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Album Review

The Cuban singer and songwriter Pedro Luis Ferrer lives and works in an interesting sort of artistic twilight zone. Unlike most of his colleagues (some of whom were jailed in 2004 on charges of political dissidence), he has been able to write and sing his mildly critical political songs without serious repercussion — yet. He is even allowed to sell his music abroad, for which American record buyers can be grateful. Rustico is a delightful musical cocktail consisting of equal parts son, changui, trova espirituana and coros de claves, traditions drawn from all over the country. Accompanied by instruments from a similarly broad array of musical traditions, a song like "Fundamento" can make ironic use of revolutionary rhetoric, while "Conga Vegetariana" makes a wry point about voluntary vegetarianism in the context of generalized food shortages. Those whose Spanish is rusty or whose politics are too calcified to appreciate this kind of subtlety can just roll along happily with the strutting, swaying rhythms, the clear, powerful voices of Ferrer and his daughter Lena, and the rippling sounds of the double-strung tres. Highly recommended.

Biography

Born: September 17, 1952 in Yanguaji, Cuba

Genre: Latino

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Active in Cuban music since 1965, singer/guitarist/tres player/composer Pedro Luis Ferrer combines the influences of both classical and Cuban popular music in his guaracha-style songs, which usually address the everyday lives and struggles of the common people. Ferrer was born in the small Cuban town of Yanguaji and moved to Havana in 1965, hoping to get involved in the music scene. He played with Carlos Alfonso and Mike Porcella, the latter in a Cuban/rock fusion group called Los Dada. Over time,...
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Rústico, Pedro Luis Ferrer
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