Blower Hill Recordings
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"His voice, a confident, flexible and powerful instrument, is his strongest card, investing every word he sings with the kind of conviction that’s required when handing out pearls of hard-won wisdom." – Mojo
“We look forward to what McEwan does next.” – Maverick / “Fine songcraft.” - Americana UK
Alex McEwan is songwriter of rare and special skills, an Americana-channelling Scotsman with a warm, enriching voice and a deft way with a lyric that cuts straight to the heart. His recent single ‘In A World We Don’t Know’ attracted praise from the Americana community, leading to almost half a million streams to date - an achievement all the more remarkable as Alex hadn’t released new music in over sixteen years. Making the most of his unexpected resurgence, Alex today shares the new single ‘Hold Your Hands Out To Me’ and announces the September 28th release of the ‘In A World We Don’t Know’ album.
‘Hold Your Hands Out To Me’ shows why Alex’s music has touched a growing community of listeners. His voice is tender, soulful and weathered by experience, while his words resonate with the optimism that a personal connection - whether it’s through a relationship, family or a friendship - can help make life’s challenges a little more manageable. Finding the common ground between Americana and indie-folk, the accomplishment behind his songcraft is immediately striking - but that’s a story we’ll explore shortly.
Written solely by Alex, he also produced ‘Hold Your Hands Out To Me’ with Graham Noon. The song was completed with accordion from Alan Dunn (Loudon Wainwright, Richard Thompson), mixing by Ian Grimble (Bear’s Den, Travis, Mumford & Sons), and mastering courtesy of the legendary, multiple Grammy Award winner Ted Jensen (The Eagles, Florence + The Machine, The Rolling Stones).
Growing up in Glasgow, Alex absorbed the sounds of artists as varied as Johnny Cash, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, R.E.M. and local heroes Del Amitri. When he headed south to work as an engineer and a teacher, music remained the backbeat of his life - a regular fixture at the 12 Bar Club and The Borderline in-between busking sessions on the London Underground. A record company executive advised Alex to try his luck in Nashville, so he pooled as much money as he could (primarily his proceeds from busking) to spend a month in Music City. A chance encounter with guitarist, songwriter and producer Lou Maxfield (Brian Wilson, Joan Jett, The Monkees) resulted in the pair recording a demo, which led to the release of Alex’s debut album ‘Beautiful Lies’.
Back in the UK, things started to take-off. In 2005, the single ‘Make A Wave’ became a playlisted airplay hit on Radio 2, with support from DJs including Jeremy Vine. Alex subsequently toured the UK and Ireland as guest to Katie Melua, playing to a total of 60,000 people. But juggling the demands of life made a longer-term career in music impossible. He completed a master’s degree before embarking upon a successful career in the world of finance. His sojourn in music was one from a past life: a happy memory, a barely believable story to share with his colleagues. Or so he thought…
In 2019, Alex and his wife were enjoying a cruise in the Caribbean. Late one night in the bar, the mic was opened up and Alex stepped on stage to perform ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ - the same song he had first learned to play on guitar all those years ago. The reaction was phenomenal, but Alex put it down to high holiday spirits and alcohol-fuelled enthusiasm. But the next day random strangers were still stopping him to rave about his performance.
It was a moment that inspired Alex to start again, to answer the nagging thought that he had unfinished business in music. The couple moved to the Kent countryside and Alex would spend late lockdown nights alone in the kitchen writing songs. And when the album was ready, his mind focused on how to take it to an audience entirely from his own efforts and financing. It’s a story of remarkable perseverance, dedication and commitment.Alex concludes, “What do I think when I look at the album? A sense of achievement. I’ve put 10 songs together that mean everything to me. I get hundreds, thousands of people sending me messages on social media, saying how I’ve touched their hearts. That still blows my mind. And that’s what fires and inspires me as a songwriter. So if the album can mean something to some people, that will just be amazing. Every single connection I make with one of my songs is priceless.”
1. Bee in a Honeypot
2. In A World We Don’t Know
3. Hold Your Hands Out To Me
4. I Hope You Dance
5. Take it Back to Zero
6. Fly Away
7. This Feeling Again
8. What Is Love
9. Rodeo Star
10. On Top of the World
£20.49Release Date: 26/01/2024Visit product page →
It was four years into the swim ~ label’s history before Bastard arrived. Like my previous albums, it was another collaboration – although this time only with my partner in life and crime, Malka Spigel.
