They’re eclectic, can’t be pinned down to one type of music. They are alternative, fusion, jazz, pop and rock. No one line defines them. This is Mr. No Shame, a band blended together from six people, four different countries, many different rhythms and one big family. You can call the band Latin American, or you can call them the world. Music has no boundaries and Mr. No Shame expresses that beautifully.
The founder, Guillermo “Willy” Fuentes, is a former music teacher in Chile. The only formally trained music graduate of the group. He is the band’s bass player and lends his vocals to their sound. His daughter, Carolina, the lead singer, plays guitar and writes the group’s lyrics. Her voice and presence is delightful. Before Carolina came to the U.S. from Chile to join her father, she began taking violin lessons. Once she and the rest of her family came over, she started writing music and lyrics. “People paid attention and interest was shown. Her songs were interesting,” Fabian Rodriguez, lead guitarist, told me. Carolina Fuentes started a band called Nospia, and her father called Rodriguez and asked him to listen to her lyrics and sound. Rodriguez found her music to be “Very good. The hooks were catchy,” he says. He joined Nospia and when the band dissolved after losing two of its members, Mr. No Shame was born.
Rodriguez, who hails from Ecuador, having studied at the conservatoria in Cuenca, his hometown, explains how the band got its name. It is in fact the title of a song written by Carolina Fuentes. “When you’re in a new country and facing a whole different world from the one you know, you need not be shy nor ashamed of your background,” he says.
There is a father and son team from Venezuela, on percussion, Aquiles Brito Sr. and Aquiles Jr. Adrian Mora, from Costa Rica, is the band’s drummer. “Each of our songs sounds totally different from the other. The sound describes itself, the rhythm always different. This defines the band’s uniqueness. They don’t do covers. “Willy, our mentor, doesn’t believe in it,” says Rodriguez. All the music is their own. It seems to work for them. They are getting a lot of play on Jungle Radio and have fans all over the world via Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. You can watch their videos on YouTube. Their performance last year at Guild Hall, was their CD release party.
“Impudens,” their CD, was self-produced. The title’s name means “shameless.” They have performed at Stephen Talkhouse, where they won the Battle of the Bands last year. They’ve played Bay Street in Sag Harbor, Endless Summer Jam in Wainscott in 2010, Beach Hut in Hampton Bays, a benefit at the Hyatt in Manhattan, Wonder Bar in Garden City and last year’s Montauk Music Festival. Ana Maria Guerra is the band’s booking agent. “She does a lot,” says Rodriguez.
Mr. No Shame has been gaining attention in the group members’ own countries as well. The radios at home are playing their songs. “We are getting good feedback,” Rodriguez says. “Also in Columbia and Brazil.”
This Memorial Day you can see Mr. No Shame perform at Guild Hall. Crossroads Music Showcase, the first event there for the summer season, is Saturday, May 28, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 and $18 for Guild Hall members. They are available at Crossroads Music shop in Amagansett Square, the Guild Hall website and box office, and by calling Rodriguez at 631-377-2854. The band will release a demo for their May 28 gig of “a shortened version of our recorded songs and a new one.” They are presently working on their new CD, which they hope to get produced by someone other than themselves.
From what I watched and heard on their videos, it is obvious. “We love playing our music, we enjoy it so much,” Rodriguez says. “We all had the same dream. To make a living at music.” I wish them well and may you be able to quit your day job, Fabian.
Remember the name. Mr. No Shame. Go see them! Mrnoshame.com.