Eduardo Mateo – Mateo Solo Bien Se Lame (Mateo does it best alone)
Mateo was a hugely influential songwriter, singer and guitarrist emerging in the 1960s. A master of rhythm he insisted that the nascent rock scene in Uruguay include local candombe-rhythms that were looked down on at the time, leading to the creation of a new rhythm known as candombe-beat. A wildly unpredictable, addictive character who had periods of homelessness, he died penniless before reaching his 50th birthday.
A short but reasonably faithful biography on the Murky Recess Blog
British writer discovers Mateo – entertaining and incisive from Sounds and Colours
David Fricke, Rolling Stone (2007) on Mateo (his Nick Drake comparison is not great. Mateo was a far more revolutionary musician)
Unfortunately this album has been taken down from YouTube, so I’ve included a different video clip above. But you can buy Mateo solo bien se lame online.
Ana Prada – Soy Pecadora (I’m a Sinner)
El Club de Tobi – Tobismo (Tobism)
A classical string quartet, El Club de Tobi started out in 1996 playing on Sarandi, the pedestrian street running through Montevideo’s Old City, and underground venues. They play their own arrangements of pop and rock from the River Plate area (Montevideo and Buenos Aires) as well as classics by Hendrix, The Beatles and Bob Marley. Tobismo won the 2011 Graffiti Prize, the equivalent of the Uruguayan Grammys in the Instrumental category.
El Principe – El Recital (The Show)
Gustavo Pena, known as El Principe (The Prince), also struggled to make a living from music and died in his late 40s just as he was starting to gain popularity and audiences to grow. El Recital was recorded live in 2002 with the Club de Tobi. His daughter Eli-U Pena keeps his memory and music alive today interpreting his songs in her uniquely charismatic style. His poetic lyrics are notable for their positive messages. Like Mateo, El Principe has become a cult musician for musicians in this part of the world.
Hear albums by and featuring El Principe including lyrics
Seeing bands while you are here in Uruguay
There are so many other bands, songwriters, singers, musicians that could be included. I mean, there’s no tango here! Let alone a ton of other great stuff…
The Guru’Guay Guide to Montevideo includes a dedicated chapter on bands you must see live* when you are in Uruguay and another chapter on where to see those bands play (including how to reserve seats in Spanish).
* For suggestions of live music when you are in Montevideo, write to the Guru on the Guru’Guay Facebook page a few days before you arrive. We’ll be happy to post you a recommendation.