There was a point in the ’90s when British music journalists basically didn’t get dance music and would refer to it as “faceless techno bollocks”. It was that very attribute that Malka and I felt most attracted to. In instrumental music, you could be anyone from anywhere. The only thing that mattered was how good your tunes were. In fact, for the first Immersion album, we pretended to be from Germany and were photographed in wigs and masks. This had the unexpected result of the album selling more copies in Germany than anywhere else!
With Bastard, it took a while to get to the concept, which was essentially this: What if we subverted the whole ‘bloke from Wire’thing and had a Colin Newman album without any actual songs on it? These days, this is not such a big thing, but it was hugelytransgressive at the time. The language of Bastard is house, techno, breakbeat, drum and bass, and doubtless post-rock. The only singing is a one-line Malka sample on ‘Turn’.
Not only did the album not play by the rules of what would these days be called musicby a ‘heritage’ artist, but it didn’t play by the rules of dance music either. Back then, dance music artists didn’t mix up styles as theydo today. This is one of the reasons the album’s called Bastard.
Upon release, Bastard was modestly successful in comparison to the label’s other releases, although widely misunderstood. Thetitle is intentionally multifaceted, referring to several ways in which the album is a misfit – a cuckoo in the nest. But it never meant ‘Colin Newman is a bastard’ – even if Malka’s toy finger gesture on the cover tempted fate on that!
Malka and I have done more work together on swim ~ – and, of course, there has been plenty of Wire activity after its second hiatus during the 1990s – but I never felt the need to do another solo album. I don’t crave attention and certainly don’t feel I lack ways to express myself. In many ways, it’s more creative to collaborate with others.
There is joy and beauty in collaboration. And collaborating with Malka has become so effortless that we almost don’t know whodoes what in the work we create. This has led us to throwing open our partnership via Nanocluster events and albums where webuild musical bridges and make partnerships that transcend the art. Maybe that’s the point? Surely, art should be about human connection and diversity of expression?
Colin Newman, Brighton, 2023 (edited from album sleeve notes)
Vinyl LP & CD 1
3. Slowfast (falling down the stairs with a drumkit)
6. Spaced In
8. The Orange House & the Blue House
5. The Narrativ (with Corrado Izzo)
6. Blank Canvas
7. Time Will Allow
9. Cut The Slack (2001)
10. Found & Bound (2001)
11. Unbroken (2001)
12. Flight Mode (2008)
Tracks 1–4 taken from 1995 EP Voice.
Tracks 5–8 originally appeared on swim team #1 and swim team #2.
Tracks 9–12 previously unreleased and exclusive to this edition.
New Heavy Sounds
£22.00Release Date: 26/01/2024Visit product page →
Hailing from New York, GUHTS (pronounced ‘guts’) are a bold new voice within a maelstrom of genres and sub-genres.
They declare themselves to be an ‘avant-garde post-metal project, delivering larger than life sounds through, deeply emotional music’.
And they deliver that statement in full effect in the form of their debut album ‘Regeneration’.
Pointers can be made of course. By their own admission, GUHTS' musical style is influenced not only by iconic metal bands like Gojira, Cult of Luna, YOB and Deftones, but more unconventional acts like Bjork, Subrosa, Isis, Julie Christmas, and even PJ Harvey. It’s undoubtedly heavy, with a strong feminist streak, it’s cathartic and weighty, a formidable debut for such a new band.
‘Regeneration’ is set to cement their status as one of the coolest and most interesting bands on the scene.
A powerful and intense series of songs, topped off by some seriously mighty, expressive vocal performances.
It’s slow-shifting chords, moving like sheets through sludge. High guitar lines above, ranging from piercing and shimmering to nasty. Drums pound but not without groove. There are strings, pianos and synths widening the palette. Atmospheric sludge, metalgaze, maybe, but there’s also that link to the New York Noise lineage from The Velvets and Sonic Youth, becoming a type of post-hardcore in the process, while gaining a connection to metal partly due to the sheer heaviness.A raft of creative experimentation that pushes beyond the realm of post-metal. And then of course, the very first thing that hits you is Amber Gardner's unbelievable, hypnotising vocals - as scary as a banshee while also intimate and persuasive. Amber means it for sure and almost dominates the proceedings.
