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Gabriel and Martiniano Berrelleza, better known to the corrido and sierreno listening public as Los Cuates de Sinaloa, have lived a story as gritty and dramatic as one of their songs. Granted benedición by their mothers, the cousins headed north from their hometown of La Vainilla, Sinaloa, to pursue their careers when each was at the age of 14. Landing in Phoenix, the pair were gifted their first guitars, and got their start playing private functions in the community. Innumerable bar gigs and quinceañeras later, the Berrellezas found a manager and plugged into the regional touring circuit. Five years of touring and several independently released records later, Los Cuates de Sinaloa were signed to Sony/BMG in 2006. Their stripped-down acoustic style, consisting of two guitars and electric bass, combined with their controversial and unapologetic subject material, caught the ears of regional Mexican music fans nationwide. Los Cuates' lyrics tell stories of political corruption, drug trafficking, and loose U.S. borders. Their 2006 hit single, "El Carril Numero 3" (Border Gate Number 3), caused some fellow artists to caution the Berrellezas against speaking too freely, only a short time after the murder of fellow musician Valentin Elizalde. Political pressure and controversy notwithstanding, Los Cuates de Sinaloa continue to rise to the top of the regional Mexican heap. Their 2006 release, Puro Sierreno Bravo, earned an impressive place on Billboard charts, including number 13 in the Top Latin Albums and number five in the Regional Mexican categories. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez, Rovi