Los Ciegos Del Barrio

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

In this evening’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on Los Ciegos Del Barrio, an experimental, bilingual Latin rock group. The outfit is a remarkably unique one, consisting of five blind Americans of Latin descent, hence why the band name translates to ‘The Blind Boys from the Neighborhood.’ (It is worth mentioning that they all suffer from varying degrees of legal blindness. They’re not entirely without sight.) Let’s dig into their new tune, ‘Mama Used To Say.’

It goes without saying that the band’s instrumental prowess is only more impressive as a result of their disabilities. Goodness, ‘Mama Used To Say’ is an elegant excursion through Latin-tinged, salsa-like rock. Los Ciegos Del Barrio do remind me a bit of The Blind Boys of Alabama. Aside from the fact that they’re five blind guys creating killer music, the comparison does run deeper. The Blind Boys of Alabama have championed a very American sound over the course of the last seventy years. From gospel, to soul, to working with Lou Reed, they’ve embodied American performance through countless avenues for decades. That authenticity, that raw embracement of culture is abundant in Los Ciegos Del Barrio’s music. They sharply call upon their heritage to craft contemporary, yet intensely traditional sounds. That’s very admirable.

‘Mama Used To Say’ is nothing short of infectious. From the opening flutes to the bombastic percussion and brass sections, the single is everything that’s so wonderful about Latin music. The vocal performances are superb, as is the lyricism. It’s a very friendly tune, too. I imagine Los Ciegos Del Barrio are wonderfully fun to see live, and they’re also creating tunes that can be enjoyed in a family setting. ‘Mama Used To Say’ reminds me of ‘Mama Told Me Not To Come,’ actually. (A timeless Three Dog Night track.) It’s one of those tunes that utilizes the imparting of motherly wisdom to progress forward in a relatable manner.

As I mentioned, the outfit is bilingual. Thus, there is some Spanish thrown in throughout the track. This only intensifies the genuine feel of the music, and tops off a wholly authentic atmosphere with enthusiastic grace. I don’t receive Latin music often to review on the Independent Spotlight, either. Thus, ‘Mama Used To Say’ is one of the more refreshing tracks I’ve visited in quite a long time. Spin it below and connect with the band via social networking.