In short ‘Regeneration’ is a bold and startling debut, that will reward and enthral listeners the deeper they delve into its many layers.
1. White Noise
2. Til Death
3. The Mirror
4. Handless Maiden
5. Eyes Open
7. The Wounded Healer
1. White Noise
2. Til Death
3. The Mirror
4. Handless Maiden
5. Eyes Open
7. The Wounded Healer
8. Burn My Body (CD Bonus Track)
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Release Date: 01/12/2023
House of Harm are proud to announce the forthcoming release of their new album Playground, out December 1st, 2023.
The new record builds and expands upon the three-piece’s enthralling shadow-pop sound, a mix of midnight atmospherics, 90s era jangle pop, and contagious synth drenched hooks that further elevate the transcendent vocals of lead singer Michael Rocheford.
Rounded out by Cooper Leardi (guitar / synths) and Tyler Kershaw (guitar / synth), House of Harm have amassed an impressive following as something of a best kept secret among their growing fanbase, leading to sold out shows on both coasts by the power of word of mouth alone.
The band members have been drawn to music for as long as any of them can remember, and the drive to be around like-minded artists and make their own noise drew them all to Boston after high school. There they all quickly enmeshed themselves, playing in other bands before meeting each other. Ever since, House of Harm have been quietly making a name for themselves among music fans with darker pop persuasions via a steady stream of releases in single, ep and album form.
That attention to detail and workmanlike approach at the expense of chasing instant gratification seems to be paying dividends after years of steady effort.
The journey of their new album Playground saw House of Harm stay true to that ethos.
The band painstakingly narrowed the record down to an efficient 10 tracks that they felt made the most sense, both standing on their own as well as fitting into an LP that built a cohesive world for the listener to get lost in. The album’s name also reflects the experimentation and happy accidents that came about during the writing and recording process.
On “The Face of Grace” they set out to explore different dynamics by writing a song entirely without drums, but couldn't help themselves from putting emphasis on the song’s 6/8 waltz time signature. “Two Kinds” is another first for House Of Harm in that it’s predominantly driven by acoustic guitar.
That aforementioned vulnerability shows up in other areas of the songwriting process as well with “Two Kinds”, one of their most revealing songs to date from a lyrical standpoint, written from a place of reflection and weakness and tackling feelings uneasy to be put on display for public consumption.
Taken as a whole, the end result is an album representing a collection of the band’s most raw and expressive songs yet.
1. Before The Line
2. To Last
4. The Face Of Grace
5. Soaked In Pastel
6. Two Kinds
8. Ignore The Taste
9. Moving On
10. Place It Back
£12.99NUBIAN ROSE, the Melodic Rock sensation of the early 10’s, is back after a long hiatus. Their new album, AMEN, will be released on the 26th of January 2024.Visit product page →
On AMEN, Nubian Rose show a more progressive side of the band, but with their trademark foundation of strong melodies, great hooks, big guitars, and the powerful voice of Sofia Lilja. While writing AMEN, Christer and Sofia wanted to challenge themselves to take Nubian Rose to new frontiers.
“AMEN sounds very different, but hopefully in a good way”, says Sofia. “As people we are constantly growing, so why wouldn’t our music grow? And what would be the point of making another ”Mountain”, or ”Mental Revolution?”
They wanted to cut all ”obligations” that creators very often feel because of outside expectations. “We wanted to let the music flow through us, not forcing the music out of us”, says Christer. We wanted to make a dynamic album and let all our sources of inspiration have a seat at the table.
The list of inspiration for AMEN is long and diverse, with everything from Judas Priest, Rainbow and Cheap Trick to David Bowie, John Carpenter, Dalbello, Stevie Nicks, and the amazing album ”The Wanderer”, by Donna Summer.
AMEN is packed with analogue, vintage, synths. The gain level on the guitars is turned down a bit. Some of the songs don’t even have a traditional chorus and for the first time Nubian Rose has written a song that is almost 10 minutes long.
