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Meet the band

By JULIE GARISTO
Published July 27, 2006


Acho Brother (Hector Mayoral)

NEW CD: Monkish

BEGINNING YEARS: Mayoral was born Feb. 24, 1970, just outside San Juan. He spent most of his childhood in Carolina, Puerto Rico, where "nobody cuts the grass. There are a lot of stray dogs, and it's hot and humid like here."

"We moved to the states when I was 13. Lived a year in Burbank, Calif. In Puerto Rico, I started with percussion - conga drums and all that. My dad bought me my first conga, and a musician named Rudy Regalado (of the band El Chicano) in California got me formally started playing drums. I've been playing guitar since I was 18."

OTHER PROJECT: He plays with Gumbi Ortiz and the Latino Projekt. "I play minor percussion - shakere, guiro, cowbell."

HIS SOLO ACT: Mayoral plays acoustic guitar, some percussion and uses a laptop to play and manipulate preprogrammed electronic tracks. "The songs are spacey and acoustic at the same time," he says. "I don't like to be overt or orchestral. I just like something with a groove, but something that's homemade, minimalist. . . . I just want something that flows with the guitar and live moment that I try to create on stage. Not just push a button and be boom-chip-boom-chip."

FOLK INFLUENCE: "In Spanish culture, they have the trova, trovador (Spanish for troubadour) . . . a music genre that's really lyrical and used for serenades."

WHAT'S IN A NAME?: "Acho is half of muchacho, the Spanish slang word for friend. Puerto Ricans yell acho to get your attention."

OTHER PRIORITIES: "I'm a massage therapist. . . . I have a 9-year-old son (also named Hector) who takes up a lot of my time. I'm teaching him guitar. He likes to draw a lot and carve things. He's into nature."

TUNES: "There's a song called Naranja, Spanish for orange. It's a about an orange hanging in a neighbor's yard, a metaphor of something you can't get to. . . . Mil Benediciones, a thousand blessings, is something my mom says every time she calls. That song is about her."

CHECK HIM OUT: At his CD release party, 8 p.m. Saturday at the Globe Coffee Lounge, 532 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. www.myspace.com/achobrother.

- JULIE GARISTO, Times staff writer