Chart-toppers La Maquinaria Norteña are one of the latter-generation norteño groups that sprung up in the wake of successful North American bands such as Texas' Los Rieleros del Norte. Their sound -- featuring saxophone, accordion, drums, electric bass, and vocals -- offers a musical continuum to the Mexican Regional lineage with modern and contemporary arrangements, particularly within the northern music style of Chihuahua (usually signified by saxophone and accordion). Their early recordings, including a self-titled debut in 2006, helped to establish their reputation as a lively, crowd-pleasing outfit equally at home delivering traditional dances and narcocorridos. Their later sets, beginning with 2013's Con Mil Caballos de Fuerza, ran up the Latin and Mexican Regional charts thanks to always enjoyable videos and cross-continental touring, which led to a sizeable U.S. and Latin American following. Each successive release, including 2017's multi-charting Por Obvias Razones (which also placed respectably inside the Top 200), has been more successful than the last. Whether playing steamy cumbia, polkas, or swinging Mexican country tunes, La Maquinaria Norteña is the norteño version of a lean-and-mean roadhouse R&B combo or honky tonk band.
The band was formed in Roswell, New Mexico by former Los Rieleros vocalist Polo Urias in 1994, with sax player Keith Nieto, percussionist Erick Urias, accordionist/keyboardist Jimmy Torres, and drummer Aarón Urias. The group signed up to Fonovisa that same year, debuting with the release of Polo Urias y Su Máquina Norteña. The sound of the band is often compared to Los Rieleros, in that it is hardcore norteño -- raw, romantic, and unmitigated by the sheen of Latin pop production. In 2006, Nieto split with Urias and formed his own version of La Maquinaria Norteña with his brothers Rory on accordion and Tony on drums, Sergio "Fly" Soto on vocals (formerly of Los Braveros de Peñas), Ivan Gutierrez on bass, and Randy Perez on electric guitar. Their self-titled debut album appeared on Fonovisa in 2007, followed by No Existen Barreras in 2008, and La Nueva Era in 2009. After extensive touring and a bus accident that nearly claimed their lives, the group took a rest and even briefly reunited with Urias. Vive en Mi, their fourth album issued in late 2013, was was their highest-charting set to date, entering the regional Mexican chart in the Top Ten. El Fenómeno was a released the following year, featuring even better production standards. The recording further expanded the band's reputation as a touring act, earning them places on stages with Rene Camacho's La Arrolladora Banda El Limón and many others; the set even charted outside their traditional Mexican Regional genre for the first time.
In the summer of 2015, La Maquinaria Norteña issued the single "Para Que Amarte," which placed well inside the Mexican Regional Top Ten. It was followed quickly by "Corazón Herido," "Qué Haré Sin Ti," and "Qué Tiene Él." Full-length album Ya Dime Adiós was released in the fall. 2016's Generacion Maquinaria Est. 2006 was released the next summer and debuted at the top of the Latin chart. A year later, La Maquinaria Nortena teamed up with Energia Nortena for the compilations 12 Romanticas con Sax, Vol. 1. and Vol. 2. They also issued the studio offering of new material entitled Por Obvias Razones in October that peaked at 17 on Top Latin Albums and number seven on Mexican Regional albums. Its four singles, including "Como Olvidarte" and the title track, have racked up more than a million views. ~ Thom Jurek