Salsa music—that wide-net label encompassing Cuban, Puerto Rican and other Caribbean styles—has a special grip on Missoula, where it’s possible to find the swinging, syncopated sounds emanating from as many as three venues on a given night. Perhaps the popularity comes from the free dance lessons that typically coax newbies onto the front of the stage. Or maybe it’s the high-spirited commingling in a setting just a bit hipper than a contra dance. Or maybe it’s simply Salsa Loca, the local group most responsible for our area’s salsa sound.
Watch Out offers a scintillating sampling of Salsa Loca’s rump-busting appeal. With a smattering of fast-tempo covers from masters such as Tito Rodriguez, Pete Terrace and Mongo Santamaria, as well as a few mellower choice grooves more appropriate for a slow dance, the album provides anything but a soundtrack for sitting around. Multi-instrumentalist David Horgan also unveils three of his own cuts, including the standout “Albondigas,” which features a light and jaunty guitar sound like the one Roy Clark might have developed were it not for that blasted embargo.
If you can count to three and have a set of hips with a little sway left in them, it’s hard not to get up for Salsa Loca and, now, Watch Out. (Jonas Ehudin)
Salsa Loca plays a CD-release show at Sean Kelly’s Saturday, Dec. 22, at 9 PM. Cover TBA. Call 542-1471.