Los Lobos

The Ride

A quick formula to jump-start the career of a long-established but somewhat overlooked act: Invite a bunch of guest stars to pop in and cut tracks; it’s what former Arista Records chief Clive Davis did with Santana’s 1999 comeback, Supernatural. This veteran East Los Angeles band does a similar turn on The Ride, but it clearly made the choices here. So, instead of Rob Thomas, Los Lobos got Richard Thompson, Dave Alvin, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Bobby Womack, Mavis Staples, Ruben Blades, Café Tacuba and Thee Midnighters’ Little Willie G. to sit in, along with some fine guest players. Best are Waits with Martha Gonzalez (the wack “Kitate”), Blades (“Ya Se Va”) and Staples (“Someday”); somewhat weaker is Costello recasting “Matter of Time” as a dirge. Overall? Quite satisfying.