Rafael Arias

Andean Guitar

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From the small San Francisco label Sukay comes this album of traditional folk guitar work from Bolivian master guitarist Rafael Arias. The guitarists of the Andes tend to have a very similar sound to the harpists of the same area, perhaps as a result of stringed instruments in general being a Spanish introduction. As a result, Arias' sound is thoroughly reminiscent of Andean harp classics throughout, though the guitar is somewhat more rhythmic. The performance here involves a number of traditional works, including "Adios Pueblo de Ayacucho" (Farewell Ayacucho Town), probably the best known. The sound here is usually somewhat pensive, reminiscent of Spanish masters such as Segovia. For a basic introduction into one aspect of Andean music, this album might not be a bad way to go. Other avenues are possibly more important to explore first, such as the panpipe traditions, but this album is musically sound and quite enjoyable in its own right.

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