Carlos Vives
Clásicos de la Provincia


01. "La Gota Fría" (E. Zuleta) – 3:32
02. "Amor Sensible" (F. Molina) – 4:26
03. "Alicia Adorada" (J. Valencia) – 4:15
04. "La Hamaca Grande" (A. Pacheco) – 3:16
05. "El Cantor De Fonseca" (C. Huertas) – 3:07
06. "Matilde Lina" (L. Díaz) – 3:57
07. "Altos Del Rosario" (A. Durán) – 3:56
08. "Honda Herida" (R. Escalona) – 3:03
09. "La Cañaguatera" (I. Carrillo) – 3:12
10. "Lirio Rojo" (C. Ochoa) – 2:48
11. "La Tijera" (L. Martínez) – 3:27
12. "Compae Chipuco" (C. Gomez) – 3:16
13. "Pedazo De Acordeón" (A. Durán) – 4:06
14. "La Celosa" (F. Molina) – 4:12
15. "Contestación A La Brasilera (fragmento)" (A. Zabaleta) – 0:49

¿What is Vallenato?
By Luis A. Del Castillo Cadavid and Luis L. Moya, Ph.D.
Most people would simply describe "Vallenato" as a type of music from the northern coast of Colombia, more precisely from Valledupar, capital of the state of Cesar. To a certain degree this may be true since Vallenato is a combination of three basic musical instruments such as an accordion, a bongo, and a guiro producing as a result a unique type of music that after many years of being confined to that region it expanded nationwide and later crossed many borders of Spanish-speaking countries as well as selected European and North American cities. The word "vallenato" comes from the phrase "nato del Valle" (native of the Valley) a common answer given by people of that region when asked where they are from. The vallenato music has four basic rhythms: son, paseo, merengue, and puya. These are differentiated from each other by the speed and way the instruments are played.
In son, the slowest and most peculiar rhythm of all, the coordination of the three instruments is supremely important to be able to maintain the rhythm and melody. It can be differentiated from the others by listening to the accordion, since its seemingly individual playing of notes should always be accompanied by that of the basses. The playing of the accordion is so complex that one can almost say that the accordion player carries two performances in one melody: that of the right hand and that of the left hand keyboard or basses.
It is the most played and marketed rhythm in the vallenato music. It is a little quicker than son and is divided into two kinds: slow paseo and fast paseo. The slow paseo is generally romantic although there are occasions in which it is composed in reference to a friend, a town and sometimes to regional ethnic customs. The fast paseo, as its own name indicates it, is a little quicker and is rarely romantic. Generally, this is the one that is used to make the accordion light up and take a key part in the song. Many people cannot distinguish it from merengue, another fast tempo style, because of the speed in which it is played. The common denominator among the two paseos is the rhythm that each instrument carries, although it varies in speed depending on the type of paseo. When listening attentively to any paseo, the guiro can be easily differentiated from the rest of the rhythms.
Generally it is a much more happier sound than the two previous styles and also faster. Many say that its origin is traced to Central America or the Caribbean Islands due to its similarity with the Dominican merengue. In fact this characteristic can be very helpful when trying to differentiate it from the other rhythms. The merengue is danced to in a way similar to the Dominican pattern and like the paseo is also well marketed in the recording industry. Although it is not a romantic rhythm by design, many merengues are written for and about women and reveal love stories.
This is the fastest rhythm of all and at the same time the most complex; however is the easiest to grasp.
The accordion, the bongo, and the guiro need to be played with plenty of skills due to the speed of the rhythm. One can say that this rhythm was always utilized to express the humorous side of the people.
Its lyrics generally refer to the folklore itself and are rarely sad since its fast speed does not lend itself to it. Although many people tend to confuse the Vallenato with other rhythms which, at times, are also played with the accordion, one must keep in mind that "not everything that is played with an accordion is called Vallenato."

The fact is, that vallenato is more than music: it is livelihood as well as romantic expressions capable of touching anyone who knows and understands the importance of this cultural treasure. The "romancero" vallenato is a man for whom the woman and his native town with all its customs are the most important things in life. The woman that the "romancero" is in love with is the focal point of almost all his songs and many times these are composed to be sung at midnight in front of the bedroom window of the beloved woman's house. The "serenata vallenata" (the vallenato serenade) is a custom that has lasted for many years and although it is no longer as common as it was in the past, it is still practiced among the people of small towns or provinces.
Thus, Roberto Calderón, a respected vallenato songwriter, testifies to this tradition in his famous song "Luna Sanjuanera" (Moon of Sanjuan):

Del sanjuanero es costumbre demostrar
En serenata cuando está enamorado.
Si ella es gustoza se tiene que asomar
Y al día siguiente le mandan un recado.

(When a sanjuanero is in love he usually shows it through a serenade
If she likes him she has to come to the window
And the next day she sends him a message).

Just as the woman is the center of the great majority of vallenato songs, his love for his hometown is one of the many factors that awaken the songwriting talent that lies dormant inside many "cesarences" and "guajiros" (people from de states of Cesar and Guajira respectively). The Cesar river, the snowy mountain of Santa Marta and the Guajira desert are but a few of many settings where the "provinciano" (a person from the province) gets inspired and becomes a protagonist of his songs. It is for this reason that there are multiple compositions in which the author glorifies its native town or its natural beauties; "Rio Badillo" (the Badillo River) of Octavio Daza, is a clear example of tradition.

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