Alex Cuba - Alex Cuba

Caracol Records

You get the sense that Alexis Puentes (a.k.a. Alex Cuba) can play anything that has strings and most things that don’t. I’ve seen him open for Angelique Kidjo, accompanied only by his own acoustic guitar and a percussionist on cajone. Later, during her set, Ms Kidjo asked Alexis back on stage to join her band for a number, expecting him to pick up a guitar. Instead, he borrowed the bass player’s axe and proceeded to blow away the house, Angelique and everyone in the band with his funky grooves. As he was recording his second album, La Agua del Posa, Alexis bought a vintage Gibson semi-hollow body electric and found the voice that would characterize him … soulful, retro yet distinctly Cuban. To hear Alexis tell it, “It felt like I was a kid with a new toy!” With his instrumental voice defined, his persona became complete and now, for his third album, no title is needed, just a simple reintroduction of the artist known as Alex Cuba. There’s an inherent complexity to Cuban music that Alexis and his brother had been taught to respect since they were children. It lead to him shelving many tunes which he thought were just too simple to be good. But you know what they say; a musician spends half his career in pursuit of technical perfection and the other half trying to make it simple again. At the urging of family and friends, Alexis dusted off a few gems, some 10 years old or more and plugged them in with his new Gibson. Among them are a couple of the album’s immediate highlights like the Lenny Kravitz –like Que Pasa Lola and Caballo (keep an eye on this space for the horsy video of this number coming soon). The disc also showcases Alex Cuba's very first English language song which radio programmers are guaranteed to snap up. If You Give Me Love is a piece of pure pop perfection from the two-time Juno Award winner. Watch this one blow up all over the airwaves as Alex Cuba’s wave continues to swell.