Band reacts to RodeoHouston's 'Go Tejano!' Day music lineup controversy

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- One of two bands in the line-up for RodeoHouston's 'Go Tejano Day' says they won't let the music controversy detract from their big day.

La Maquinaria Nortena, which plays Norteno, or regional Mexican music, will open for La Arrolladora Banda El Limn, a banda-style band on Sunday.

Last month, Oscar De La Rosa, the lead singer for Grammy-winner La Mafia criticized the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for not having a Tejano music performer.

"Go Tejano, what the (expletive) is that about?" asked De La Rosa in front of a packed house during a Valentine's Day concert in Southeast Houston. "I have only one thing to say, (expletive) them!"

It was a profanity-laced rant heard 'round the Latino music world. La Maquinaria Nortena is on the other side.

"They had their time, we have our time now. It's as simple as that," Rory Nieto told Eyewitness News during the band's first-ever American television interview.

All five members agreed that De la Rosa "can say whatever he wants." They believe the dollars support them.

"To my understanding this event is almost sold out so something's right. I mean, it might not be Tejano music, per se, but it is almost sold out so something's right," added Nieto, one of three Nieto brothers in the band.

Keith Nieto, Tony Nieto, Sergio Soto and Randy Perez round out the group.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has said, "'Go Tejano' has never been specific to one genre of music; it's a play on our popular 'Go Texan' slogan which was created in the 1950s."

La Maquinaria sees it the same way.

"What we know as 'Go Tejano! Day,' it doesn't mean Tejano music. We're Tejano people because we live in Texas, right? That's our understanding," said Keith Nieto.

He and his brothers are native Texans.

The band's path to their biggest audience yet is an interesting one. Two years ago they were sitting in the cheap seats watching George Strait perform. In four days, with a billboard ranking album, they'll be performing on the same stage.

"It's unbelievable. We still don't believe it. Until the day I'm on stage, it's like woah, what's happening!" said Rory.

If met by protests on Sunday, Keith Nieto has this simple response.

"Not everybody has to like it," he said.
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