But the more classic rock songs are also in the mix. The story of NUBIAN ROSE started in 2012, with their self-financed, low-key release of their debut album, ’Mountain’. With practically no pr, the album spread like wildfire in the world of Melodic Rock and soon they were featured in some of the greatest rock publications in the World, like Classic Rock Magazine, Burrn!! with outstanding reviews. Rockers like ’Ever see your face’ and ’Mountain’ together with the majestic power ballad, ’How am I', became fan favourites. In 2014 the band released their Sophomore album, with a slightly heavier sound.
Classic Rock Magazine: “MENTAL REVOLUTION tears out the speakers” 9/10 / Fireworks Magazine: “I personally think that MENTAL REVOLUTION rates as the best mainstream Female-Fronted album of recent years”
Powerplay Magazine: “If the debut was good, then this has been necking steroids since that release” – 9/10
NUBIAN ROSE chose Pedro Ferreira to record and mix AMEN in his SpinRoad studios outside of Gothenburg, Sweden. It was a perfect place for the huge analogue sound that they were looking for, with a Neve console, tape machines, a huge room for thundering drum sounds and a beautiful grand piano. Among a lot of other things, Pedro Ferreira produced the multi-platinum album, ”Permission to land”, by The Darkness. Some highlights from the album: ‘Memorial’. A short, emotional piece, where Sofia is experiencing her own death and funeral in the lyrics - ‘Dramatic Days’.
The album’s first upcoming single, with thunderous drums, big guitars, and catchy synth hooks, made for the arenas - ‘Break Down The Walls’. A high energy heavy rock tune, where Sofia brings out her inner fury - Bright Light.
For the first time, Christer shares the lead vocals department with Sofia - Lost In The Mist. A powerful, progressive track, almost ten minutes long.
2. Dramatic Day
3 .Break Down The Walls
5. Lost In The Mist
6. Red Sky
7. Desert Night
8. Holy Roar
9. Bright Light
10. Gonna Get Close To You
New Heavy Sounds
£21.99Release Date: 16/02/2024Visit product page →
Sal, Bea and Raquel aka Shooting Daggers, are fast becoming a fiery beacon at the beating heart of the burgeoning UK hardcore scene.
Their first EP 'Athames' hinted that there was something special here, and left folks gagging for more.
Their debut album will not disappoint. Titled ‘Love and Rage’ it’s a huge leap forward from their EP, in fact we believe Daggers have recorded something of a corker in terms of modern hardcore in fact ... a potential minor classic debut maybe.
Whatever way you spin it, there is no doubt that ’Love and Rage' is an album of jaw dropping depth and melody as well as blinding energy, feminist fury and angst.
There are kick ass buzzsaw punk bangers of course, blistering shards of pent up fury, like ‘Dare’ and ‘Not My Rival’ ‘Wipeout’ and ‘Bad Seeds’.
Daggers ‘as you might expect, but here, more catchy, more direct, more focussed than before. However, things start to get even more interesting with songs like ‘Smug’ and ‘Tunnel Vision’ a big hint that this is no ordinary punk rock record.
A grungy intro bangs into stuttering riffs and chorus with harmonies that will lock itself into your head.
Then the band drops ‘A Guilty Conscience Needs An Accuser’ and you go well what is this? A sort of 90’s shoegaze grunge infused soaring ballad, that is as breathtakingly bold as it is unexpected and a real standout.
As is the album’s title track ‘Love And Rage’ with its Dinosaur Jr meets Lush vibe. It all fits perfectly. The final track ‘Caves/Outro’ is just vocals and piano … it can only be described as ‘lovely’. Wow. The influences never overwhelm, it’s always unmistakably ‘Shooting Daggers’ pushing that hardcore envelope big time.
With ‘Love and Rage’ Shooting Daggers could quite possibly become your favourite band.
2. Not My Rival
4. Wipe Out
5. A Guilty Conscience Needs An Accuser
6. Tunnel Vision
7. Bad Seeds
8. Love & Rage
£25.49Release Date: 17/11/2023Visit product page →
After a hiatus of quite some time, the Belgian duo composed by the world renowned model Kim Peers and post-metal band Amenra’s guitarist Mathieu Vandekerckhove, is finally back with a new full-length album. Four years have passed since their debut Benevolence.
Meanwhile Skemer took the time to let all sides of their personality grow and eventually explode. You remember their minimalist cold wave deconstructions equally made of brutal and erotic components.
