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About Me

What is the purpose of this blog?

When I originally started the blog, I was trying to meet people who dealt in forró LPs. I had been hunting for four albums for years and could never find them. Now that I have found the dealers, my aim has shifted from sharing my favorite forró songs to helping preserve some of this great music in the highest possible quality. Since very few old forró records were reissued, especially 78rpm shellac and obscure artists, it is important to preserve the music so everyone can enjoy it. I work hard to find the cleanest copies that I can.

How did a gringo from the US like you become interested in Brazilian forró?

I became a fan of Tropicalia in the 1990’s.  Gilberto Gil’s work inspired by the music of the northeast of Brazil fascinated me.  At the time, I didn’t know the different Brazilian genres.  Bossa Nova, Carnival and Samba records were common, but I they didn’t have “that” sound.  When I heard David Byrne’s Brazil Classics: Forró compilation, I had a name for the genre that had eluded me.  I am fortunate that there are musicians and DJs around New York, like Rob Curto, Tiago Machado, Greg Caz and Scott Kettner who have been able to teach me a thing or two.

Do you speak Portuguese?

No!  Just English at the moment.  I am working on it.  I like forró records based purely on sound, phrasing and melodic-ism.

Can I offer insights, corrections or photos to you?

Please do!  Contact me by sending emails to forroLPgringo@gmail.com  (but written like a normal email address) .  I love old photos, especially taken in the recording studios in the 1970’s, of notable forró stars like Jackson do Pandeiro, Luiz Gonzaga, Genival Lacerda and the people who recorded for CBS.  I’d also appreciate corrections to the information that I have provided. 

Why start a forró blog in English?

When I became interested in forró music, I had difficulty finding great albums. 

I had the Brazil Classics: Forró album which spanned the decades, for better or for worse.  I wanted to find more songs like O Fole Roncou by Luiz Gonzaga and songs similar to Gilberto Gil’s early work inspired by forró.  The problem was, forró records are maddeningly erratic.  Thousands of forró records and cds are available.  Finding exceptional, well recorded, classic forró songs is work.  I’m not a traditionalist by any stretch of the imagination.  I am not looking for the purest and most authentic forró, like people search for pure blues or folk recordings.  In fact, I think the idea of “pure” music created in a cultural vacuum is a total fallacy.  Even back in the “olden” days, musicians were always learning from each other, passing down songs, listening to the radio (when it was available) and mixing styles.  This was true in Brazil as well as the United States and Europe.  Some of the best forró records have elements that aren’t traditional.  Not only do they mix international influences, but also unusual beats from other types of Brazilian music. 

I'm always on the hunt for great songs.  My favorite forró albums were recorded in the 70s. The singers and session musicians were seasoned and bands were cooking.  The recording studios in Brazil were world class, so the quality of the recordings was excellent.  


With very few exceptions, there are almost no great forró albums recorded past 1982.  The 80s and 90s were dreadful.  I’m guessing that a number of factors contributed to this.  The older generation of seasoned session players were dying off.  Forró music was out of fashion.  Drum machines, kits, digital reverb and Holiday Inn electronic drums robbed the music of it’s soul and groove. 

Although I don’t know much about it (but would like to learn more), contemporary, post 90s forró seems to be much better.  The prices of classic forró albums seems to be rising, which is an indication that a new generation of taste makers and enthusiasts are emerging.


What other types of music do you like?

60s and 70s French Pop, 60s UK beat and psychedelic music, 76-82 new wave, 70s soul and disco, early 80s radio rock, Tropicalia, and lots of random bands from different periods. I also have a 60s non-Brazilian pop music blog: http://resurrectionbeatmachine.blogspot.com/. 

Do you have a forró want list?  Can I sell you my forró records?  Do you buy forró records?  

Absolutely!  Click the tab called Forró Want List / LPs wanted and contact info.

email me:  forroLPgringo _@_gmail_dot _ com
 

(but written like a normal email address)

4 comments:

  1. contemporary "forró"... have you ever heard about "Mestre Ambrósio"?

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    1. Just listened to some YouTube clips! Very cool. I love hearing contemporary groups doing it well. Thanks for the comment.

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  2. Nice blog, i was in the northeast of brazil doing some volunterring and it's brought back loadsa good memories, i ended up going to loadsa forro festivals cus i was there during Sao Jao some catholic festival and an excuse to drink cascha and badly forro dance. most of the stuff you post is a little less poppy than what was popular when i was there, this was probably my favorite tune at the time:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mazZ84iYP8Q

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  3. Thanks for the comment, Joel. The tune that you posted sounds like a crazy hybrid of pop forró and dancehall!

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