By the time Orquesta del Desierto convened at Rancho de la Luna in Joshua Tree to record their second, and what would turn out to be their last album, Dos, the line-up from the first album had significantly changed. The core performers, Pete Stahl, Dandy Brown, Mario Lalli, Mark Engel and Mike Riley remained in place, but gone were drummer Alfredo Hernandez, percussionist Sean Landetta Carrillo, and the original San Jacinto horn section.
It had been a year since the critical success of their self titled freshman release, and during that time Brown began collaborations with the performers and writers who would appear on the second album. Added to the group during this time were drummers Adam Maples and Pete Davidson, Tim Jones on piano, Emiliano Hernandez on baritone sax, and the lone San Jacinto Trumpet of Bill Barrett.
With the original release of Dos in 2004, Orquesta del Desierto began their first extensive experience of touring the band with a string of shows in the southwest US and a series of performances in France, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany. The overwhelming success of these shows, coupled with the critical praise Dos was receiving gave fans of the band hope that the group would continue with a third album.
Unfortunately, that third album has yet to appear. Pressed by the logistics of keeping the project together while their other bands called for attention, Orquesta del Desierto disbanded in 2006. What the band accomplished in their brief two-album stay has left an impressive mark on the concept of “desert rock.” In the sea of drop-tuned, fuzzed out guitars that created the image of the “desert rock” scene, Orquesta del Desierto left behind two collections that show a dimension of the Mojave beyond urgency of volume and distortion. Definitely, that intensity is there with Orquesta, but, like the desert, the depth of the experience is nuanced in both the heat and the flower.