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Album Review

This is the second solo album recorded by Chico Lobo, a musician dedicated to the folklore of Minas Gerais state. Rhythmically softer than their Bahian or Carioca counterparts, which have a more pronounced afro element in their religious inspiration (macumba, candomblé), the mineiro folklore is profoundly Catholic, and the music is a profound fusion of European tradition (with medieval reflexes) with a strong profane element. In general, it consists in mildly rhythmic doleful songs dominated by the 10 string viola (a kind of violão). The album is not a direct appropriation of folklore, rather a free creation based on it. It allows for the use of modern 12-string violões, violins and other modern instruments. Letting aside Minas tradition, Chico also portrays profane swinging rhythms such as the Northeastern coco (an ancient precursor of rap), in "Coco da embolada," receiving the valuable support of a genuine coco duo. "Tropa" brings the Paraguayan influences of guarânia and the voice of Pena Branca, important caipira (redneck) artist. "Reinado" is an instrumental track where Chico is joined by the lute player Nívio Mota, who brings the medieval influences of upcountry Brazil. In "Estradas," the viola dialogues with the privileged 8-bass accordion of virtuose Renato Borghetti. The album is a live document and loving tribute to the rich and multi-shaded Brazilian culture.

Reinado, Chico Lobo
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