Nuyorican artist Rene Lopez is set to release his EP Let's Be Strangers Again on October 7th. This release will coincide with his support slot on Joseph Arthur's European tour, which will include three dates in the UK on October 9, 10 & 11.
Influenced by salsa, Brazilian music from the 70s (Jorge Ben, Tim Maia), samba rock, meringue, soul and old school hip hop, Rene's music sounds warmly familiar - the sounds you'd likely hear coming from car stereos and apartments in Jackson Heights, Corona, Spanish Harlem, the Lower East Side (pre 1995 or so), and of the South Bronx. It's a loving homage to the seemingly universally beloved sounds of Latino New York but with a modern re-interpretation through some playfully inventive genre mashing. The melodies manage to swing and saunter with an amiable charming swagger, much like Lopez himself. He manages to deftly, but subtly blur the traditional lines of genre:
"NYC is such a melting pot. One of my favorite things to do is to just walk around this city where the people influence me everyday. The different music I hear from neighborhood to neighborhood.you go into my neighborhood where I have my studio in Williamsburg and all you hear blaring out of the windows is merengue. Just the diversity of New York influences me so much."
The arrangements on compositions such as the instrumental, summer jam-like Come Along Now are stripped down to just live instrumentation. And yet the composition doesn't lose its complexity. With a smoove but funky groove, the song possesses elements of 70s soul and samba rock. It's the sound of hanging out at a Saturday afternoon barbecue, while you chat up that fine young thang from up the street.
Let's Be Strangers Again - EP Track listing:
1. Come Along Now / 2. Don't You Change Your Heart / 3. Midnight Love / 4. Hey Papa / 5. Let's Be Strangers Again
Having performed with Joseph Arthur for many years, Rene is now confirmed as the main support on the following Joseph Arthur headline dates:
Date City/Country Venue
Fri 4 Alenzon, FR La Luciole
Sun 6 Amsterdam, NL Paradiso
Tue 8 Brussels, BEL Ancienne Belgique
Wed 9 Leicester, UK The Musician
Thu 10 Bristol,UK Grain Barge
Fri 11 London, UK Heath Street Baptist Church
Sat 12 Petit Quevilly, FR
Wed 16 Paris, FR (Mama Festival) Divan Du Monde
Thu 17 Saint Flour, FR Th'Ytre le Rex
Fri 18 Montpellier, FR (Festival de la Guitare) Rockstore
Sat 19 Marseille, FR le Poste . GalSne
Wed 23 Zurich, CH Bogen
Thu 24 Dornbirn, AUS Conrad Sohm
Sat 26 Vienna, Austria Porgy & Bess
Sun 27 Inssbruck, Austria Treibhaus
Wed 30 S. Benedetto del Tronto , IT Teatro
Thu 31 Fontanellato, IT Teatro Comunale
Fri 1 Brescia, IT Latteria Molloy
Mon 4 Frankfurt, D Brotfabrik
Tue 5 Berlin, D Privatclub
Wed 6 Leipzig, Connewitz
Thu 7 Dresden, D Scheune
Fri 8 Duisburg, D Steinbruch
Sat 9 M_nster, D Gleis22
'House' star Laurie received star number 2,593 on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this week.
The word 'jealous' doesn't even cover it right now.
Warning: Spoilers ahead!