No other quite like La Guacha

It’s Thursday night in downtown Santiago and the only thing lit on La Alameda is the seemingly quiet, half-hidden Centro Arte Alameda. Inside, Soledad del Rio is sitting on a green couch with band member Alexis, enjoying the ambiance with friends as a crowd collects upstairs for La Guacha's show.

Photo courtesy La Guacha
Photo courtesy La Guacha

The group isn’t bothered by tonight’s relatively sparse weeknight crowd. Their calm and collected pre-show attitude reflects their experience as a Chilean band in a hard and frustrating industry where few offers, fake contracts and limited venues are common for bands like theirs.

Photo courtesy La Guacha
Photo courtesy La Guacha

With roots firmly planted in Chilean culture and a sound heavily influenced by Latin American music in general, the band has learned to survive in an environment that still partly idolizes U.S. pop culture.

Their name is a play on the word, guacho, which refers to a man without a father, an orphan, and a symbol of the inevitable struggle to sustain oneself.

The group originally chose the name because they came together only after their original group had dismantled, but their name has come to represent much more as they've fought on and are set to release their first CD, "Virgen," this week.

La Guacha’s sound is heavily influenced by the classic bolero. Their style resonates of past generations; the steady beats are infused with the polished sound of brass and melodic chords as Soledad’s distinctive vocals stand apart from the rest of the group.

Photo courtesy La Guacha
Photo courtesy La Guacha

The crowd at tonight’s show seems unsure of how to react to the band’s sound. They sway back and forth almost unable to express themselves to the music.

It’s as if the audience, try as they might, can’t remember the dance moves to the bygone sound and are forced to stand awkwardly.

Through it all, La Guacha’s struggle is a worthy cause and their music is captivating. Songs like, No hay, are representative of the un-sparked passion that exists in the Chilean music scene today. Their music is also a reminder of the rich cultural musical diversity that Santiago has to offer.

For more on La Guacha and their unique sound be sure to check out their upcoming show this Thursday night at Sala SCD Vespucio as the band launches their first CD, "Virgen."

La Guacha

"Virgin" Launch
Thursday, July 1, 2010; 21:00 (punctual)
Free Entry
Sala SCD Vespucio
Mall Plaza Vespucio
Froilán Roa corner with Américo Vespucio
Santiago, Chile

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