Sarah Fox & Joel Guzman
Talented, versatile and inspiring, the power couple of accordionist/producer/arranger Joel Guzman and singer/songwriter Sarah Fox has been one of the most prolific and influential duos in Central and South Texas. Their field of musical expertise runs the gamut from Rock and Blues to Folk and Jazz to Conjunto and Americana.
On their own, they are virtuosic performers. Together, they are top-notch pair that have led several groups from Los Aztex to the Mexican Roots Trio. And through the years they have collaborated and performed with a galaxy of top stars including Stephen Bruton, Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, Freddy Fender, Little Joe, Flaco Jimenez, Los Super Seven, Latin Breed, Ram Herrera, Grupo Mazz, Americana artists; Tom Russell, Joe Ely, and Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin, David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas.
If it seems odd that for artists who have worked with such luminaries, they seem below the pop culture radar, it’s because that’s how Joel and Sarah like it. Both artists are humble, unassuming and easily approachable individuals.
Joel and Sarah both have varied musical tastes and tons of experience. Joel Guzman grew up in Washington State, son of proud migrant workers who loved to play Tejano and conjunto music at family gatherings. Joel learned to play the accordion from his bajo sexto playing father Lupe Guzman.
That Tejano experience led Joel to return to his family roots in Texas and eventually he hooked up with the legendary Little Joe y La Familia. After several years with Little Joe, Joel tenured with several popular Tejano acts, producing albums for Ram Herrera, Ruben Ramos, Latin Breed, and recent studio performances with Ricky Lee Jones and T-Bone Burnett.
Not content to limit himself within the Tejano field, Joel branched out, leading to collaborations with other top country, Americana and rock artists. These included stints with Los Super Seven, Joe Ely, Steve Berlin and Rick Trevino. Joel’s varied experience and in-demand studio skills has many considering him the next Flaco Jimenez. The five-time Grammy winning Jimenez is recognized as conjunto’s world ambassador thanks to his collaborations with the likes of Linda Ronstadt, Ry Cooder and the Rolling Stones, and his many European tours.
Sarah also grew up listening to a wide variety of music. With a Mexican mother and a Cuban father, Sarah was exposed to the best of several worlds including top artists in salsa, ranchera, blues, Mexican trio as well as jazz music.
Sarah is an accomplished bi-lingual singer and songwriter who began writing at the age of nine. She has composed more than a dozen songs of the couple’s varied CD projects and various soundtracks.
In 2000 Sarah released her solo debut CD "Short Stories" (Hightone Records) which was produced by Los Lobos’ studio wiz, Steve Berlin. That CD mixed folk and jazz and included several original tunes by Sarah.
Their discography includes "Latinology," written and produced by team of Guzman and Fox. The collection of mostly Fox-penned originals feature special guests Stephen Bruton, Jon Dee Graham, Mark Towns on guitars. The CD features a mix of rhythms from gospel and jazz, to blues and rock. In 2005, they released the roots music album (Guzman Fox Records) “Polkas, Gritos y Acordeones,” featuring guests David Lee Garza and Sunny Sauceda. The CD, which showcased classic conjunto folk tunes and polkas, went on to win the Latin Grammy and the American Grammy in their respective best Tejano album category.