If the Spanish town of Úbeda had its own rogues gallery honouring the misfits and outlaws whose boots had scuffed its dusty ground, three ‘Wanted’ posters would surely hang; a trio of mug shots simply referred to as ‘Guadalupe Plata’ – the most deathly delta blues outfit to ever emerge from Andalusia.
Make no mistake – the music of Guadalupe Plata derives from the murkiest of depths. Channelling red hot passion for the blues into Hispanic roots, theirs is a sound that lingers in the sunset like a voodoo curse. Using flamenco terms, they describe their process as straining to be podrío; to be rotten, and talk of ‘involution’, ‘duende’, and ‘hechizo’ – supernatural terms of invocation, and, well, goblins. But then again, that’s what you’d expect – concocted in a town famed as a location for Spaghetti Westerns, the band’s unique blues sits like a cowboy soundtrack pulled from a zombie’s grasp by the Mississippi Blues greats,Os Mutantes and Jon Spencer.
It is a pounding sound, blending blues, bebop and rockabilly to the Andalusian tradition, which draws from Romany, Sephardic and Moorish strains of music. Lyrically casting spells via a curious mythology centred around dogs, the devil, Christ, rats, black snakes and cats, where all the lovers are Frankie and Johnny. It bewitches listeners who may have never walked Úbeda’s mean streets, as it is possessed by the sense of space, sex and the magic of the night which belongs to both rock’n’roll and blue-collar folk art.