The Formidable Contemporary Sounds of the Way of Saint James

Various Artists - Cantigas do Camiño
Various Artists – Cantigas do Camiño
Various Artists

Cantigas do Camiño (Boa Music/Do Fol, 2010)

Spain has been celebrating Xacobeo 2010. These festivities celebrate the legendary Way of Saint James (Camino de Santiago), the ancient pilgrimage route that starts in southwestern France and ends in Galicia in northwestern Spain and which is still traveled by thousands of pilgrims and adventurers every year. Cantigas do Camiño pays tribute to the music of Galicia at the western end of the path.

This superb project brings together Galician musicians, the Government of the autonomous community of Galicia and Boa Music’s Do Fol label. The Camino de Santiago was also an important route for musicians. The 77-page book that comes with the CD is available in Spanish (Castilian), Galician and English and provides fascinating details about the musical history of the area.

If you are interested in sampling the current folk music of Galicia, Cantigas do Camiño is an excellent opportunity. Most of the leading Galician folk music acts are featured.

Galicia has become a bagpipe powerhouse in recent years. One of its top performers is the glamorous

Susana Seivane. She represents the edgy and contemporary side of Galician folk music. The traditional side of Galician pipes is represented by Treixadura.

Several of the finest (and best known) contemporary folk bands contribute material to the album:Berrogüetto,

Luar Na Lubre (which features a Portuguese vocalist) and Faltiqueira. 

Female vocal groups accompanied by tambourines are one of the types of acts found in Galicia.

Leilía is by far the best known and their contemporary vision of the tradition is truly outstanding.

The future is represented by Bonovo, a band that combines the ancient hurdy gurdy with accordion and electronica. Aniother innovative act is Guadi Galeo & Vaamonde, Lamas e Romero, who blend jazz, Galician folk and global influences.

The current rich tradition owes a lot to pioneers of Galician folk from the 1970s.

Milladoiro has been around for several decades and this time they offer a glorious Gregorian piece. Another pioneer, Fuxan os Ventos, joins the party, blending Medieval and traditional folk sounds.

Sondeseu is in a category of its own. It is a marvelous folk orchestra, a large ensemble of musicians who play folk instruments instead of classical music instruments. Sondeseu features several pipers, hurdy gurdy players, harpists and more.

Uxia is one of the best known female singers from Galicia. On this occasion she explores Brazilian bossa nova. Meanwhile, Emilio Rúa represents the most commercial side of Galician pop.

Buy Cantigas do Camiño

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.


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