Flamenco Guitarist "Phenomenal"|
A Review by Tim O'Gorman
On Monday evening, March 21, Libby Community concert-goers were treated to a
virtuoso performance of Flamenco guitar music by Ronald Radford, hailed as one
of the world's premier non-Spanish Flamenco guitarists. For those of us whose
acquaintance with guitars is limited to folk music and electric rock and roll,
the variety of sounds and quality of music produced on a nylon stringed guitar
by Mr. Radford was phenomenal to hear and behold. Radford's artistry kept the
audience in fascinated awe, almost not believing the music being heard. Who
would have guessed that a guitar could be picked with the left hand on the
neck of the guitar while the right hand maintained a strum, or that a guitar
could be made to sound like a drum and bugle as in the "Seguiriyas - the holy
week parade in Seville?"
No doubt few people in the audience had been exposed to Flamenco music to any
great length and perhaps it was with some reluctance mixed with curiosity that
we attended in the first place. But Radford, who is a native of Oklahoma, put
us at ease with his opening remark, "Muchas gracias, y'all," and quickly
established a strong rapport with the audience. His enthusiasm and love for
the ancient folk music of Spain was transmitted to us as he told of the
history of the music, comparing it to American bluegrass, unwritten and passed
down by musicians through the centuries.
Radford related that as a boy raised in Oklahoma he picked up a record of
Carlos Montoya and had his life changed, from an aspiring rock and roll
musician to a devotee of Flamenco music. He described his life since then as
following a rainbow, first to the tutelage of Carlos Montoya, then to southern
Spain to learn from Gypsy masters, attend festivals and "juergas" (Flamenco
jam sessions), patiently learning his art. That rainbow has carried him to
world acclaim in concert halls across the nation, including his stop in Libby.
For that we say, "Muchas gracias, Ronald Radford." We hope that rainbow leads
you to Libby again.
Western News, Libby, Montana - By Tim O'Gorman.