A duality deeply rooted in the band’s music as well as in their line-up and obviously their live shows, where romantic and ethereal atmospheres collide with the gothic side of electronic and techno music.
This is even more present on their new LP Toasts & Sentiments.
Eleven new cuts where every side of Skemer’s nature gets its own share of expression only to leave you wrapped in one pitch black cloak. A few episodes in the duo's native language Dutch, add even more mystery to the occult receipt.
Get in the introspective, tranche insistent riff on the opening track Eyelashes and get catapulted, quite literally, on the dark side of the moon. Keep on wandering the alien surface with Seen and its solemn gait.
Pick up your pace with the pounding drums of Easy To Embrace and Kiss Me Kill Me. Go down the stairs to the dungeon of the club culture with lead singles Overgave and Out Of Favor claustrophobic electro.
Remain bogged down in the darkness with New Born Babe, get slapped by Apocalypse’s industrial trance crescendo. Rest and collapse with the final track’s texture of ambient synths and reverberating guitars.
It may have taken four years for Skemer to present their new creation but it was definitely worth the wait. Walk the night with us.
4. Easy To Embrace
5. Kiss Me Kill Me
6. Used To You
8. Out Of Favor
9. New Born Babe
11. Like Dolls
£12.99Visit product page →
Welcome to ‘Syteria World’. A realm of colourful, pounding and punked-melodic rock that is occupied by Yorkshire -bred band Syteria, who return this coming August 11th with their third album ‘Syteria World’ via Syteria Records
Formed by Jackie ‘Jax’ Chambers, of the legendary UK rockers Girlschool, alongside Argentine siblings Julia and Pablo Calvo, and Steph Dawson, with previous albums ‘Rant-O-Bot’ and ‘Reflection’, and a host of tours and festival appearances, Syteria have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with.
The Syteria sound mixes elements of modern pop/punk energies with more contemporary rock anthemic choruses, incorporating four-part harmonies and using the ancient Solfeggio scale of recording in 432hz, instead of the standard 440hz, to leave you feeling in tune with the universe.
The debut album, ‘Rant-O-Bot' received an award nomination and was shortlisted to the final five at the ‘Independent Music Awards', as well as ranking highly in many online voting polls for best band in various categories. The follow up album, ‘Reflection’, was released in 2020, just before the pandemic, supported by countless of stunning reviews.
Back now with ‘Syteria World’, the band have crafted an introspective album that explores the ups and downs of life through twelve tracks of powerful guitar riffs, pounding beats, and catchy choruses.
The songs touch on a range of themes, from chasing dreams and overcoming fears to dealing with breakups and social media monsters. There's a sense of maturity and wisdom in the lyrics and music that marks a significant step forward for the band.
One of the most striking features of ‘Syteriaworld’ is the honesty and vulnerability in the lyrics. Tracks like ‘Chasing Dreams’ and ‘Breaking Through’ explore personal struggles and the journey towards self-discovery. Similarly, ‘It's a Mess’ confronts the chaos of the world head-on, while ‘Debt Generation’ takes a critical look at consumerism and societal pressures.
The album showcases the band's versatility and range, with each track offering a unique take on the challenges and joys of life. From the bitter frustration of 'E.M.P.T.Y.' to the celebratory spirit of 'Raise Your Glass,' this is an album that will have you singing along and nodding in agreement.
‘Syteria World’ is a powerful testament to the band's growth and maturity. The album showcases their ability to create thought-provoking music that still manages to be catchy and fun. Syteria have created a powerful statement of intent, with each track offering a glimpse into the complexities of the human experience.
1. Chasing Dreams
2. Breaking Through
3. It Hit Me
6. Debt Generation
7. It's A Mess
8. Remember Me
9. Raise Your Glass
10. Nine to Nine
11. Couldn't Be Bothered
12. Pause For Peace (Silent Minute)
13. Talk Too Much
14. Rockaway Beach
Hot to Handle Records
£11.99Release Date: 10/11/2023Visit product page →
Founded in Cambridge in 2017 by bass player Nick Blackburn, lead guitarist Nick Manners, and drummer Joe Chivers, THE HOT ONE TWO is a hard rock quintet boasting the swagger of 1980s greats and souped-up with punchy modern metal riffs.
