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Waterside by Appalatin

CD Review: Waterside by Appalatin (Self-produced 2013)
Review by Bill Tilford, all rights reserved 

(This review was originally prepared for our Nuestros Primos Musicales section, which covers music of interest to our readers that may not always fall under a strict definition of Cuban music)

When people who have never experienced Kentucky think about music from there, more often than not, Bluegrass and Country music will be the first things that come to mind, but there are some fine Jazz musicians there, at least three very good Salsa bands and a growing Latin American community (especially in the Louisville-Lexington corridor) that is giving birth to some interesting bands including Appalatin. This group fuses Andean instruments (charango, a member of the lute family, and sapoñas, a form of Andean flutes) with harmonicas, guitars and Caribbean percussion and cajón in a mix of Andean music, Appalachian and "roots" music and cumbia among other things. 

Don't run - this is actually very pleasant.  The group has been around for seven years. After seeing it live, this writer suspects the sapoñas artist, Mr. Moya, of owning a nice Jazz collection, and if artists like Bob Dylan,  a good roots band, a good Cumbia band and a good Andean folkloric group had been locked away in a room with instructions to jam until they came up with something that worked, the results might not have been all that far away from this.  

This studio album is a little more genre-focused within individual tracks than the live performances, which sometimes veer off in pleasantly-surprising directions without notice (more of that would have been perfectly welcome here), but it is still both fused and different enough to be worth mentioning, especially if you like Andean folk music, Appalachian folk music, "regular" American folk or country music or Cumbia, in which case we would also say that it is worth a listen - it is spirited and fun, and the mix actually elevates some of its source material at times.  Their take on My Old Kentucky Home really is unique, and bachateros would dig Mañana Un Sol Dirá. Audiences in the United States will be hearing more from this group as the future unfolds.  

Tracks:

Down By The Waterside
Alpa Mayo
Sobre Reales
Summer Rain
La Linea
Danville Breakdown
Kentrucky Soul Fly Free
Mañana Un Sol Dirá
Ñuka Shungo
A Little Bit Of Love
My Old Kentucky Home

Personnel for Waterside

Role - InstrumentName
Acoustic Guitars, Vocals Yani Vozos, Marlon Orando, Fernando Moya (guitars on tracks 6 and 9)
Sapoñas Fernando Moya
Charango Fernando Moya, Yani Vozos (on track 9)
Harmonica, Timbales, Percussion Luis De Leon
Congos, Bongo, Cajón, Percussion Steve Sizemore
Bass Luke McIntosh
Guest Artists Andrea Davidson (vocal tracks 3, 5, 11) 
Alex Molina (percussion all tracks except 9, 11)

Bill Tilford - Wednesday, 13 November 2013, 03:48 AM