Lucky old me, a few weeks a go I got to meet and interview the stupendous singer Cecilia Noel. Regular listeners will know that one of the missions of the Crossroads programme is to spread the glad tidings about the divine Miss Cecilia. Her music is a wonderful mix of salsa and soul music and she has been compared to the great soul singers.
She was accompanying her husband Colin Hay, writer of (I Come From) the Land Down Under on his latest tour. We met on a cold wet afternoon in Manchester and we chatted for over an hour about her, her musica and some of the people who influenced her. Her latest album is called A GOZAR â€“ To Enjoy – and itâ€™s a corker. Exciting, tight, latin music done in a way only she can. If you ever get the chance to see her DVD LIVE IN HOLLYWOOD then do so, I can thoroughly recommend that experience as well. It is popular music as it should be done. A large band with brass, percussion and four back-up singers â€“ everyone relaxed and having fun, knowing the songs and belting them out â€“ catchy tunes done by people who know what they are doing.
We chatted about her early years studying music in Argentina and Germany, moving to the USA first New York, then LA. We talked about some of her songs â€“ the awesome 9069, the lovely song RAIN about the lack of this valuable substance in the desert that is Lima. Interestingly it probably rained more in Manchester that afternoon, than in the whole of Lima this year. There was also a discussion on singers Mercedes Sosa and Ismael Rivera, who she loves. Between the talking are songs by Cecilia and the Wild clams. A real treat. If there was any justice in this world she would be one of the global superstars. Mind you I think she may be that anyway.
There are more questions for another special programme where we find out how the name Wild Clams came about, the Worldâ€™s greatest album cover and a story about when she horrified the grandmother of an 8 year old piano player. The programme will be on very early in the New Year â€“ look out.
The songs are:
Al Despertar (By Mercedes Sosa)
Las Caras Lindas (By Ismael Rivera)