Helder Moutinho | Maurer Hall, Old Town School of Folk Music | International | Chicago Reader

Helder Moutinho All Ages Recommended Soundboard

When: Wed., March 25, 8:30 p.m. 2009

These days nearly all the Portuguese fado singers who tour in the States are women, but throughout its 200-year history this sorrowful song form has also been practiced by men. On his latest album, last year’s Que Fado e Este que Trago? (Farol Musica), Helder Moutinho carries on that long tradition, both looking back to the genre’s earliest days and contributing to its future with a strong batch of neotrad originals. His sweet but penetrating voice, which articulates the rhapsodic, romantic poetry of the lyrics with carefully channeled feeling, is accompanied on most of the songs only by the traditional combo of upright bass, acoustic guitar, and Portuguese guitar. But a few tunes—the accordion-stoked “A Cor dos Olhos,” the mawkish “A Espera de uma Paixao”—deviate from the sound and structure of fado with flourishes drawn from contemporary pop. —Peter Margasak

Price: $5 suggested donation

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