Saturday, December 31, 2011

Carlos Paredes Master of Le Guitarra Portuguesa

Carlos Paredes is one of the greatest Portuguese guitarists, composers, and ambassadors of his country's culture. This legendary guitarist through his many albums has brought a deeper understanding of le guitarra Portuguesa and it's intricate and intimate sound. The instrument, which was created several hundred years ago, is a short necked, wide-bodied instrument that has twelve strings in six courses comprised of two strings each. Paredes mastery of said instrument is no small feat, but you can hear his understanding and his ability on the recently re-released album, Guitarra Portuguesa.

A beautiful sounding instrument, the album lends itself to a certain degree of romanticism and beauty that is truly unique amongst stringed instruments. It's an intriguing instrument that at times almost sounds like a harpsichord. Generally a bit more high-pitched than other guitars, Paredes still manages to find a way to make his compositions sound warm and rich while giving them a rustic and almost folky feel. Guitarra Portuguesa is an awesome record of guitarra fireworks and shows that Paredes was an absolute beast on this instrument. While Eddie Van Halen wasn't quite old enough to play yet, Carlos Paredes was creating Portuguese-like "Eruption's," on a medieval instrument!

Guitarra Portuguesa is an incredible album of traditional sounding Portuguese music that will open your mind and ears. Carlos Paredes was an incredible talent and you can hear it throughout this record. The guy could clearly play the heck out of the Portuguese guitar and his fingers worked magic throughout each one of his songs as if he were a great wizard. The re-release of this album and his sophomore effort, Movimento Perpetuo are simply essential records and long overdue.

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