Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Live! En Vivo!
Genres: Folk, World Music, Jazz
This West Coast-based Latin American band was recorded live in 1988 in Culver City, California. Joining the four-member Sabia are many musical friends, including Ciro Hurtado, who joins the band on solo guitar on "El Amor ... more »
This West Coast-based Latin American band was recorded live in 1988 in Culver City, California. Joining the four-member Sabia are many musical friends, including Ciro Hurtado, who joins the band on solo guitar on "El Amor is un Camino."
Ay! Carumba! Musica Fantastica!
J. R. Thelin | 04/23/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was blown away when I saw only one review - and that from 1998! In 1986, I saw Sabia, with some different personnel, at Colorado College and was impressed with their energy, enthusiasm, intelligence, array of musical colours/textures (mostly acoustic), and three dynamic female vocalists, all of whom are on this Live! recording. At this particular concert, which may have been a farewell one, the group having been active for a decade, the band reached out to musical friends to join them on stage. This created a slightly more diverse sound than at the CC performance and on their lone previous recording, a wonderful studio set called Porta Voz (unavailable now on any format). While I prefer the earlier incarnation - slightly - I do enjoy the different configurations here, sometimes having as many as five vocalists singing.
My favorite tracks tend toward the more reflective numbers, such as Lost Lovers, Volver A Los 17, and Mis Razones. (Yes, they mostly sing en espanol even though they're primarily gringos.) The latter two songs contain vocals that sound like a heavenly choir; I often find tears streaming down my face while listening to them. Having four or five female vocalists allows for much counterpoint, which is exquisite.
There are some technical problems, which is not unusual for an in-concert production. Sometimes the mikes are not balanced well; and we lose the power & intensity of a vocalist or two, sometimes briefly, sometimes for an entire verse. Songwriting, often by Libby Harding, was a real strength of the band. Nonetheless, Homeless (Sin Hogar) has some pedantic lyrics which make this their weakest song ever. It also features a sometimes undermiked Erika Verba vocal. She can be an uneven singer; however, when she is on, she is my favorite Sabia singer (she is very strong on Porta Voz). At first, her Homeless lead sounded forced as if she were trying to fight the electric instruments, an anomaly for Sabia, accompanying her. However, upon repeated listenings, I found an intense rhythmic drive from guitars, drums, and voices (the second vocal at the end really kicks it up a notch) that I missed initially.
Enough, enough. If you enjoy politically conscious lyrics that are literate - and also like some doses of humour to add to the mix, you will want to check out this twenty-year old concert recording. It takes me back, in a good way, to the activism I experienced in the 1980s (and you thought there was none!).
J. R. Thelin | 07/13/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here is a clear and strong sound, unique and unmistakably their own. They have a raw quality like early Dylan. ". . .U.S. guns and Coca-Cola sponsored by the Ayatolah. . .""