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An Evening with RAUL MIDON
April 07, 2011
Genre Defying One-Man-Band
" A one-man band who turns a guitar into an orchestra and his voice into a chorus" - The New York TImes
Search for “Raul Midón” on YouTube and you’ll find a clip of the New York-based vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter appearing on The Late Show With David Letterman in 2006. Performing “State of Mind,” the title track from his 2005 debut album, Midón unleashes a silky, soulful tenor and dazzling percussive guitar style — a syncopated, flamenco- and jazz-infused approach in which bass, harmony, and melodic lines emanate from the fretboard in one slap-happy storm. If that weren’t enough, Midón busts out his improvisational mouth horn technique, in which he creates a bebop “trumpet” solo entirely with his lips, earning himself a spontaneous burst of mid-song applause from the audience in the process. It’s a virtuosic performance, and one that reveals what has made Midón such an exciting artist to watch over the past few years.
The New Mexico native funnels all that creativity and fiery passion into his third album, Synthesis, which he recorded in Los Angeles in June 2009 with legendary producer and bassist Larry Klein, who is noted for his work with such luminaries as Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock, and Peter Gabriel. A genre-defying blend of soul, pop, jazz, folk, and Latin elements, Synthesis showcases Midón’s evolution as an artist as he sets some of his more biting insights about betrayal, fear, loss, and the American Dream to deceptively up-tempo swinging rhythms and deliriously catchy melodies. While “Never Really Gave,” “Don’t Take It That Way,” and “Invisible Chains” crackle with tart observation, songs like “Next Generation,” “Call My Name,” and “Moment to Moment” strike a more uplifting tone.