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No, No, No, Cha Cha Cha

Brave Combo

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Album Review

Brave Combo have long been enthusiastic ambassadors of modernized ethnic dance music long before the terms "worldbeat" and "world music" were in vogue. Their recordings generally include equal parts Eastern European, Latin influenced, and original zaniness. This album, however, concentrates solely on music and dance styles indigenous to Latin America like salsa, cumbia, merengue, and samba. But as they are wont to do, Brave Combo also applies their arrangements to the most unlikely of song candidates. Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" from Humansville is a prime example of this group's fascination with tampering with entrenched pop and rock classics. In this instance, excerpts from the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction" get molded into a cha-cha, and, in more believable fashion, "The Way of Love" adopts a salsa beat. This album might possibly be the most musically consistent of Brave Combo because they derived all of their material and/or song styles from closely related cultures of a condensed geographical region. Stand out tracks include Eugenio Flores' "Robertin, Roberton" and guitarist Carl Finch's "Junction, TX 1978." Finch routinely contributes masterful original pieces to Brave Combo's albums (see "Take a Deep Breath" from Allumettes, "Flying Saucer" from Polkas for a Gloomy World, "Do Something Different" from A Night on Earth, etc.) thus reinforcing him being one of the most imaginative and original songwriters in alternative pop and rock music. The 1992 Japanese P-Vine version of this album differs slightly from the 1993 U.S. Rounder issue. The P-Vine copy has omitted "Fly Me to the Moon" and "Busy Office Rhumba" in favor of "Junction, TX 1978."

Biography

Formed: 1979 in Denton, TX

Genre: World

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Applying the polka and world-music dance treatment to a most unlikely song lineup ("People Are Strange," "Sixteen Tons," "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," "O Holy Night"), Brave Combo formed in the late '70s in the small Texas hometown of vocalist and guitarist Carl Finch, recorded three albums for the self-owned Four Dots label, and later moved to Rounder. The group's line-up, though constantly shifting, began to coalesce around Finch, horn player Jeffrey Barnes, bassist Bubba Hernandez, and either Mitch Marine...
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No, No, No, Cha Cha Cha, Brave Combo
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