Feel the warmth of the music of Luna Blanca. Somehow they conjure up the sunny landscapes of southern France and eastern Spain (the coastal regions especially) with their sounds. It must be because the group performs in a new-flamenco style that is fiery, passionate and just plain hot stuff. Most of the tunes have one or two acoustic rhythm guitarists laying down flamenco-style chord patterns while the group’s founder, Richard Hecks (a former classical guitarist), plays slow and gentle lead melody parts on top of not only the other guitarists, but also the sounds of piano, various keyboards and a wealth of percussion. On occasion you will hear organ, bass, accordion, background vocals, Latin horns or strings. But the core group plays nouveau flamenco, music for today’s audiences. This is their fourth album. They are a German-based band, but apparently have traveled often south to the Mediterranean coast of France to the region of Provence (also the title of this disc). Those trips influenced the writing of the tunes on this recording from “Cote d’Azur” to “Gipsy.” There are a couple of uptempo tunes, but most of the pieces are slow or medium-tempo with a variety of rhythmic patterns employed. The band brings a lot of passion to their performances, but they also capture the ambience of the sun-baked coasts and how time seems to slow way down as the temperature rises. There is something oddly compelling about fast-paced rhythm guitars and percussion underneath slower, more languid lead guitar and piano. Luna Blanca (www.lunablancamusic.com) has been around a decade now, but they are finally starting to get much-deserved worldwide recognition.
Listen to their music and hear why.