Off-Ramp | Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.

El Secreto del Gringo Mariachi, Mateo Stoneman

Remember Mateo Stoneman, the white mariachi with the voice of an angel, who made his Off-Ramp debut back in March 2008?

Well, guess where he learned to sing so beautifully in Spanish and play guitar? In maximum security prison!

For her LA Times profile, which ran Sunday, reporter Nicole Santa Cruz did what I never even thought of doing: a criminal background check. (I usually only do that for candidates and politicians.)

I’ve reposted Mateo’s original Off-Ramp interview, along with a song he recorded for us, the original “Frenesi.” After he gets back from recording his album in Cuba, he’ll join us on the December 12 Off-Ramp to tell us what led him to prison.