The Ride

Los Lobos. Hollywood.

After three decades of blending rock, blues, and Tex-Mex, this East L.A. quintet throws itself a party, inviting a slew of A-list guests. R&B legend Bobby Womack provides a gripping version of his hit "Across 110th Street," and Mavis Staples wails on the gospel rave-up "Someday." The seafaring yarn, "Wreck of the Carlos Rey," co-stars guitar hero Richard Thompson, while salsa god Rubén Blades and durable oddball Tom Waits leave their stamp elsewhere on the album. Despite the variety-show strategy, The Ride always sounds like a Los Lobos record, and a great one at that.