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World Music CD Reviews World Fusion

LAS RUBIAS DEL NORTE

By Ernest Barteldes
Published September 23, 2005

Rumba Internationale
Barbés

No one would have guessed that Brooklyn-based Las Rubias del Norte is led by two American-born girls with a love for classical music. “Allyssa (Lamb)  and I met while singing in a choir,” said vocalist Emily Hurst in an interview,” and decided at one point to start our own classical group. We started practicing together, but had a hard time finding duets we were really interested in singing. At the time, Allyssa was listening to a lot of Lydia Mendoza (a singer from the 1930s), and one day suggested we sing a couple of her songs. We had so much fun that we wanted to do more, and just took it from there.” The result is an album filled with many Spanish-language oldies, such as the title track and “Perfidia,” that also nods to their musical education with a Latin take on Mozart’s “Confutatis.” Their sense of humor is evident in the way they weave a bit of Abba’s “Fernando” into “Quizas, Quizas, Quizas,” a hit for Desi Arnaz in the 1950s.