The Los Angeles roots quintet Very Be Careful takes its musical cues from vallenato and cumbia, which are two kinds of Colombian folk music. The band was founded in the late 1990s by bass player Arturo Guzman and his brother, Ricardo, who sings and plays accordion.
Growing up, the siblings drew inspiration from their parents’ record collection and from music played at parties. Since then, they’ve even gotten songwriting help from their mother, Deicy, who wrote two songs on their last album, Escape Room. Other band members include Craig Martin on guacharaca, Richard Panta on caja vallenata and Dante Ruiz, who plays the cowbell.
Very Be Careful has said that the band’s music is flavored by its home turf and by its members’ backgrounds.
“Our grandparents’ culture is Tejano, Mexican, Peruvian, Puerto Rican, and Colombian,” explained Arturo in the promotional material of the band’s 2010 release. “We all grew up in California so I guess do the math. Growing up in sunny Cali with the laid-back vibe. It’s no mystery why we play Caribbean music and live the lifestyle we do.”
Very Be Careful performs at Littlefield on Monday night. Get a feel for VBC’s cumbia by downloading “La Furgoneta” (“The Caravan”) from Escape Room and by watching the five-piece's rendition of “La Burrita” (“The Donkey”) in the video below.