Saturday, November 2, 2013

Country Music, Spanglish Twang

This is a first for me. I actually went to a bar to see a country music duo perform. (That's American Country Music.) The duo call themselves "Stereo Snakes," and they're performers, writers, and composers. The vocalist is Nicole Allan. The guitarist is Kasper Jensen.

Before I left the house last night, San Geraldo decided he wasn't up for an outing to a noisy bar. I wasn't surprised. I headed off solo and when I arrived I found Nicole was solo, as well. Kasper was unable to make it, so Nicole had electronic back-up for her performance. When she saw me, she came running across the room to hug me and thank me for coming. However I didn't know it was Nicole because she was vamped up for Halloween. I was relieved when I recognized her voice. (Either way, it was nice to feel welcome.) Chris and Francis, owners of Cafe Manila were also there. So, despite San Geraldo's absence, I was in great company.

We know Nicole as a gentle, soft-spoken, reserved, polite, and excruciatingly respectful young woman. (There's a "slight" difference in our ages, which could account for the respectful bit.*) But when she starts "saingin'," she's someone else entirely. I won't try to describe the beauty, depth, and power of her voice. But, Dolly Parton should hear Nicole's rendition of "Jolene," which I wish I had recorded. (Click any image for a closer look.) Watch and listen to Stereo Snakes' latest demo at the end of this post.

THE USUALLY BLONDE, QUIET, SHY NICOLE.

Nicole is pure Country, although she's not American (not even South American). She's English. But she was born and raised right here on the Costa del Sol. She of course speaks fluent Spanish. She also speaks fluent English (the Queen's English, as in HRH). But when Nicole starts singing, you'd swear she's from deep in the heart of Dixie.

AFTER TWO HOURS OF NON-STOP PERFORMING.

To sum things up: I moved to Málaga to go to my first live performance of American Country/Western music and it was belted out by a soft-spoken, blonde, English girl from Spain. It makes perfect sense.




*NOTE: The slight difference in age? Let's just say I could be (easily) Nicole's grandfather.

10 comments:

  1. She is fab isnt she. A young lady sure to go far

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Slushie:
      I want to be like Nicole when I grow up! (Must be Antony's influence.) So glad you told me about her singing!

      Delete
  2. WOW! Did I just say WOW! Thought so! She is great, Mitch! How fortunate you got to see and hear her.
    I agree with Slushie, she is ONE to watch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim:
      I could sing her praises for days. Truly remarkable. Thanks so much, Jim!

      Delete
  3. So country and western is sung with an American accent even in Spain, as it is here. It seems like it is quite easy to sing in accents, easier than to speak with an accent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrew:
      I should ask Nicole to speak "Southern" and see how it sounds. When she sings, you'd have no idea she was English ... from Spain. And I wonder what Country/Western would sound like sung with a proper English accent.

      Delete
  4. This fascinates me! I would not have imagined "Country" being of any interest outside the States or KD Lang Canadians.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spo:
      Other than Australia and Canada, I don't think country music has really caught on in a big way elsewhere, but there clearly are pockets. There aren't any country/western bars here. Nicole just performs where she can (and her music was an eclectic mix Friday night... including Tina Turner, Bon Jovi, and Springsteen). But her own music and her love is country.

      Delete
  5. I didn't know American country music was that popular outside of the states. I'm not a big fan myself and might prefer a bit of soulful Spanish music.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stephen:
      It's not very popular outside of the States. I'm not a big fan either. But I do love me a good voice and I especially love me some (pronounced "suhm") Dixie Chicks! It also helps if the singer is a liberal. If I know their politics and if I don't like their politics, then I don't like their music.

      Delete

It's always great to hear from you...