This CD is a stunning compilation of tracks that is a companion to one of the best books on the market.
Letters to Zerky, the novel, is a touching tribute to a son from a father, as he documented each and every place they had visited across the globe when his son was just a baby and too young to remember the amazing sites that he witnessed. The music that this CD offers brings readers even further along that magnificent journey, as they listen to flamenco music in all different styles; from the waltz to courtship dances, with overtones of everything from Mozart to harmonious Andalucian folk dances.
Beginning with a truly fantastic track titled "Zerky’s Waltz," Bill Raney began this CD as he began his book. This lovely song was actually inspired by Gounod’s opera, "Faust," yet Mr. Raney – with his prowess in the world of flamenco guitar playing – was able to liven the beat and increase the pace. This track truly makes the reader feel as if they have just boarded the VW bus – “The Zerky Mobile” – and have sat down between a boy named Zerky and a dachshund named Tarzan to go for the ride of their lives.
As an FYI, flamenco is a genre of music that stems from the Spanish region of Andalusia, which is noted for its energetic, staccato style. The principal facets of flamenco are the cante, which is the singing, the toque, which is the guitar playing, dance, and the palmas, which are the handclaps that can be heard.
Mr. Raney’s creative mind and fluid guitar playing offers track after track that truly draw readers into a different time and place. In fact, playing the CD in the background while reading the marvelous novel is a joy. With "Tarantas" (track two), the listener can almost hear the tires of that VW bus "buzzing" along the asphalt. There is no distinct compass, as the artist says, and the music feels that way. It's a VW bus with no direction, but with a whole lot of love, warmth and fun inside its doors.