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Grupo Intocable In Concert

Led by Ricky Muñoz, a singing accordionist with a knack for unforgettable melodies, Texas-based Grupo Intocable (i.e., "untouchable") distinguished themselves early on by adding a Tejano twist to norteño music — a sound introduced to Mexico by German immigrants in the 19th century. Over the course of their long career, this award-winning band has continued to innovate around norteño's folk tradition while satisfying audiences' pop cravings.

Formed in Zapata, Texas, in 1993 by Muñoz and drummer René Martínez, Intocable was notable for being the first U.S.-born norteño group, and they began updating norteño in much the same way Garth Brooks modernized country music. The band's 1993 debut, Simplemente..., combined Muñoz's soulful voice and romantic lyrics with nimble and inventive music. It was far removed from the synth-heavy style that dominated Tejano music at the time.

Intocable's career took off when EMI Latin released Fuego Eterno (Eternal Fire) in 1994. Their accordion-driven, polka-rooted sound had caught the attention of young listeners, as well as their parents, on both sides of the border. By decade's end, they were the hottest Tejano act of their generation, and their albums and singles — including "La Mentira" (The Lie), "No Te Vayas" (Don't Go), "Eres Mi Droga" (You Are My Drug), and "Dónde Estás?" (Where Are You?) — regularly topped Mexican regional charts.

Tragedy struck in 1999, when two band members and one member of their crew were killed in a highway accident that injured everyone else in the band as well. Intocable returned stronger than ever, however, and blasted into the new millennium selling out arenas, auditoriums, and stadiums. They earned their first Grammy Award in 2004 for Intimamente, an album of "unplugged" versions of their hits, and stepped outside their comfort zone again in 2006 with Crossroads: Cruce de Caminos, which mixed norteño and Tex-Mex honky-tonk.

Being named Mexican regional group of the decade by Billboard in 2010 seemed to only reaffirm Intocable's commitment to norteño authenticity with a subversive streak. While guitars and drums rocked harder than ever on their 2013 monster hit "Te Amo (Para Siempre)," 2016's Highway included a song about human trafficking along with Beatles-y psychedelia.

The Tejano tornadoes entered 2019 with a new album, Percepción, and another major tour. Intocable continues to blaze into the future, unstoppable as ever.