(March 2006) 12 tracks (48 mins): Pa’l Rumberos * Esperanza * An Cailleach * Cuando Me Vaya * Correla * Café Colando * Café Colando (Part 2) * El Gallito * Luna Llena * Luna Celosa * Fuego, Alma y Paz * Ya Llego.
In the wake of three highly acclaimed previous albums, Salsa Celtica break new ground with their new recording El Camino (The Road).
The Edinburgh-based eleven-piece band are an increasingly important name on the UK’s World Music scene, having stolen the show at gigs and festivals throughout the world (including WOMAD and Cambridge Folk Festival this year) with their unprecedented high-energy fusion of Latin and Celtic sounds and rhythms.
Apparently against the odds, one style flows naturally into another, creating a magical instrumental mix that blends bagpipes with congas, brass with fiddles. The result has been an exuberant fan base and a growing reputation for this broad collective of musicians which includes artists from Cuba, Ireland, Scotland and Venezuela among its number.
In a departure from previous recordings, Calum Malcolm (of Blue Nile fame) took the producer’s chair, setting out to capture the energy and clarity of the band's new direction into song (and occasional soulful pieces) that shine a spotlight on the Celtic influences in their music.
Eliza Carthy makes a guest appearance on Grey Gallito, a beautiful Latin version of an English traditional song.
The release of El Camino coincides with Salsa Celtica’s first appearance on the big screen. In late summer of 2004 the band travelled to London to film two scenes for the Jeremy Brock directorial debut Driving Lessons, starring Julie Walters and Rupert Grinch. The film is scheduled for general release in cinemas from April 2006 and, among other appearances and tracks in the movie, features Salsa Celtica’s rousing and typically unique version of Auld Lang Syne over the end credits.
This is all a far cry from Salsa Celtica’s humble beginnings in 1995, growing out of jamming sessions in the bars and clubs of Edinburgh and Glasgow. After recording their debut album Monstros y Demonios, they took their music to the village halls of Scotland and then travelled to Cuba to study with some of the country’s master musicians. On their return they signed to Greentrax for the release of their second and third albums, reaching number 5 in the World Music Chart of Europe with 2003’s El Agua De La Vida.
Invitations from festivals and concert halls throughout the world followed, including a sold-out date at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall. In 2004 they played to their largest audience yet - 40,000 people in Hyde Park as part of the BBC Proms In The Park.
Live success was matched by radio play with highlights including a Maida Vale session recorded for Radio 3’s Andy Kershaw Show, reaching the top 10 in Los Angeles’ Salsa radio chart with the infectious Yo Mi Voy, and an appearance on Radio 3’s January 1st World Music Day.
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