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ACL Spotlight: José González

José González is a indie folk singer-songwriter of Argentine descent who grew up in Sweden. His sound is described as solo classical guitar with soft vocal melody. He grew up listening to Latin folk and pop music, citing his favorite artist as being Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodriguez.

González released his debut album Veneer in September 2005, which includes the singles, "Crosses", which is one of four songs he contributed to Zero 7's The Garden and "Heartbeats", which is a cover of fellow Swedes, The Knife. On another song, "Lovestain" his lyrics are heartfelt, "You left a lovestain on my heart/And you left a bloodstain on the ground/But blood comes off easily". I first discovered Veneer from a good friend of mine who is a guitar player himself and has great taste in music. A year after Veneer was released Richard and I were fortunate enough to see González perform at a small bar in San Antonio called Limelight. We sat on the side of the stage, no more than ten from him as he took the stage with just a chair and an acoustic guitar. He provided percussion by tapping his foot on the floor.

José González - Crosses (mp3)

[Buy Veneer from Amazon]

For his second album, González kept his classical guitar sound but added a few new sounds as well. He recruited Erik Bodin (percussion), Håkan Wirenstrand (synthesizer), and Yukimi Nagano (backing vocals) on his sophomore album. In Our Nature was released in September 2007 via Mute Records and includes a cover of Massive Attack's "Teardrop", which we saw him perform a year earlier at Limelight. Asked about In Our Nature, he told NME, "I like playing with symbolism," said the Swedish singer-songwriter of the new album. "On this album I've wanted to bring out the primitive aspects of human beings."

[Buy In Our Nature from Amazon]

Here's the video for "Heartbeats" off Veneer.

José González at ACL
September 27 (Saturday) 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
On the Dell Stage

Official ACL Aftershow
September 27 (Saturday)

José González, Neva Dinova, McCarthy Trenching @ Emo's (inside)

Doors at 10 pm, José González plays at 10:30 pm
Buy Tickets] $18

[José González Official Site]
[José González Myspace]
[Jose Gonzalez 2008 Tour Dates]
[More of our ACL Spotlights]

[Photo by dongraft]