Suni Paz

Bandera Mía: Songs of Argentina

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Wanting to properly honor the country in which she was born and raised and that inspired her musically, singer/songwriter Suni Paz decided to release an album of traditional and original folk songs that encompassed the style and sense of Argentina. With liner notes that include a biography of Paz and individual track explanations in both Spanish and English, Bandera Mía: Songs of Argentina is a compelling, poignant collection. Paz's voice has only matured with age, which gives her words a greater weight and believability, and her guitar, which warmly entwines itself into the Latin percussion, harps, reeds, and other guitars, as well as the voices of the singers themselves (Paz is often accompanied by Rafael Manríquez and son Ramiro Fauve -- who also play many of the instruments on the album -- on background vocals). And her voice is expressive enough that comprehending the words she sings isn't as important as feeling the emotion she puts into them. There are songs of love ("Hasta Otro Día"), songs of remembrance ("Tierra Querida," "Pedro Canoero") songs of pain ("Baguala Tucumana del Mollar," "Por un Camino de Abrojos"), songs of joy or flirtation ("La Colorada," "A la Huella"), but more than the lyrics, it's the ache of melancholy and despair or the rush of happiness and delight in her voice that's understood. All together it creates a fantastic depiction of the country, from the southern plains to the large, crowded cities to the mountainous regions to the eastern area known as the Litoral, and the music sweeps and flows like the wind over the land, stopping just long enough to allow itself to be heard and remembered before it moves on. Through zamba, baguala, huella, bailecito, and tango Paz takes her listeners through her homeland, introducing them to its many different sides and leaving them trying to figure out if they can make it to Argentina anytime soon.

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