Various Artists

The Rough Guide to Bachata

One of the very latest Rough Guide CDs (joining the successful family of Rough Guide books and CDs spotlighting music of all types from around the world), The Rough Guide to Bachata is a lively romp through various popular artists’ versions of bachata, the Dominican Republic’s version of the blues—or, as the liner notes describe “the voice of poetic love and social comment in the Dominican Republic.” Bachata features a distinct “tightly plucked” guitar evocative at times of steel drumming, driving electric bass, festive hand percussion and passionate vocals most often singing of the pursuit, bliss and loss of romantic love. Luis Vargas—or “El Rey Supremo del Amargue,” the DR’s version of “King of the Blues”—sings the hip-swirling “Ve y Dile” with an endearing suavity. Likewise, Zacarías Ferreira’s “Te Amo” (“Te amo, te amo, te amo/ En mi vida, tú eres la razón”) is typical of the catchy charm of bachata. Available at: