Brazilian icon Gilberto Gil has played a major role in the evolution of his country's music for decades. Today Gil is coming through Houston with The String Concert Tour in support of his latest CD, Bandadois. Gil will appear with his guitarist/percussionist son Bem Gil and cellist/conductor Jaques Morelenbaum, in an all-acoustic set.
Chatter: Thirty years ago, you and Caetano Veloso were credited with launching the tropicalismo movement, blending Brazilian bossa nova and samba with American and European rock. Since then, how have you seen Brazilian music change?
Gilberto Gil: It has changed because time passes, but mainly because Brazil is so huge that it's hard to say this is Brazilian music...
C: With all those Brazilian genres and styles to pull from, among your other influences, would you say your music has a signature style?
GG: As I was influenced by this variety of music produced in Brazil, and also by foreign pop, rock, reggae and many other kinds of music, I don't think I have a clear Gilberto Gil style or signature, although I may produce a samba, a reggae, a rock, and people might recognize in all this music, my style.
C: Some artists record a new CD because they have something new to say, others because they want to capture a live concert or share their latest work with their fans. What motivates you to record?
GG: I like studios but also live recordings, with a band or a more acoustic CD like this last one, Bandadois, that features only my son [Bem] and myself with Maria Rita as special guest singing in one track, and my youngest son José playing bass in two songs.
C: This show is called The String Concert — why did you choose an acoustic approach for this tour?
GG: This is a kind of follower of my show Gil Luminoso, where I was alone with my guitar. I like bands, but I like also this format, minimalist but very rich at the same time.
C: How did the arrangements change with the acoustic instrumentation?
GG: I had already an idea of nearly all my repertoire in acoustic instrumentation because of guitar playing at home, with my sons.
C: What it's like to perform with your son?
GG: It is great fun and joy. Bem is a very attentive musician. He stays in his hotel bedrooms studying guitar and exchanging ideas with me and Jaques.
C: Anything else you want to tell your Houston audience?
GG: Just hope they enjoy the show as much as we enjoy doing it. See you there.
Sig's Lagoon (3710 Main) has a trio of upcoming book-related events to watch out for. Saturday at 7 p.m., Colorado-based poster artist Lindsey Kuhn, a former Austinite and protégé of Frank Kozik, will host an exhibition of his work and sign copies of his new book Lure of the Swamp, a densely illustrated chronicle of Kuhn's more than 26 years of creating posters for shows all over the world. Saturday, April 10, Andy Bradley and Dr. Roger Wood will sign copies of their new book House of Hits: The Story of Houston's Gold Star/Sugarhill Studios at 2 p.m., while the store plays a variety of music recorded at the legendary Produce Row compound. Finally, at 7 p.m. Friday, April 16, Lubbock native Ned Sublette, whose "Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly Fond of Each Other" was recorded by Willie Nelson shortly after the release of Brokeback Mountain, will read from and sign his books The Year Before the Flood, The World That Made New Orleans and Cuba and Its Music. Sublette will play a set next door at Shoeshine Charley's Big Top Lounge (3714 Main) at 10:30 p.m.
Sig's Lagoon, 3710 Main, 713-533-9525
1. Dengue Fever presents Electric Cambodia:
14 Rare Gems from Cambodia's Past
2. Various Artists, Cazumbi: African Sixties Garage Vol. 2
3. Jimi Hendrix, "Valleys of Neptune" 7"
4. Vampire Weekend, Contra (LP)
5. Various Artists & the Preservation Hall Jazz Band,
Preservation: An Album to Benefit Preservation Hall
6. Various Artists, Cazumbi: African Sixties Garage Vol. 1
7. Nick Gaitan & the Umbrella Man,
Nick Gaitan & the Umbrella Man
8. Various Artists, Ghana Special: Modern
Highlife Afro-Sounds & Ghanaian Blues '68-'81
9. Geoff Muldaur & the Texas Sheiks, Texas Sheiks
10. 3 Titans, "College" 7"
Wide Open Spaces
KPFT (90.1 FM), Thursdays 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Selections from the show's March 18 playlist
1. Rodney Crowell, "I Walk the Line"
2. Roseanne Cash, "I'm Movin' On"
3. Robert Earl Keen, "Swervin' In My Lane"
4. Red Stick Ramblers, "16 Tons"
5. Hank Williams III, "Mississippi Mud"
6. Corb Lund, "Steer Rider's Blues"
7. Red Meat, "Teetotalin' Time"
8. Roy Heinrich, "Give Me a Kiss"
9. Dwight Yoakam, "The Late Great Golden State"
10. Jesse Dayton, "Arkansas Chrome"
(lists compiled by Chris Gray)
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