Guitar and violin duo Charles Guy and Linda Powers have coined the phrase "Spanish flavor and flamenco flair" for their CD of new instrumentals, titled "Sonido Alegre." Translated into English, it means "joyful sound."
"Most of the songs on the CD evoke happy, positive images and emotions," Guys says.
Indeed, a good listen to "Sonido Alegre" will reveal light, airy instrumentation that ranges from intrinsically joyful sounds, such as "Medio Tiempo," "A Gentle Romp," "Full Circle" and "Just For Fun," to the yearning and lonely, yet lovely, violin strains on "Viento" and "This Loneliness with You," respectively.
Guy, who has a couple of previous CDs of original nylon-string guitar melodies to his credit, has brought another element of enjoyment to his music with the addition of Powers' Gypsy violin accompaniment, along with percussionist Mike Fitch's work on congas, djembe, shakers and African talking drum.
"I like playing with Linda," Guy says. "It's hard to find musicians who'll commit to playing someone else's original music. She seems to find the work compelling and brings emotional, melodic content to the compositions."
The duo will celebrate the release of "Sonido Alegre" from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 16, at RoxyAnn Winery, 3285 Hillcrest Road, Medford. Guy and Powers will be joined by bassist John Galloway and percussionist Fitch. The CD will be available at the show, online at charlesguymusic.com and at CD Baby. Admission to the show is free. See www.roxyann.com or call 541-776-2315.
"Charles writes more like a classical composer than your everyday songwriter," Powers says. "His music is filled with intriguing passages that take listeners from place to place. I've always been drawn to guitar and violin. I've played old-time fiddle music, bluegrass and Gypsy swing. Playing with Charles seems like the next likely step."
Powers and Guy have played together for nearly two years. The duo competed in the 2014 Rising Stars Music Competition sponsored by South Stage Cellars and Britt Festivals.
Guy's "Las Tres Hermanas" was inspired by three sisters, indigenous to Sayulita — a village about 25 miles north of Puerto Vallarta in the state of Nayarit, Mexico, he says.
"I was sitting in a cafe one morning, letting the sun fall on my face and enjoying the ocean breeze, when I looked up and saw these three young women," he says. "They seemed to represent the simplicity and beauty of an indigenous culture."
"Viento" is another melody that blends Guys' finger-style guitar technique with yearning violin strains by Powers. There's an ethereal sound of a trade wind in the background, along with percussion by Mike Fitch.
"The piece is meant to sound like rain falling, slowly at first, then puddling into streams and rivers that fall into the sea, where the water will return to the atmosphere and become the rain again," Guy says. "It's meant to sound like a journey."
Guy, originally from North Carolina, moved to Ashland via Los Angeles in '74. He played in popular rock bands In Flight and Heart & Soul before stepping out on his own.
"It was a great experience working with bands in the '80s," he says. "At one point, though, I felt I could tap into my own creative spirit and write songs that people would enjoy ... and share the joy they bring me."
Powers grew up near Buffalo, N.Y. She lived in California in the '70s, playing music for a time in Nevada City.
"We focus on tight performances," she says. "We're trying to play something new and creative. Sometimes Guy likes to throw a few Gypsy King covers, or James Taylor and Van Morrison songs, into our live shows. There's also a bit of his early 'Carolina Beach music.' "
Other "Sonido Alegre" CD release celebrations will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, at The Playwright Public House, 258 A St., Ashland; 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30, at South Stage Cellars, 125 S. Third St., Jacksonville; and 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, at Belle Fiore Winery, 955 Dead Indian Memorial Road, Ashland.