Tuesday, January 19, 2010

CD Pick of the week: Rumel Fuents

As the world music director for KZSU, it's my job to listen to all the new world music CDs we get at the station. And because I listen to so much music, it's easy to get blase about it as an art form. It's not until something bops you over the head that you remember how much power music can have.

Rumel Fuentes Corridos of the Chicano Movement is a perfect example of how music can help change the world. Recorded during the late 1960s and early '70s, the 13 tracks on this release are all wonderful examples of the Tex-Mex style, featuring rancheras and waltzes backed by guitar. Fuentes has a warm, though obviously untrained voice, but it's full of passion and persuasion. The songs range from odes to heroes of the revolution (such as "Corrido de Cesar Chavez") to stories about people taking action ("Walk-Out En Crystal City") and songs that relate the history of Anglo domination (El Corrido de Reies Lopez Tierina). It's a powerful release that captures the anger and the determination of a race fighting for equality. Wonderful music.

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