As soon as 2018 The Hot One Two attracted attention from local festival circuits and radio shows such as BBC Introducing, establishing them as mainstays in the UK NWOCR scene. With the addition of charismatic frontman Simon West and veteran guitarist Kev Baker, The Hot One Two achieved escape velocity in 2019.
On the heels of their debut EP ‘Come Whatever May’ the band were soon performing in front of larger crowds and knocking them dead with their catchy old-school foundation and supercharged modern sound.
The band is renowned in the UK scene for their tight and ecstatic live performances. During the pandemic, while others worried or went by the wayside entirely, The Hot One Two wrote and self-produced the aptly named 2022 EP ‘Unrestrained’ featuring their flagship single ‘Bleed On Me’ to immense popular and critical success.
These guys are on the ascendency and are truly the ones to watch as the smoke clears from the past three years. And that’s just the beginning!
Throughout 2023 The Hot One Two have performed up and down the country with festival slots at Call of the Wild, Firevolt, Planet Rockstock, Winter Rocks, as well as multiple Hard Rock Hell appearances and a support slot on Dead Mans Whiskey’s upcoming autumn/winter UK tour.
Between live gigs, they have released six singles with accompanying music videos in collaboration with the great Kris Barras. Each single represents one of the seven deadly sins starting in March with the release of Planet Rock’s track of the week, The Fray (wrath), followed month after month, each with a new release culminating in the band's debut album release dubbed ‘Superbia’ (pride), on November 10th 2023.
2023 has been a breakout year for the charismatic Cambridge outfit so stay tuned for live dates and the many upcoming releases!
1. The Fray
2. Tie Me Down
3. You’ve Got It (I Want It)
4. Is It Hot?
5. Feeling Good
6. Something Real
7. God Forsaken Blues
8. Demon Daze
9. Rolling Stone
10. Playing With Fire
Dust To Digital
£38.99Release Date: 17/11/2023Visit product page →
96-page hardcover book printed on artbook-quality paper with 46 photos, lyric transcriptions, cultural and regional histories, artist biographies, and a glossary. Hardcover book dimensions: 9.25" x 6.25" x .5" Weight: 14 oz. In 2015, New York-based producer David Aglow traveled to Spain searching for the roots of flamenco. At the time he set out on the recording project, a local newspaper wrote about Aglow's mission and referred to him as "an American in love with flamenco." It is his passion and drive to document the most authentic flamenco traditions of today that propels our new release "Bolinus Brandaris: Flamenco from the Bay of Cadiz.”Bolinus Brandaris takes the listener to the Bay of Cadiz, which is often referred to as cuna del cante (cradle of song). This southernmost part of mainland Spain is considered the birthplace and heartland of flamenco, where many song styles originated then radiated out through the rest of Andalusia. Expertly recorded with modern technology in informal and natural environments, this is flamenco culture as it is being lived today. Generally speaking, modern flamenco recordings have often missed the mark for two reasons: either they were live recordings in which the recorded sound was a by-product of a staged concert event, or they were studio recordings that leaned heavily on studio techniques to make the music sound contemporary (i.e. isolation booths, added effects, multi-tracking). Bolinus Brandaris gives flamenco's fundamental elements – voice and guitar – their overdue spotlight. By excluding the often-overemphasized component of flamenco dance, this release provides context which will enrich any flamenco experience.As an artist with whom we worked said: "A singer, a guitar player, and a bottle of wine on the table – that's flamenco." And that kind of intimacy and immediacy is what these recordings are –flamenco where it lives: in the bars, social clubs, restaurants and homes of the people who have lived it all their lives. The recording engineers and producers embedded in those environments and organized sessions that produced audiophile-quality recordings of the magic of flamenco, far removed from the pageantry of the stage and the sterility of the studio. Serve up some sherry, a bit of regional cheese, close your eyes and it is almost like you're there.
1. Trini de la Isla, Juani de la Isla, and Jesus Castilla – “Alegría”
2. Ana Polanco and Victor Rosa – “Malagueña”
3. Pedrín de la Isla and Victor Rosa – “Seguiriya”
4. Trini de la Isla, Jesus Castilla, and Juani de la Isla – “Bulería”
5. Jesus Guerrero – “Rondeña”
6. Jesus Castilla and Juani de la Isla – “Soleá”
7. El Niño del Parque – “Saeta”