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Spam Allstars: Diverse Sounds Of Little Havana

Little Havana is the laid-back home of the Spam Allstars, who've been playing in Miami for some 15 years. The group's new album — its first on a major record label — is titled Introducing Spam Allstars.

Andrew Yeomanson goes by the name DJ Le Spam on stage; he says he intentionally gave the band a terrible name.

"I thought it would keep it real," he says. "I thought it would be like Johnny Cash, 'A Boy Named Sue.' He gives his kid the worst name, so the kid's gotta be the toughest kid out there."

Yeomanson talks about the track "Charanga E-350," from the new record.

"Charanga music is a form of Cuban music characterized by swinging violin and flute parts," he says. "The other standout for me on this track is an ARP synthesizer solo by Albert Menendez. That's one of my favorite things on the whole record, I think."

Every Thursday, the band plays at the Little Havana club Hoy Como Ayer.

"Basically, what I do at Hoy Como Ayer," Yeomanson says, "is I have three horn players in front of me, a percussionist or two, and a guitarist. Those microphone lines come back to me, and I mix the band on the stage, which many sound guys would probably think, 'That's a horrendous idea.' But the approach I'm taking is that I want to be taking a shifting live mix with echoes and having different elements stand out at different times."

With the club's nostalgic, hole-in-the-wall Cuban vibe, the band draws a wide-ranging crowd.

"You will have someone's grandmother dancing next to a 20-year-old kid who snuck in," Yeomanson says. "It's really been one of the most diverse crowds I ever could've imagined."

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