Celebrating his recent 86th birthday, the Dominican Republic’s veteran sonero, Puerto Plata, returns with his new album, “Casita de Campo,” a glorious selection of classic love songs and lilting dance numbers composed during the repressive regime of the dictator Rafael Trujillo (1930-1960). “Casita de Campo” follows his internationally acclaimed 2007 debut album “Mujer de Cabaret.”
Under Trujillo, Dominican musicians were largely blocked from recording and so, like other popular singers of the time, Puerto Plata found eager audiences at the underground cabaret dance halls of Dominican Santiago’s red light districts. The passage of time and Puerto Plata’s resilience have managed to preserve some of the Dominican Republic’s sweetest melodies and romantic lyrics, often with a wry, twinkling sense of cabaret humor. Drawing inspiration from that period when his band was one of the most active in Santiago, Puerto Plata revisits in this new album the romantic serenades and electrifying son and merengue with which he enchanted audiences during his youth.
“Casita de Campo” was recorded live in New York by iASO producer Benjamin de Menil and features the brilliant arrangements of the father of Dominican guitar, Edilio Paredes, and younger master guitarist Pablo Rosario. The musical lineup also includes Joan Soriano on 2nd guitar, Edilio’s son Samuel Paredes on bass, and seasoned percussionists on guira, tambora and bongos.