|Sertaneja as in "from the sertões..." and there are many of them, from the interior of São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Bahia, the northeastern states, the Pantanal region. I've been listening to a lot of this stuff for the past several years, courtesy of a friend who's been educating me. It's positively fabulous with one major drawback: I don't see how you can get into some of this music if you don't know Portuguese. It's pure poetry and in regional dialects that are sometimes hard to follow even if you DO speak the language...Don't panic, though. Most of it can be enjoyed because it's either just plain great music or great dance music or both!|
If you read Portuguese, pick up a copy of Rosa Nepomuceno's book "Música Caipira: Da Roça ao Rodeio" (it may be out of print at the moment). Also, check out Inezita Barroso's new site. Inezita, the undisputed queen of caipira music, also teaches Brazilian folklore and Brazilian popular music courses in São Paulo and has a TV show called "Viola, Minha Viola." If only we could sit in those classrooms...
All CDs donated to our site automatically become part of the Sheila Thomson Colletion of Brazilian Culture at Florida International University in Miami. That's the main reason why we keep these pages on the site, since we don't update them as often as we used to.
For information on the Brazilian viola and violeiros, see our Brazilian Viola Page.
A note on the labels mentioned here: they are probably all gone at this point and we're not sure if the CDs are still in print under a different one (we suspect Biscoito Fino in Rio has bought quite a few Kuarup titles, though).
Several of Elomar's and Xangai's early recordings were released by Kuarup Discos in Rio before their much lamented demise in January of 2009.
"Xangai Canta Elomar" You may have to know Portuguese to listen to this one, because the words are very important here (what else is new in Brazilian music?). Xangai (Eugenio Avelino) and Elomar are sort of medieval troubadours stuck in the 20th century. Xangai's voice has been described as plangent, nasal, harsh...it is certainly beautiful and powerful, the result of years of herding cattle in his native state of Bahia. These guys sing to the cattle like you wouldn't believe it...Elomar, who also hails from Bahia, is the poet/composer behind these extraordinary pieces. In case you're wondering where the unusual nickname comes from...it was the name of his dad's ice-cream parlor!
"Xangai, Cantoria de Festa" This is, as the title appropriately proclaims, an album of festive music, an amazing selection of rhythms from northeastern Brazil.
"Xangai: Mutirão da Vida" This guy has become a HUGE favorite of ours. Can't get enough of this exceptional cantador!
"Helena Meirelles: Raiz Pantaneira" on Eldorado. Helena, who died a while ago, was a legendary character and a great violeira...this is the music of the Pantanal region of Brazil, don't miss it!
"Ruy Maurity: De Coração" on Artesanal. Ruy is Antonio Adolfo's brother, what a wonderful family! It includes his super hit "Serafim e seus Filhos."
Inezita Barroso is the grande dame of Brazilian music, a paulista who has become a national treasure. Her new CD is released by Trama. Go grab yourself a copy, if nothing else so you can boast to your friends that you have listened to this legendary singer, actress, folklorist, teacher, and TV personality.
"Semente Caipira" Pena Branca. This is his first recording after the death of his brother Xavantinho. It's the music of the interior of São Paulo and the central-western region of Brazil: toadas, guarânias (you'll hear the influence of Paraguay's music here), viras, cateretês. At times melancholy, at times funny. Latin Grammy ® 2001 winner...Alas, Pena Branca is gone also.
"Renato Teixeira, Pena Branca & Xavantinho, Ao Vivo em Tatuí" If you've ever heard Elis Regina singing "...sou caipirapirapora, Nossa Senhora de Aparecida..." by Renato and fell in love with his music like I did, well, this CD is definitely for you! It sold over 150,000 copies, so Kuarup must be doing something right here!
"Grandes Cantos Sertanejos, ...caipiras e sertanezes..." A compilation of some of the best by Vital Farias, Sivuca, Heraldo do Monte, etc.
"Cantoria 1" and "Cantoria 2" with Elomar, Geraldo Azevedo, Vital Farias, Xangai. Four of the greatest cantadores, at least three of them are also top-flight songwriters...Vital Farias, my favorite paraibano, gets to sing one of (his composition) my old loves, "Era Casa, Era Jardim."
"Cantoria 3 Elomar, Canto e Solo" Here the master troubadour is all by himself, raspy voice (too many cigarettes!) and spectacular guitar playing...
"Cantorias e Cantadores" vols. 1 and 2. Cantadores from the four corners of Brazil, Elomar, Vitor Ramil, Eugenio Leandro, Pena Branca and his brother Xavantinho (both deceased).
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