Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Linda Ronstadt Y Mariachi Los Camperos

I wasn't going to write about this show at the Gibson/Universal Amphitheater last Sunday because this isn't music I really know about: But I just had to. We went because a) Linda Ronstadt, at 63, still has that power in her voice and b) Maria, being from Colombia, loves this music. And so there I was, knowing that I wouldn't really know any lyrics (although on the real mushy ones, Maria would translate to me... very lovingly) and having to focus on the music. For those of you who think those trios at your local Mexican restaurant (yes, they are not actually mariachis, but trios usually) is what I was in for, are greatly mistaken. The band, which consisted of 5 violin players, 2 trumpeters, a full sized (although light apparently) harp and a 3 guitar rhythm section (and maybe I'm missing one or two) was amazing. The melodies are not as simple as you might expect. There are time changes in the middle of songs and the melodies go well beyond the sweet and sappy stuff you may hear from that local trio. It was just fascinating to listen to these men perform. The band played on their own for about a half hour or more and then introduced Linda. She sang solo and also shared vocals with three of the violin players who were also excellent singers. The entire evening fell a little short of 2 hours. Watching near perfection in every aspect of the show made it go by so much faster than I ever realized. I think I will do this again some day. As for Linda, wow, that voice can sing in any language. And unlike her show of classics a year or so ago, you could just see the joy and passion in her face as she sang songs derived from all over Mexico. You don't need to understand the words to see it.

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