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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Freegal Playlists - download today!

We provide patron and staff playlists from the music downloads available through Freegal highlighting everything from classical to country.  For more info on the service, jump to our previous post.  To access the library of available music, you will need your Edwardsville barcode and PIN.  Scroll to the bottom of our webpage, click on the Freegal link, and away you go!  Please be advised that an an entire album will require multiple downloads (patrons are allowed 3 downloads/week).

Posted by Alana T.

I'm from New Mexico, a state with a culture derived from a beguiling mix of Native American, Spanish and Anglo influences.  Few people know that NM is the second largest center of Flamenco outside of Spain and is home to one of the largest annual Flamenco festivals in the world.  I love the music and was delighted with the selections recently made available on Freegal.

When most people think of Flamenco, they think of ladies in ruffled dresses, clicking away with castanets.  The reality is much more diverse and I've chosen a few selections to give you a broad view of the music.  By the way, nearly all Flamenco artists perform under a nickname and don't use their real names; this can make finding recordings a bit tricky.

A few years ago, my sister brought me an album from Spain, Lagrimas Negras, and I was thrilled to find a live recording by one of the artists, Diego "El Cigala", on Freegal.  El Cigala (the lobster) has a throaty, rich voice and the performance on Teatro Real is fantastic.  I am unable to pick a favorite from this recording - it's that good.  Spend two weeks of downloads to get the whole thing - you won't regret it.

Fregal has an entire series called Great Interpreters of Flamenco featuring the best recordings from the 20's through the 50's and a number of other older albums, including Pasión Flamenca.  The sound quality is not the greatest (the recordings are old), but the music shines through nonetheless.  This album features La Paquera (the trickster) de Jerez, a famous female cantor. She has a deep, passionate, huge voice and you feel every emotion she projects. There are nine songs on the album, all download worthy, but you would be fine choosing just a few.

If you love classical guitar, you will love Flamenco guitar - and this goes way beyond the Gypsy Kings (considered the pop version of Flamenco).  Guitarra Flamenca de Niño Sabicas is an amazing collection by one of the best guitar players today. Sabicas (the broadbean) is a featured artist in many Flamenco recordings, but he is the star here.  Volumes 1 & 2 contain a total of 38 recordings - that's a lot to download, so pick a random selection to round out your collection.

Now all you need to do is grab a bottle of Rioja, whip up a batch of paella, and enjoy the evening!

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