By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
By Karli Evans
By Jose D. Duran
By Pablo Chacon Alvarez
In the ten years since they released La Pipa de La Paz("The Pipe of Peace"), this genre-busting duo has continued to break musical barriers, blending the folk traditions of their native Colombia with a melange of sounds picked up as they've toured the Americas and Europe.
The pair's latest disc, Oye ("Listen"), is their first in six years. The songs reflect the songwriters' current concerns, such as the objectification of women ("Oye Mujer"), the effect of America's drug war on their homeland ("Canción Protesta"), and excessive consumerism ("Don Dinero"). The melodies this time around have more of a folk-rock vibe, much like bassist Hector Buitrago's 2006 solo effort, Conector.
"We have evolved a lot over the years," says Andrea Echeverri, who handles vocals and guitar. "We influence each other so much that a song written by one of us sounds like a tune written by the other. I feel that we have always had a good relationship, with love, respect, and vision. The love for music makes everything come together."
In a live setting Echeverri demonstrates great energy, singing lead and jumping around with her battered Gibson acoustic, while Buitrago appears more subdued, providing powerhouse basslines inherited from his years in the punk band La Pestilencia. Their fans, mostly Spanish speakers (along with a few gringos), respond by dancing and singing along to the better-known tunes from Oye and other records, including some songs from Echeverri's 2004 Latin Grammy-winning self-titled solo album.
This latest tour showcases material from the new disc, along with tunes from La Pipa de La Pazand Gozo Poderoso,from 2000 (a polite translation would be "Powerful Enjoyment").