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CHOUTEIRA "Ghuaue!" Areabrava DF 009 CD

"Ghuaue!" is the second album by Chouteira in Areabrava's Dol Folk Edicion, which is devoted to the work of young folk and traditionally-orientated bands and soloists from Galicia, in an effort to conserve the musical culture of the region.

Chouteira are Francisco Estevez, Alfredo Moldes Guardado, Olga Fernandez Nogueri, Oli Giraldez Rio, Xulio R. Cordiera, Ramon Pinheiro Almunha, and Uzia Pedreira, and on this album they have collaborated with bombard and trombonist Manuel L. Vidal, Manuel Martinez on tuba, and singers Marta Arbas and Anton Latxa.

All but one of the fourteen tracks come from the Galician tradition, with arrangements by the band. Their straightforward treatments of traditional tunes arranged for gaitas (Galician bagpipes), accordion, flute, whistle, and a wide variety of percussion do nothing to detract from the simplicity of the original. There is much singing, often robust and sometimes heartfelt, and this leads me to the album's one drawback. Its sleevenotes are not for the fainthearted: although extensive, the printing is indistinct and there is no English translation, in fact there is no translation of any kind, making the vocals in particular totally inaccessible to all but the most accomplished linguist. Even the Areabrava catalogue which accompanied the CD contained only a brief half inch in English.

This album is really for the beginner, anyone just getting into Galician music. It is enjoyable and repays repeated listenings, providing a clear illustration of the essential dance rhythms of the region, and a firm base from which to move on to headier offerings from Milladorio and their like. Five out of ten for presentation of information, but ten out of ten for integrity. The Do Folk Edicions catalogue is available from Sierra de Algodonales 12, Madrid 28018, Spain, and "Ghuaue!" is distributed by BOA.

Carole Baker

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This album was reviewed in Issue 25 of The Living Tradition magazine.