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Very Be Careful – “El Rapidol”
¿Remember Me from the Party?
The Los Angeles-based vallenato masters Very Be Careful are back with a new release entitled ¿Remember Me from the Party? on Downtown Pijao. Vallenato translates to “born in the valley.” The valley it refers to is located between the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and the Serranía de Perijá in northeast Colombia. This form of music originated with the farmers of the region who borrowed the traditions of the Spanish minstrels (juglares) and the West African griots, who spread news while traveling through their songs. The three traditional instruments used in vallenato are: the caja vallenata (a small drum held between the knees and played with bare hands), the guacharaca (a wooden, ribbed stick accompanied by a fork that when rubbed together emits a scraping sound), and the accordion. While vallenato was once considered to be music of the lower class and farmers, it is now popular among every social class in Colombia.
Very Be Careful set out on a mission to play accordion-driven Colombian vallenato back in 1997, well before the cumbia craze hit North America. Brothers Arturo and Ricardo Guzmán, Dante Ruiz, Craig Martin, and Richi Panta found plenty of inspiration in their parents’ record collections. 15 years later the band continues to grow stronger with their legendary live performances. Incredibly popular in Japan, Very Be Careful spend a lot of time touring and spreading the everlasting party atmosphere that accompanies vallenato music. They appeal to a diverse audience and have won praise from Kronos Quartet, Vampire Weekend and Jack White to name a few. ¿Remember Me from the Party? is a solid record, lively and loud with plenty of tunes to keep you dancing. Very Be Careful deliver intense, upbeat vallenato that refuses to quit on a well produced album without studio gimmicks. Listen to “El Rapidol” above or on soundcloud and look for ¿Remember Me from the Party? at a record store near you.