Release Date: November, 2012
Source: TBNewswatch Live Scene
Fighting for Liberation
It’s been a long five years for Flamenco Caravan.
Since their last CD release concert, the local band has dealt with health issues, marriages and a globe-trotting founding member. But they managed to record their third album, Liberation, in time for an album release party at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium on Nov. 17.
Starting with flamenco influences, Flamenco Caravan’s sound is a mix of pop, rock, jazz, Latin and folk genres and the band consists of founding members Esteban Figueroa and Tony Agostino along with leader singer Susanna DiGiuseppe, drummer Jim Differ and bassist Greg McIntosh.
A year after their 2007 album, Agostino was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma, a benign tumour that affected his hearing. He had surgery to remove the tumour.
"It’s pretty invasive," said Agostino, who is now recovered but had to learn how to walk again and has lost some hearing in left ear.
In those five years, DiGiuseppe and Differ married and Figueroa left the city for work and has since lived in Africa, South America and Europe; he now resides in the United Kingdom.
But despite the long distance, the band still managed to write and record Liberation.
Figueroa would record his guitar parts in his own studio wherever he was at the time and then send the group his parts digitally. Then they would add his guitar to what they recorded in Thunder Bay.
"He was involved every step of the way with us," said Differ, adding that Figueroa would occasionally return to the city to record with Flamenco Caravan.
"Esteban is always with us even if he’s not here physically. His influence is with the band," said Differ. "There’s one on the CD written by Tony and Susanna, arranged by all of us, that he wasn’t there for and you would never know that. If you hear it, you would think he was right in the middle of it."
But despite the roadblocks, the band feels the time between albums may have been beneficial.
Differ said the songs had more time to develop and mature.
"Some songs were made and left to sit and changed later. It made a big difference this time. The songs grew into themselves," he said.
While Liberation shows the eclectic and diverse nature of the group with a variety of songs, there isn’t anything random about them.
"It does all tie together," said Differ. "In a strange way, they all work together. We all have a bunch of different backgrounds, but we all kind of come together and work those things together."
DiGiuseppe added that the time really gave them the opportunity to think about the songs before they were completed – how they wanted them to sound and focus on song structure.
"We’re pretty happy. We’re pretty excited to be playing together again with Esteban and on a major stage in town," she said.
The upcoming show will feature old favourites, new songs from Liberation and some special guest musicians.
"We’re back. We’re here – all of us are here. We’re going to put on a great show," DiGiuseppe said.
Flamenco Caravan takes the stage at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium on Nov. 17 at 8 p.m.