May 19, 2015

Rana Santacruz | Por Ahi

ARTIST: Rana Santacruz
TITLE: Por Ahi
LABEL: Chicavasco
Rana Santacruz is the stage name of Mexican musician Rene Hubard, who was a member of the rock en espanol band La Catrina. He moved to Brooklyn in 2002 and reinvented himself as a worldly frontman, simmering Mexican vernacular music, magic realism, Celtic music, Tom Waits, bluegrass and Balkan music into a unique personal stew. His solo debut in 2010 was an ear-opener, and this follow-up is even better. Santacruz’s music is entirely acoustic; nonetheless, the new album, performed by an eight-piece band has a relentless energy that matches his live presentation. Santacruz sings with an open-throated power that you don’t often hear in the singer-songwriter genre, and he has the knack for a catchy melody that you just can’t teach – you’ll find yourself wanting to sing along even if you can’t understand the Spanish-language lyrics. Start with 5, which sound like a twin to the Pogues’ “If I Should Fall From Grace With God,” then move on to the Balkan-tinged 9. For a more Mexican experience, 2 is a cumbia and 10 will remind you of Calexico. And the title track (7) has a little bit of almost all his influences in one beautiful package.
TOP TRACKS:    2    5    7    9    10
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    1    3    4    6    8    11

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