Released 1975, Copacabana COELP 40568
01. Forró pesado (Assisão – Lindolfo Barbosa)
02. Por causa da pepita (João Gonçalves – Genival Lacerda)
03. Tinguelingue (João Silva – J. B. Aquino)
04. Esquenta moreninha (Assisão)
05. Apague o candieiro (João Silva – Raymundo Evangelista)
06. Fole de ouro (Jorge de Altinho)
07. O que é que você está fazendo ai meu bem (Don)
08. Paguei pra você tocar (Anastácia – Dominguinhos)
09. Sapo cururu (Jorge de Altinho – Julio Cesar)
10. Ela pede mais (Lindolfo Barbosa)
11. Quer casar vambora (Reivan Antonio Ceará)
12. São João no quintal (Anastácia – Dominguinhos)
It has been Festas Juninas time in the Nordeste for nearly a month and I have neglected to post about any music to help you get your inner matuto/a on (I suppose it should be matutx to appease the ‘woke’ northeastern Millenials). I had hoped to quickly get this Trio Nordestino album ready for your Saturday enjoyment, but there is still another week before the feast of St.John, the São João holiday and even more time before the whole holiday cycle comes to a close. As you can see from the cover of this record, it got played a lot by the previous owners. I don’t blame them, it’s a fun record, but be forewarned that you might not need the 24bit high resolution version of this one.
Released in 1975, Forró Pesado – “Heavy Forró” was Trio Nordestino’s attempt to cross-over to the Brazilian universitário set who were going nuts for groups like Deep Purple and Uriah Heep, and sees them dropping their accordions and triangles for electric guitars, Marshall stacks, and 20-piece drum kits mounted on a giant gyroscope to spin around shooting flares during the solo….
Wait a minute, I think I’m feeling unwell from some street vendor’s sarapatel. Let me try this again:
A stand-out record in a group with a long career, this one sees the Trio fleshed out by cavaquinho and 7-string guitar, with the extra texture helping propel the buoyant songs. I swear I did a blind taste test, Pepsi vs Coke style, in picking a couple tunes to feature in the playlist above, and both winners happened to have been authored by the revered team of Anastácia and Dominguinhos. But there are no real clunkers on this solid chunk of forró pé de serra, the rootsy stuff you’ll hear on the small stages in between the giant, bombastic ensembles that are like sertaneja on steroids, and rake in obscene sums of money for their São João performances. I’ll always be a champion of letting people like what they like without being preached to by others (across class and/or educational lines, almost always) about what is “good” and “bad” music, but go search yourself up some Garota Safada songs on YouTube, and even I will have a hard time defending against even the most ham-fisted “alienation” Franfurter tear down of that stuff. But people love to pick the most egregiously bad examples to demonize popular music they don’t care for. There’s not any reason to worry that the “traditional” pé de serra is going away anytime soon. Although we can justifiably lament that these ensembles are paid less than groups with scantily-clad dancers and/or drum kits on gyroscopes, the tune “Paguei pra você tocar” (“I paid you to play..”) on this record should remind us that these musicians have always had a precarious existence depending on the whim of the powerful, whether the host was some wealthy rancher, the bandit Lampião, or Mayor Jimbo of Middle-of-Nowhere-stan. Just a week ago, a musician friend from my old haunts in the Nordeste was posting on his social media about somebody holding a Festa Junina party, where they spent thousands on renting a space, thousands on meat to barbecue, thousands on drinks for drinking, and set aside a couple hundred for the band. Seems to be “the way it’s always been” in the region. Anyway, that made think of that song and was probably the trigger for me to post this album.
Since pé de serra is conducive to nostalgia, if you are feeling saudades for the days of Napster, Limewire and Soulseek, you can find what appears to be a cleaner copy of this record at the long-running Forró Em Vinil website — posted at the bitrate of 192 kbs, which is perfect for that first-generation iPod you have sitting around. Oxente! That site is a decent resource for keeping a huge repository of this style of music alive in the digital limbic system of the interwebs, but I eventually took them off my links list, because they insist on continuing to post music at this truly horrid resolution when there’s just no excuse for it in this day and age. They have a budget too, which I guess is spent on the site design (which I admit is quite nice). Go there when you absolutely have to find music that exists nowhere else in digital form, I guess, but you can find the site without my help. If you are so inclined, check out the links below and enjoy my slightly worn-out copy in higher fidelity.