Mexico City native Rana Santacruz led a rock band there until around 2000. Subsequently relocating to Brooklyn, he began absorbing and sorting influences from far-flung points of the musical spectrum, culminating in a charmingly expansive yet organic mash-up on his solo debut, Chicavasco. With instrumentation ranging from folkloric guitarrón to banjo, cello, electric guitar, accordion, and horns, Chicavasco (named for a town in the Mexican state of Hidalgo) traverses vivid, sometimes surreal musical terrain encompassing Mexican trad varieties, bluegrass, folk and rock elements from both sides of the Atlantic, classical, mariachi, and even Celtic punk reminiscent of the Pogues. Meanwhile, Santacruz's lyrics sometimes flirt with magic realism, and he sings them en español with a rich, soaring voice that sinks melodic hooks into folky melodrama, punky jaunts, and fado-like angst alike. All ages. (Photo by Adam Cohen)
Fri., Jan. 7, 7 p.m., 2011
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