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The originators of guitarras Americas are back with Rio de Colores, an album I'd been on the lookout for as something due since 2001's Stringweave but never sighted in any of my customary haunts until the recent Denver HiFi show got me close enough to a well-stocked Colorado State Barnes & Nobles. Though not breaking any new ground for these two acoustic guitar wizards, Rio de Colores is simply more of what was great about Primal Magic and Americas - highly virtuoso fretwork exploits against rhythms from Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru and the Middle East. Frequent collaborator Charlie Bisharat on violin is back as is the sensational Greek bouzouki player Danny Papakalos. Hand percussion plays a big part in any Strunz & Farah undertaking and Rio de Colors is chockfull of 'em, from joropo to Flamenco tanguillos rhythms. There's a Andean kena and zampoña tune where Jorge Strunz sidelines on charango and roncoco and a Charlie Bisharat number that constitutes the first time Strunz & Farah have recorded a piece not composed by either Jorge or Ardeshir.

Though well aware of that other technically flashy guitar milieu -- Flamenco -- and having performed with Gerardo Nuñez, these guitarists deliberately refrain from hopping aboard that train and concentrate instead on building out the repertoire for the Latin-American guitar starting just south of Mexico. Being true masters of their instruments, these two love to swap axes for changes of timbre and the title track sees Ardeshir Farah on steel strings while Jorge Strunz augments his Spanish guitar with guitar synth pads. A killer release for all lovers of fiery guitars and tropical music, soon to be followed by the duo's new Zona Tórrida already announced on their website.