Secretos - Rio Samaya Band


The title track from Pancho and Sal’s seventh recording, Secretos is a surprising revelation to me. This is one couple I thought would never be able to keep secrets from each other. But, as the chorus attests, “… deep down inside each one of us, there are always secrets.” Of course, it would be naïve to believe that there are no secrets between them; it’s just that these two longtime life and music partners seem about as close as two people can be. It’s reflected in their signature ‘in unison’ singing style. This is not a joining together of two complementary talents. It feels like one soul singing through two voices. The subtle move toward adopting the name Rio Samaya Band indicates the broadening circle of collaborators who have joined this “musical caravan full of treasures and surprises”. The caravan is artfully illustrated in a super 8 film for the album opener, Baila Baila, shot and edited by their daughter Ja, who also dances with the duo. The eight original tracks also feature performances by Seth Scholes and Serge Gamache on guitar and Alan Glashan on bass. In a chance conversation recently with Pancho and Sal, they told me that eight is the magic number for a CD. It makes for less filler and it always leaves the listener wanting more. Their style flows through the folkloric traditions of Central and South America. One of my favorite moments on the disc, Campo gives the lead voice to the accordion in a pleasant walk through the countryside. “The peace that I was searching for came close to heart, in the calmness and in the space, the love was reborn.” Pancho and Sal are fixtures at street festivals around the concrete corridors of Vancouver (check out for a great collection of video performances), but their music is inseparably tied to the natural pulse of our planet.