Revolutionary folk makes a comeback

18 May 2007 » Music, Politics

Salsa has long been viewed as the sound of Cuba. With the international success of the Afro-Cuban All Stars and the documentary/album Buena Vista Social Club, this genre has further overshadowed the other major movement in Cuban music: Nueva trova, which is a form of folk driven by political themes.

Silvio Rodríguez is probably the most famous of the nueva trova movement, and there were a few artists outside of Cuba that embraced the sound. “Playa Girón” by Silvio Rodríguez and “Hemos Dicho Basta” by Daniel Viglietti from Uruguay are good examples of this style.

I haven’t listened to those songs in a while, but I stumbled across a new tune from The Nightwatchman called “The Road I Must Travel.” It instantly reminded me how much I enjoyed this genre. After hearing the song on the radio, I dug into the “group” and discovered that it is none other than the solo work of Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave fame.

It’s nice to see folk brought back to its roots and away from the insipid variant which has come to dominate the coffeehouse radio circuit.


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