The duo Mitre, composed of Louis Mitré and Andie Sandóval, introduced new songs and old favorites at a BMI showcase sponsored by Peroni at the plush Continental Club in downtown Los Angeles Friday night. They were joined, as usual, by Hugo Melendez in his La Katarina persona, delighting the jam-packed room with his startlingly accurate costume and make up by Ruben Lopez.
While the new duo has appeared in several live events around Los Angles over the past few months, this was an official coming out party in a major club in both English and Spanish (all the songs were in Spanish but the conversations from the stage was bi-lingual). Louis Mitre has worked with a number of female singers-songwriters over the past year or so including Alih Jey and Irene Diaz, to add female color to his own astonishingly rich voice. Andie Sandoval, a singer-songwriter originally from Sinaloa in Mexico seems to be the perfect complement, both in vocal range, songwriting and stage presence, hence the new duo.
They opened up theatrically with “Lloro” from Louis Mitre’s self-titled album. Louis and Andie stood frozen with their backs to the crowd while La Katrina floated onstage and magically brought them to life. Louis started off gentle and deep but soon soared as Andie joined in in the harmony, projecting the song’s deepemotion long and loud into the room. They followed with “Katrina” and then Andie delivered the Tomás Méndez ranchero ballad, “Paloma Negra” made famous by Lola Beltrán andcovered by Lila Downs and Jenni Rivera. Andie gave it her all, showing the operatic quality of her voice and devastating range of emotion that she can inject into any song, sustaining impossibly high notes for impossibly long periods.
La Katrina returned to the stage with flowers and a swirling skirt for “Llorna”, dramatizing the song’s namesake weeping spirit while Juan de Dios Martin joined them on the requinto. As Katarina swirled around them, Mitre and Andie’s voices harmonized, soared, and belted with a power that frankly overwhelmed the club’s temporary sound system. Louis reached and held his characteristic stratospheric notes and then came back down to earth in a guitar-requinto face-off with Martin as Andie picked up the song’s high altitude and turbocharged it even higher. Underscoring the harmonic point but dropping down to cruising altitude, Mitré wrapped the evening with an acapella version of “Perdon”, a perfect ending for the showcase.