Hello George, how are you? Ballads Of Freedom And Captitivity shows your side balladeer and country , without diminishing the Mexican influence. How is this blend made in the composition process?
Alive! I’m fine thank you! It’s cold here in London! I am quite comfortable with both Mexican and country influences . When I’m composing, I just put them together in a natural way. Some songs clearly begin in one style or another, so it may just be a process of following the melody or lyrical idea of how it originally came to me. But it may also depend on the mood I’m in at the time.
Some of these songs were already in the 2016 release, Tularosa . How did you get them back? Did you give them a new outfit?
Some were completely recorded, in others I re-designed the bass and the drums to give them a greater feeling of what I intended. In the California sessions I enjoyed some great musicians. In fact, let’s all redo it in the studios in California, but some original songs I did in London still stood out as being the best.
Although currently alive in Europe, this record has lost nothing of American sentiment. Is that because you recorded in the US?
This record is very based on the US Southwest and the Mexican borders and I wanted musicians to bring that authentic sound. California has a lot of great musicians. For example, my producer on this record is also a virtuoso bass player and a true student of American roots and different styles like Latin jazz , salsa and samba . For me, it was very important to trust the musicians to let them do their own thing.
How does a cowboy live in Europe? You been here for how long? Was it an easy adaptation?
I’ve been in London for a decade and I think I like it here! I miss the sun, the desert, the mountains and the open landscape. In reality, you can not lose anywhere in Europe, and this has been the greatest sacrifice for me, to always be in the midst of civilization. But the depth of the history and variety of places built by humans in Europe are endless and fascinating.
Musically, do you incorporate any European influence in your compositions?
Well, I am sure that I am influenced by the tradition of poetry and verses that goes through literature, poetry and British and Spanish music, which I had the opportunity to read and listen to. In particular, the sparse and powerful poetry of flamenco has always moved me, and it is impossible not to feel the wit and wit in British literature. Whatever affects me eventually finds its way to music.
Being a musician who crosses the sound of Texas with Mexican folk , how do you see this idea of Trump wanting to build a wall?
I think the US connection with Mexico is one of our biggest assets. Mexico is truly our sister nation – we share history, land, people and many things. Mexico is a country so rich in so many aspects that its influence also contributes to the United States. It is sad to me that some politically powerful people try to be popular to spread ignorance about this fact.
What videos have you created for this album?
I am now finishing a video for New Mexico ! I’ll post it briefly. The next thing I’ll do is to the song Up To Fail , so stay tuned.
Who is Pedro Páramo that appears in your album?
Pedro Paramo is an infamous character in the homonymous novel of the Mexican author Juan Rulfo. It is a short, powerful and surreal story about a man who exercises his will in an isolated place, by the time of the beginning of the Mexican Revolution. I’m sure it translates well into Portuguese!
Do you have anything planned for the Road for the next time?
I will be touring the USA to do some shows in Austin, Texas. Then I’ll have a couple of dates in London in June. My next step is to organize a tour of Europe to promote the album. I would love to play in Portugal, so I would like to know some good places to do a show.
Thank you so much George, do you want to add something else?
I just want to thank Via Nocturna for playing my music and thanking your listeners in Portugal! It means a lot can bring this music to new people. If your listeners like the record, please download it and let me get your reactions. [In Portuguese – part not edited] In fact I speak Portuguese reasonably well – not so well to compose songs – more sufficient enough to correspond. But if I have the opportunity I would love to spend some time there to remedy my linguistic limitation! A hug and, bye!
For more information or to order BALLADS OF CAPTIVITY AND FREEDOM please visit www.georgestclairmusic.com or http://smarturl.it/GeorgeStClairBCF
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