El Javi can be described as flamenco fusion, but that doesn’t come close to encapsulating the sounds from the duo that range from smooth and sultry to rocking intensity.
If you’re a Led Zeppelin fan, or a classic rock fan in general, you’ll be right at home as El Javi, which I’ll clarify here is the name of both the band and the frontman/guitarist, twists familiar songs into impressive fingerpicking masterpieces.
Babe I’m Gonna Leave You, a personal Zeppelin favourite of mine, swings from hitting the hard-rocking breakdown back into flamenco-esque solos with what looks like ease, but is impossibly quick technique, of which El Javi seemingly has a limitless supply.
They borrow from rock hits of old, but what El Javi creates with that original framework makes something entirely new. All done in the aura of minimalism with percussionist Jordi Marin using only a snare drum, two cymbals, a couple sticks and brushes while sitting on a cajon.
Clearly all the drum kit he needed as with a subtle tap or stroke of a brush he created an impressive range of sound from such a small kit, and even takes on Zeppelin drummer John Bonham’s famed Moby Dick solo.
It was the perfect meeting of venue and artist at the Dream Café, as the two fit together like puzzle pieces to create that signature Dream atmosphere. The crowd was delighted and joined along as El Javi explored his no-lyric, all-guitar version of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.
A truly technical achievement with both the lyrics and rhythm of the classic track being replicated with only strings.
I’ve never seen the crowd at the Dream Café more enthused and they basically forced an encore out of the duo. A signature rendition of Zeppelin’s Kashmir rounded off the night perfectly.
El Javi are playing for free at Therapy Vineyards in Naramata July 18 from 1 to 4 p.m. Visit www.eljavi.com for more information and showtimes.