Recently at Club Mayan in downtown L.A., I was the proudest Costa Rican in town. I don?t know how many Costa Ricans were in attendance besides me, but I know for sure there were three others: Ricardo Ramirez, Edin Solis and Carlos Vargas (a.k.a. Tapado), the musicians from Editus, who have been touring with Ruben Blades for a few years now. They were part of the Ruben Blades concert in promotion of his new work entitled ?Mundo?.
Blades, with his usual very particular way of doing things, came on stage unannounced sporting his famous black hat and talked to the crowd about what we were to expect for the evening. The show, he said, was planned out in a specific order that would be faithfully followed. First, there would be individual performances by Editus, the Brazilian group Boca Livre, and the ?gaitero? Eric Rigler. After that, they would all combine with Blades to perform some of his well-known songs, as well as songs from his new CD.
According to Blades, the purpose of this exercise was to show the audience that even when coming from different parts of the world, and belonging to different genres, music is a unifying factor in our ?mundo?. The sound resulting from the combination of all these musicians along with Ruben?s voice was definite proof of that.
Ruben delighted us with his music, his thought-provoking works like 'Patria', the danceable ones like 'La Murga', and the new ones like 'Sebastian'. Sebastian, which is cut #9 on his new CD, is a fantastic song! Beautiful lyrics with an equally sweet melody. ?Cada pueblo tiene un loco... Cada loco tiene un sue?o?. In this song alone there is a combination of the voices from Boca Livre, the Celtic bagpipe sounds, and of course Ruben?s voice. Simply awesome!
It was a great concert. Not only did I dance the night away ? what else is new! -, but I came out of there inspired by the thought-provoking words in Ruben? songs. I definitely recommend you get a copy of ?Mundo?. It is absolutely worth the investment.
'Mundo' was released just last September, and at the same time Ruben?s website was launched. You can read more about him and about this new production, as well as find out more about the musicians that collaborated with him, Boca Livre, Eric Rigler and others at http://www.rubenblades.com. (It may tickle your interest to know that it is Eric Rigler who played all those bagpipe sounds you heard in both the movies ?Braveheart? and ?Titanic?.)
My ?compatriotas? have a website of their own that you may want to check out at http://www.edituscr.com.
I am still feeling lucky that I got to attend Ruben's concert. It was a night of great music in a good environment. The crowd at the Mayan that evening was a nice, refined, classy bunch. (Now if the Mayan could only manage to look that good in a regular basis I would definitely be there more often! -heh- )
Buy 'Mundo'! Support Ruben Blades, his high quality art form, and the fantastic group of musicians that worked with him in this production. We need them to keep on going!