The syncopated rhythm of Beto Y Los Fairlanes graced the live music venues of Austin, TX for many many years from the mid-1970’s through the mid-1990’s….as this group was truly an Austin original.
Beto y Los Fairlanes, now more commonly known as Beto and the Fairlanes….is a worldbeat, latin pop, jazz and salsa band from Austin, Texas….which was founded in the late 1970s by Robert “Beto” Skiles….as this band came out of the prolific 1970’s Austin music scene…..who early in their career played at Austin venues such as the Armadillo World Headquarters, Liberty Lunch, and Soap Creek Saloon. The band released their first album, Midnight Lunch in 1978.
The band is the brainchild of Robert Skiles, a native of San Antonio….who has degrees in music from the University of Texas at Austin and University of North Texas….who before forming Beto and the Fairlanes….was, and still is, a prominent jazz pianist in Austin. On the classical side, he played piano for the Austin City Ballet and the University of Texas dance department. He has also written and conducted four major works for orchestra. In 1980 the group performed on the PBS music television program Austin City Limits….as seen in this video herewith.
Why Beto and the Fairlanes you ask? In his own words Skiles explains,….“Beto was a result of my bilingual roots in San Antonio, a love of jazz and classical music that came from my parents who were both accomplished artists, and a desire to write and perform highly energetic, improvised music that was both challenging to play and fun to dance to! My vision was to combine, in a unique way, what I love about jazz and Latin music“….as he goes on to say….“The name ‘Beto and the Fairlanes?’ was something I just thought up as a fun name for a typical South Texas street band. In time, the name and the music stuck and here we are! What are we doing now? Well, after so many years of playing concerts and recording, we still get together for the same reason we did when we started: simply to have fun! Sure, we still have other projects in the works, but nowadays we have about one gig a month and it’s a family party: band and fans. And it’s fun. That’s what we’re all about!”
Drummer John “Mambo” Treanor, who died of cancer on August 20, 2001 at age 48 was an original member. Treanor also founded the group 47 Times Its Own Weight and was known for his hats and ties made from the fur of roadkill animals.The band’s sixth album, Conga Dog was released January 6, 2006. Later that same year, the band played a show at the Austin City Limits Music Festival.
In the fall of 2012, Beto and the Fairlanes embarked on a 35-day tour in and around Austin Texas as a celebration of their 35th anniversary….playing something somewhere every day….including shows at Guero’s Taco Bar, Ruta Maya, South Austin Museum of Popular Culture, La Cabana, Antone’s, Continental Club, Reunion Grille, Rattle Inn, Elephant Room, Iguana Grill, and Threadgill’s….all famous Austin music venues…..as this tour was called the 35 DAZE tour. During the 35 DAZE tour, The Cowboy (Mr. Allison Barton Rice) recorded fifteen of the shows and a sampler of those recordings entitled 35 DAZE – Beto and the Fairlanes in the Live Music Capital of the World – Austin Texas was released at Beto and the Fairlanes 36th anniversary show on September 15, 2013 at One World Theatre in Austin, TX.
Any way you cut the pie….Beto y Los Fairlanes are an Austin institution….with popularity of the highest order in an around Central Texas….for this band had a sound that was absolutely unique and never replicated….for this was puro Austin musica.