate what you are doing, how you do it, as well as the artistic content of it all. All that and multimedia projections too! Bravo!!!

Search in internet gave this comment from a defunct webpage:

"If Noam Chomsky and Kurt Cobain made a record it would sound something like this... "

- I was blown away by your work and have replayed your music many times and referred many people to it... Absolutely excellent work, and highly appropriate for events we may be holding in the future, such as rallies, etc. You can expect me to pester you about coming to those. 

Thank so much for performing (Occupy San Diego Unity Concert, April 2012). I really enjoyed it and think your presentation is right on for Occupy.

Cafe Peyote frontman Ricardo Beas got his start singing in Tijuana cafes, before launching Cafe Peyote in 2003, just as the U.S. was launching its second major military push in Iraq. Beas met musician and producer Luis Elorza in 2007, with drummer Paco Elorza joining them to fuse a melodic sound, heavy on meaningful lyrics. Beas lives in San Diego, and the Elorza brothers live in Tijuana, Mexico.

F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C!! I love your voice, the production, percussion, guitars, etc. etc. - the song - omg - everything. Simply fabulous. I've come back over and over on this one. Thank you so much for posting your wonderful music!

"LIDER INCONQUISTABLE BUSCANDO O PERSIGUIENDO UN PROPOSITO MAS ALTO!!!! ESO ES LO QUE ERES!!! LETRA MUY SIGNIFICATIVA. EL DESEO AL CAMBIO PARA EL BIEN DE NOSOTROS ES ESENCIAL. LA MUSICA ES UN GRAN VEHICULO. BIEN HECHO. FELICIDADES. LA MUSICA DIVINE TAMBIEN."

Congrats on the movie!! (Freedom 101: Freedom From US) I am so impressed with your words and images, your mastery of the emotional content and deeply felt lyrics. Multimedia artistry.

Prog Rock came and (mostly) went during the period from the late ‘60s through the ‘80s, the initial monsters of the genre with their concept albums, virtuoso players, and side-long tracks giving way to punk rock with shorter, simpler songs that were easier to play. The genre never went away completely as neo-prog and prog metal subgenres have developed. Pink Floyd kept going until after the 2000s, Dream Theater and King Crimson are still going relatively strong.

Locally, Café Peyote is the prog rock brainchild of Ricardo Beas, with his vocals, guitar, and songwriting as the focus, with Luis (guitars, bass, keyboards, effects) and brother Paco Elorza (drums, percussion, effects). The trio’s sound on their latest CD, Tales of Humanity, draws much from the bombast of ‘70s arena prog groups. The 12 slickly produced songs are big, even huge, constructions (in spite of Beas’ smallish vocals) with layered keyboards and guitars—walls of sound that convey his social-consciousness and political messages. In fact, it is a bit heavy in the political message department, as Beas’ lyrics weigh down some of the material.

“That’s Simply Life” takes the form of a seven-minute prog suite with some of Paco’s instrumental prowess on display—he impresses throughout. The climbing mountain of keyboards and guitars is executed beautifully, there are dynamics to the dynamics. Beas manages a catchy, lighter melody on “In Heaven,” a floating mid-tempo song about how much better it will be upstairs.

The ethereal start of “We Have to Try” is quiet and innocuous, with words about each of us feeling alone. Then the buildup, and the tune settles into a semi-rocking stride; Beas is preaching togetherness and change to a mounting prog crescendo. “Obsessions of the Mind” is a change of pace that concerns Beas’ dealing with the physical romantic urges he has toward his lover. The verses address his obsession and eventual surrender, and sax fills by Edmundo Arroyo lift the tune into a jazzy ozone layer. “Johhny’s Song” is a personal song that Beas directs to his longtime mate; it is shorter than many of the other tracks but has a lot to say about a relationship. “Let’s Make Amends” starts out as what could have been the disc’s best track, with power and a hook, which lasts two minutes, then the verse structure gives way to conversational Spanish instead of singing, then a guitar break, then it throws in a chorus and just stops. Too bad.

This is an album with a lot of political protest on it, and the two tracks “Howard’s Song” and “We Fail to See” push the messages. Some are hard to deny, like “He who has the gold is the one that rules.” Nonetheless, Beas isn’t going to be confused with Dylan, and on “We Fail,” attacking the United Nations and vaccinations with a theme that “Either we change our ways/ Or we’ll be killed,” spoils the Pink Floyd-inspired track with needless hyperbole.

Café Peyote’s Tales of Humanity has some interesting moments for fans of progressive rock.

I am beaming with pride to know such a humanitarian as yourself.  Thank you for getting involved and doing your part. We all have a role in life to play. And you are playing yours fabulously. 

I will send a free book to anyone you say.  I only need an address. A million thanks to you

Thank God for your talent, your voice and your spiritual messages. You could see it coming ... you had it in you since you were a kid.

I watched the first part of Freedom 101. Excellent in content, 
production, music, and singing. Damn, you're good!
I just saw the Link to your website. I went there and have been feasting ever since. You are phenomenal and a creative genius. Somehow I'm going to get as much of it as possible printed and sent to my Son Daniel. With your permission I'll also send the Link to my email list...it has hundreds of folks who would be so appreciative to visit it. Your birthday card to Daniel is unforgettable. It is easy to see the awesome child of the Creator you are!

Hello Ricardo! I am listening to your freedom 101 song and am very moved by it. Today has been an emotional day for me, and your music in addition to the beautiful message has been very powerful. I especially appreciate the sentiment that we are all a part of God, this is something I am learning about now and this understanding has had a powerful effect on my consciousness. 

(Pertaining to the Natural Law Church of Health and Healing):

I am not much of a joiner but I can certainly support this -- it is one way to enforce true free will and moral values. 

JOIN THE MAILING LIST

Thank you for being an important part of the project

Cafe Peyote Player

RULES OF CRITICAL THINKING

First Rule:

QUESTION AUTHORITY

Second First Rule:

QUESTION YOURSELF

FOR YOU ARE YOUR BIGGEST AUTHORITY

Professor/Activist Walter P. Mann III

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Dedicated to

WE, THE FREE PEOPLE, the 99%

(not to be confused with "We The People" - the 1%)