Puerto Rico

Tonight's e-town installment features two acts who are in the heyday of their careers: Shawn Mullins and Puerto Plata. Mullins, a solo artist, started playing the drums when he was four and recording his tunes on a tape recorder when he was in the seventh grade. Perhaps one of the hardest-working guys in the biz (his dog's name is Roadie!), he has a vast repertoire of folk-inspired acoustic pieces and recently marked a departure in his career by forming a musical trio with Pete Droge and Matthew Sweet called the Thorns. But while Mullins may get top billing on the marquee, the real headliner is the 84-year-old Puerto Plata. Plata has just released the album Mujer de Cabaret to his first-ever international audience. Born at the end of the first American occupation of the Dominican Republic, he endured the reign of the kleptocrat Rafael Trujillo, whose dictatorial reach manipulated the music industry to pump out merengue to the masses. Plata sings an older tune, a distinct and fused collection of Cuban-influenced, Afro-Iberian sounds that existed before Trujillo, went underground during Trujillo and morphed into Bachata after Trujillo: the blues of the DR. He is ably backed on the album by Edilio Paredes and Frank Mendez, great Dominican musicians in their own right. Don't miss your chance to see Plata's American tour — and for a mere $15! The show begins at 7 p.m. at the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th Street in Boulder. Get tickets at www.bouldertheater.com or 303-786-7030, information at www.etown.org.
Sun., Jan. 20, 7 p.m., 2008


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