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Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012

Los Gauchos de Roldan

Button Accordion and Bandoneon Music from Northern Uruguay (Smithsonian Folkways)

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Uruguay, the small nation wedged between the giants of Brazil and Argentina, was shaped like many places in the New World by an influx of immigration. Los Gauchos de Roldan is determined to preserve the music that filtered into Uruguay's rural backlands—a music that resonates with sounds from faraway. Astor Piazzola might have appreciated the almost tango of “Como mi suegra.” With its weary melody over a ragged rhythm, “Chotis de Don Lorenzo” recalls a European street corner café in a poor neighborhood from a century ago. Powering Los Gauchos' collection of traditional songs is the two-row button accordion and the mighty bandoneon, a favorite instrument in the tango halls of Buenes Aires.