Mediterranea – Johannes Linstead

Billboard’s New Age Music/World Music chart topping artist Johannes Linstead is a flamenco guitarist & instrumentalist who fuses virtuoso Spanish-style guitar with Afro-Cuban, Middle Eastern, and Latin American percussion and instrumentation. On his 5th cd Mediterranea Johannes plays Spanish Guitar, Bouzouki, Piano, Keyboards, Palmas & does Perussive Effects along with Production, Engineering, Arrangement, Graphic Design. The album also features musicians from countries as diverse as Greece, Syria, India, the Ukraine and others.

The cd starts off with the open & breezy Andalucia, a homage to the Mecca of flamenco music in Spain. You can almost smell the payeya & jamons cooking and taste the wines of the region as you sway to this song. Gentle guitars bring in the next track called Evening Embrace. Play this song while sitting on your balcony or terrace in the evening as the sun sets and there’s a cool breeze blowing at you. Much faster is the feiry Sangre Del Toro – towards the end it’s a jaw dropping duet of fast paced flamenco guitar by Linstead vs gypsy style violin by Vasyl Popadiouk!

The best song is the Greek sounding Ambrosia which is the highlight of the album and probably his best song ever. Then let Adelita lift your spirits as that joyous guitar playing dances in your ears and onto your heart. Tabu (not in reference to Bollywood actress Tabu – but wouldn’t you want to name a song after her?) is another playful & lovely tune that has me thinking of sand, cool sea water & sangrias on the beach. Hour Of The Lamps is a mix of Indian & Arabic sounding music, with the tabla for accompaniment. A standout track, it should be a live classic.

Motika is another dance number, full of life and helped along by a strong bass guitar rythmn. Close your eyes and experience the passion and mystique of faraway lands in songs like Journey To Alcazaba – a seven-minute masterpiece destined to become a classic among guitar aficionados. Johannes reveals his tender side in the romantic Estrellas Sobre Ella where guitars and violin swirl in melodic melancholy accented by beautiful vocalizations. Superb album by a superb musician.

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