Various Artists

Mountain Music of Puerto Rico

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Back in the 1950s, it seemed as if the rural music of Puerto Rico might die out, replaced by international pop -- the fate of so much folk music globally. However, during the 1960s, the government actively promoted folk and craft traditions, which saved the music. In the mountains, the music has remained largely unchanged, with new generations playing it. Ecos de Borinquen have been playing these varying styles since 1978. There's a topical lightness to the singing and playing, and although the compositions are all original, as opposed to traditional, there's a rich authenticity to the playing and the rhythms behind everything from these trovadores. The music comprises mostly seis and aguinaldos, which have always been the core of the rural repertoire. Excellently played, infectious, and surprisingly untainted by the modern, while still sounding contemporary (a fine paradox!), this makes for an excellent look at a great tradition.

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