Q - p.983 stars out of 5
- "It's an exceptionally serious album of throaty wailing, angry guitar stabs and festering passion."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1114 stars out of 5
- "[T]he intricate solo stuff is undeniably impressive; the handclaps are right on the money..."
Gipsy Kings: Paco Baliardo, Diego Baliardo, Canut Reyes, Andre Reyes, Tonino Baliardo, Patchai Reyes, Paul Reyes, Nicolas Reyes.
Additional personnel includes: Garth Hudson (accordion); Greg Cohen (double bass); Bachir Mokari (derbouka); Yakouba Sissoko (kora); Cyro Baptista (percussion).
Recorded at Le Mas De Gourgoubes, St-Andre-De-Bueges, France, between June 9 & 26, 2003.
Personnel: Nicol s Reyes (vocals, guitar, palmas); Andre Reyes (vocals, guitar, background vocals); Canut Reyes (vocals, guitar); Paco Baliardo, Tonino Baliardo (guitar, palmas); Yacouba Sissoko (kora); Garth Hudson (accordion); Greg Cohen (double bass); Cyro Baptista (washboard, shaker, percussion); Diego Baliardo (palmas).
Audio Mixer: S. "Husky" H”skulds.
Recording information: Le Mas De Gourgoubes, St-ANdre-De-Bueges, France (06/09/2003-06/26/2003).
On ROOTS, the Gipsy Kings deliver on the promise suggested by the title, completely forgoing the synthesizers, bass guitars, and drum kits that have added a contemporary touch to many of the ensemble's previous releases. Instead, the group has gone back to basics in grand style, not only concentrating on the purity of acoustic instrumentation, but also playing with a fire and passion rarely heard in modern music of any genre. Though nearly all the 16 songs here are self-penned (the odd man out being a composition by the legendary gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt), they sound utterly timeless, as if the group were channeling the material directly from the vintage black & white photos that grace the album's stunning packaging.
The emotionally charged vocals of Nicolas and Canut Reyes are perfectly matched by the fleet-fingered, genre-bending lead guitar of Tonino Baliardo throughout, and the album's sound quality is absolutely pristine. One of several high-water marks in an accomplished career, ROOTS is recommended to anyone desirous of the glorious rapture only afforded by the purest of music.