Passion runs hot tonight: Alma Melodiosa ignites sultry Latin rhythms at the Goat
KEYSTONE – Something magical lives in the Sierra Nevada range. Its spirit breathes through the massive, jagged peaks, the expansive glow of pink sunsets, the pockets of hot springs and the intense snowstorms. In this inspired land, Alma Melodiosa formed.
For four years, 13 musicians blended Latin rhythms and world beats into a spirited, Gypsy flavor – spiked heavily with horns and percussion. Two years ago, the band dropped seven members and came out with a cleaner, tighter sound. But the remaining six musicians keep the spirit of ancient musical traditions alive through their exploration of Latin and other world rhythms.
“We feel our music is really passionate because it’s coming from our soul – “Alma Melodiosa’ is “melodious soul’ in Spanish,” said drummer Bob Sanders. “There’s a certain aspect to our music that is very inward, so a lot of our inspiration comes from our soul.”
The other inspiration comes from flamenco and such musicians as Dave Matthews and Sarah McLachlan. The outfit calls its sound “flamencadelic” – an updated, Americanized version of flamenco infused with techno drums and Middle Eastern styles.
“Our music is really groove-oriented,” Sanders said. “It’s got a really steady, strong dance beat behind every song. It doesn’t get floaty like a jam band. When we jam, it’s much more groove-oriented with the idea that it’s going to get you moving, and you can get into the music that way.”
California native Nicholas Lefler’s passionate classical guitar and original Spanish-spiced music drives the heart of Alma Melodiosa. Electric guitarist Mark Mansfield drops in psychedelic riffs and folk and reggae influences. Sanders pounds out a rhythmic blend of samba, reggae, hip-hop, techno, rock and salsa on the drums, and Damian Dianda adds the bass.
Two female vocalists, Felicity Oceansong and Kathy Miletich take different approaches to the melodies. Oceansong, a native of Canada, sings long, drawn-out notes, while Miletich, a native of Spain, sings more rhythmically, exposing the Latin elements in the music.
But both sing heartfelt lyrics. Poetically written English lyrics try to convey the idea of how good life can be if people let it, and Spanish lyrics invite listeners to step back and find a quiet inspiration to make the world a better place to live.
Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 245 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
– What: Alma Melodiosa
– When: 10 p.m. today
– Where: The Goat, Keystone
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