The song in this video was written by illustrious Greek singer Manos Hadjidakis with Maro Kontou. It is performed by one of the most iconoclastic artists of Portugal, singer and guitarist Lula Pena. She is often referred to as a fado singer, but that's sheer laziness on the part of those looking for simple pigeonholes to place their expectations in.
There is certainly the independent spirit of fado in her music; the old school variety punctuated by cigarettes and late nights; the cousin of the blues, the rembetiko, the morna, and the Appalachian ballad. But Pena stands apart. Her guitar playing is roughly punctuated. Her voice moves from sweet smoothness to hoarse whisper in a few measures.
The songs on this 2016 recording are wide ranging, including traditional songs and her own compositions, and also include icons like Hadjidakis, Chilean folk diva Violeta Parra, and Brazilian poets Ronald Augusto, Elomar, Ederaldo Gentil and Jerusa Pires Ferreira. She takes a dip into American music with the unique choice of "Come Wander With Me," a song that formed the narrative for a 1954 episode of The Twilight Zone.
Each is delivered with a quiet but rugged passion, with only her voice and her guitar. - CF
Find the artist online.
Here's a live version of Ronald Augusto's poem " Negro que sou" with her music, recorded in a TV performance in Amsterdam in May of 2016. It shows her wonderful approach to the guitar as an extension of her voice.
Photo: ©2016 Buddhy