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Tierra (1997)
Live Overseas (2000)
both titles Fonoastur, Spain (

cd cover Every once in a while a group of musicians converge, and although they come from varied directions and musical genres, they share a commonality that transcends those differences. The result is always eclectic, and occasionally brilliant. Felpeyu is such a group, and that melding of influences serves them well as they promote the living culture of Asturias.

"Les Llagrimes de les coses"
Felpeyu weaves a path through their regional and national styles (fandangos, muñeres, xotes, alboráes, xiringüelos and marches), infusing them with elements from the Scottish, Irish and Breton musical traditions, distilled to an essence that is uniquely Asturian. Of their albums, Tierra stands out. This studio album retains enough rawness to convince the astute listener that as far as Felpeyu is concerned, passion is paramount to polish.

Live Overseas almost captures Felpeyu's on stage presence. There is a feeling that their normally live sound is a tad cautious. A comparison between "El Besu" on Tierra and Live Overseas exposes, ironically, how tentative the live album feels. Never the less, both albums capture a quality that is rare in these pan-cultural, gloss-pop times, genuineness. The musical depth of Felpeyu is palpable. "La Marcha d'Antón El Neñu" (from Live) is an evocative instrumental piece that evolves into a duet between the pure tone of Lisardo Prieto's fiddle playing, and the mastery of Xuan Nel Expósito's piping. Ígor Medio's bouzouki playing is superb and his grasp of the subtleties of counterpoint is clearly evident. "El Besu" (Tierra & Live) demonstrates that the art of good arrangement is alive and well, and for those fans of flamenco flourish, Carlos Redondo's style is stunning. Ruma Barbero's bodhrán playing adds an ostinato quality that ranges from the subtle to the near perverse, his sense of the tunes no doubt influenced by his training as a piper. On "Dancia de San Pedru de Cuideiru /Cantar /Xirandiya/ Entemediu de Chema Castañón," the addition of Fernando Oyagüez on fiddle and five vocalists showcases Felpeyu's full talents. This band commands your musical attention, engaging you fully, and transportation to where all brilliant music should take you is guaranteed. - Timothy Gleeson

Song: "Les Llagrimes de les coses" from Tierra
Copyright: ©2000 Fono Astur, used by permission
Felpeyu Web Site

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