"Espana" is a fitting sequel to the previous Putumayo Presents: Italia As "Italia" sheds light on lesser known Italian singer-songwriters, so does "Espana" shows there's more to Spain than flamenco. Spain is a wondrously diverse country--it's the homeland of El Greco, Velazquez, Salvador Dali, Picasso, Goya, Ferran Adria, Gaudi. It is the home of the enigmatic Basque, and spiritual giants like Teresa of Avila, Ignatius of Loyola and John of the Cross. "Espana" gives a tantalizing 40 minute taste of the country. It even includes a Basque bread pudding recipe. A portion of the profits benefits Oxfam in promoting fair trade.
"Espana" opens with the classic flamenco of Peret. The group Gertrudis has a peppy song about a witch burnt at the stake. Strangely joyful, considering the topic. DePedro,who hails from Peru, blends Southwestern styles with Spanish ones. There's the gentle acoustic style of Burguitos in his love song. Calima's "Lunita" is enigmatic and entrancing. Gossos' "Corren" is Spanish rock. El Combolinga blends Colombian cumbia with Spanish rumba... after all Colombia, like Peru, traces its musical roots to Spain. Uxia's "Danza Ritual" weaves together Galician music with the tarantella. It's one of the highlights of the compilation (along with "Lunita") Xabier Lete adds a contemporary flavor to a traditional Basque song. Gecko Turner provides the reggae track. The closing track is from the musical collective Biella Nuei from Aragon. It's a tantalizingly brief instrumental with a Celtic flavor (sort of like the whole compilation)
"Espana" is like a delicious plate of tapas. It's a sweet and savory assortment, and one wants more! "Espana" is a flavorful journey through on the Iberian peninsula.