Vera Bílá And Kale
Raised in a small town outside Prague, Vera Bílá was a singer in her father's band, and now has become a small phenomenon. Her band, usually fronted by Bílá's powerful, brassy voice, has the in-your-face showmanship of much of Gypsy music. Listening to the strong, rhythmic strumming and powerful harmonies of this band, one can see the kinship to the Gipsy Kings, but Kale's sound is smoother and sweeter. While most of the short tunes are brisk, acoustic-guitar-powered workouts, Kale also shifts gears for a few heartfelt ballads. Kale Kaloré is the group's second album, and it is primarily voices and acoustic guitars. The simplicity of the lineup may make the songs sound a bit too similar at times, but the group can deliver each one with the jolt of a double espresso. - Marty Lipp
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