This morning, I awoke to the sounds of Fado on the street beneath my window.
As I slowly came into consciousness, though I could not understand the words of the singer, I was moved by the passion and emotion behind each note. Once I figured out what was going on, it became clear that a street performer was piping pre-recorded Fado to draw an audience in. It didn’t matter, I was hooked.
That voice and emotion became a theme for our day.
As we finally ventured out, we landed at Pois Cafe and had what perhaps may have been the best cappuccino I have ever had. But while there, we meat Santos Cabral of the band Guents dy Rincon. He hit us up to listen to his CD (on an old school bright yellow Discman, of all things). With just a few notes, we were hooked and shelled out real cash to take the disk with us.
After a long day exploring Castelo de São Jorge and the hills of Alfama, we ultimately ventured back into Bairro Alto to hear some Fado live. Following a tip from Anthony Bourdain, we ventured into Tasca do Chico and got our first taste of live Fado.
Somewhere along the way I read something that said that you could judge the quality of Fado by whether or not it brought tears to your eyes. Though we heard some lovely artists this evening, only one made me sob. Within the the first notes she vocalized, Inés Pereira surprised me and showed me the power of Fado. Needless to say, given the power of the Internet, before we even left the bar, we’d found her in Google and iTunes.