Los Lobos has lasted as a band for 40 years because the musicians are steady and loyal.
"All of us are on our first marriages, for the most part," said Steve Berlin, the band's saxophonist and keyboardist. "It's the nature of the people we are. We're not shopping for upgrades like some people seem to do. We like the music we make. We don't have to compromise. We get to do pretty much what we want to do."
Los Lobos was founded in East Los Angeles by high school friends David Hidalgo, Louie Perez, Cesar Rosas and Conrad Lozano. Berlin was the last member to the join band, in 1984, and the lineup has stayed the same ever since.
The group will play its eclectic mix of Mexican, rock, R&B, blues and country music at a show Feb. 15 at Turlock Community Theatre.
Berlin said this show will be an acoustic performance that will feature music from every era of the band, including 1987, when it released its biggest hit, "La Bamba," featured in the movie of the same name.
Berlin prefers unplugged shows. "It gives my ears abreak," he said. "We can get pretty loud when it's a rock show. Acoustic shows are more musically interesting we take a few chances. It's different. We've been doing the rock shows for quite a long time. It's nice to break it up every once in awhile."
The group has recorded 19 studio albums, with the most recent being 2010's "Tin Can Trust." The CD includes a mix of Spanish and English songs, including "I'll Burn it Down," a collaboration with blues rocker Susan Tedeschi, and "West LA Fadeaway," a Grateful Dead cover.
In 2009, Los Lobos released the children's album "Los Lobos Goes Disney," which includes "I Wanna Be Like You" from "The Jungle Book" and "Heigh-Ho" from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."
It's unlikely, though, the group will play anything from the CD in Turlock. "We haven't practiced those songs in a long time," Berlin said.
The group plans to release a live album later this year (recorded from a concert in New York over the holidays) and then go back to the studio to do another CD. In the meantime, all the musicians continue to work on their own projects when they aren't touring with Los Lobos.
Berlin does producing and worked with "American Idol" finalist Crystal Bowersox on her album "All That for This," due to be released March 26.
He said he doesn't watch the show and was skeptical when her label contacted him and asked him to produce her record.
"Before I met her, I thought, 'This is going to be a big waste of my time.' I'm glad I did (meet her). It really opened my eyes. I have to think bigger. She's a stunningly great singer."
Berlin is happy to rejoin his friends in Los Lobos and perform in Turlock. "We're happy to be playing back in Central California," he said. "It's a part of the world we really love."
WHAT: Los Lobos
WHEN: 7:30 p.m., Feb. 15
WHERE: Turlock Community Theatre, 1574 E. Canal Drive
CALL: (209) 668-1169