Eliana Cuevas feat. Aquiles Báez, El Curruchá Review
Eliana Cuevas is releasing her latest album, titled El Curruchá, which features guitarist Aquiles Báez. The renowned Venezuelan-Canadian singer/songwriter offers a nostalgic homage to the music she grew up listening to in her homeland of Venezuela in a duet setting through thirteen songs. Each song is a beautifully intimate performance that allows the playful and deeply emotional virtuosic guitar and vocal work to shine through without any distractions. The ALMA Records release has imaginative versions of classic Venezuelan songs of the last fifty years. Cuevas says, “the focus of this album is to showcase traditional compositions from Venezuela. Venezuelan music is a universe of sounds and rhythms as rich and broad as Cuba and Brazil’s music but not as widely known.”
Báez heavily influenced El Curruchá, Cuevas explains. “Many years ago, I listened to an album from a well-known Venezuelan singer, Ilan Chester. His 2001 recording, Corazón Navideño, much like El Curruchá, with just voice and guitar, which, as it happens, was played by Aquiles Báez, way before I met him. I loved and listened to this album many times, and from there came a dream that I’d love to do an album like this, with someone like Aquiles.” Cuevas recalls, “When I was recording my album Espejo, I e-mailed him from Canada, hoping that he would play cuatro on a song. He was very receptive to the idea, so we sent each other files, and he played on ‘El Tucusito.'” The Toronto recording session, produced and engineered by Cuevas’ husband Jeremy Ledbetter, was a moment of magic for the duet and one we can endlessly enjoy.Bottom Line: El Curruchá vibrates with sensuality, beautiful playing and singing, and a solid duet presentation. Cuevas and Báez have a wonderful repour, and the upbeat title track is a lovely display of technicality and musicality by both performers. “Caballo Viejo” is a classic Venezuela melody in which the duet explores the joropo rhythm with authority and passion. “San Rafael” is a Báez original and another highlight on the album. Overall, El Curruchá is a beautiful collection of music with excellent playing and singing. That’s the short of it!
Connect with Eliana Cuevas: Website |
February 12, 2021