Cortes de Amor (Factoría Autor, 2007)
Medieval Europe was a time of wandering musicians who entertained nobles and plebs alike. Spanish band Espliego has released a fun and enjoyable album that is inspired by minstrel tales from various parts of Europe. The group was formed by two of the best known singer-songwriters from Castilla-La Mancha, the ancient land of El Quijote.
The singers use both Spanish and Latin, accompanied by a rich ensemble of musicians, ranging from folk rockers to string ensembles. The lyrics make references to several elaborate love stories, the wanderings of trovadores and juglares (minstrels), traveling rascals and other tales.
The musicians use a variety of instruments that mixes the ancient and modern. Espliego uses the vihuela, an ancestor of the guitar, as well as Irish uilleann pipes, Greek bouzouki, bodhran, and the jembe, combined with rock instruments.
Combining the best of folk rock, Medieval influences, a dose of progressive rock and lots of ingenuity, Espliego has made one of the finest contemporary Spanish folk albums in recent times.
The CD is available from the band’s web site: http://www.espliego.es.