gringos are welcome

The Best of the Gypsy Kings (Nonesuch Records)

The Gypsy Kings

By Kory Wilcoxson

There is good news and bad news about The Best of the Gypsy Kings.

First the bad news: I cannot understand a dang words these guys are saying. Now the good news: that's okay, the whole album is in Spanish!

If you are like me, your Spanish is limited to the drive-thru menu at Taco Bell. But you do not have to habla español to understand that the Gypsy Kings make enormously good music.

Musicianship speaks many different languages, and the intensity and infectiousness the Gypsy Kings bring to their music need no translation.

Songs like "Baila Me" (I think it means "Dance with Me") and "Montana" (must be about some quarterback) are good examples of what the Gypsy Kings are all about: flying flamenco guitars and a soul-hurting delivery of lyrics.

Even if your knowledge of Spanish does not extend beyond Tierra del Fuego, the love of music displayed by the Gypsy Kings is worth checking out. Vamos, amigo!