Fado is the national song of Portugal and the word can also mean destiny. It derives from the Latin word fatu, meaning fate. I thought of this title for the album because I believe that this is my “burning destiny” to sing the passionate song of fado.
The album was recorded with a trio in a standard fado format:
  • Custódio Castelo - Portuguese guitar
  • Jorge Fernando - Classical guitar
  • Filipe Larsen - Bass
The exception is “Caracóis”. Since the song talks about going to Spain and having some escargots with the locals, I thought of bringing together the two distinct national music styles. On this track, one can hear the Portuguese guitar of fado and the flamenco guitar to the rhythm of an Alegria played on a cajón. Special guests on “Caracóis”:
Francisco Montoya ( from the band Ciganos D’Ouro) - flamenco guitar Zézé N’Gamby - drums
Pedro Joel – cajón ,recorded at Midi-Tech Studio in Mississauga, Canada
Production and arrangements by:
    Jorge Fernando
Recording, mixing and mastering by
    Fernando Nunes, Estúdio Pé de Vento, Portugal
1. LINDA LUA DOS AMANTES | Beautiful Lovers’ Moon
Tony Gouveia

I started to write this song after a late night snack of crab legs and white wine, a ritual of sorts for me and my wife, usually when I return home from local gigs. It was around 4 a.m. and a full moon was beaming through our large dining room window. I turned off the lights and grabbed my guitar. In the glow of that beautiful moon, the chorus came to me in a minute. It’s a plea from a lonely soul to the bewitching moon to make him favourable to someone’s affection.

2. NEGRO XAILE | Black Shawl
Jorge Fernando

Jorge Fernando recorded this track in 1996 for the album “ À Beira Tejo”. I first heard it at one his Toronto shows that year. I loved the sweet melody and the lyrics that speak to my relationships to fado and to the woman in my life. Here a man wants the woman to put on her black shawl (traditional attire for female fado singer) over her shoulders and to hear her sing to the sound of his guitar. He also sings of their fado. His song speaks of fado singing as a predestined thing, which penetrates your soul.

3. UM GRANDE AMOR | A Great Love
Jorge Fernando | Custódio Castelo

This track was not part of the original line-up. As the producer, Jorge Fernando and I got to know each other better on a more personal level, Jorge thought of this song and offered as a gift to my wife. She was unable to accompany me during the 4 weeks of the recording in Portugal. It was clear to him that I longed for her. The lyric describes how sweet, good and strong a love can be and it gives advice when a great one ends:

    “If you lose a love do remember No matter how great the pain Only a new love may soothe what still remains of a great love”
4. Ó MINHA MÃE | Dear Mother
Traditional Fado | Marceneiro

Over many generations, in this genre of music one would sing new lyrics to popular melodies of traditional fados. This less known poem was performed to the classic Fado Marceneiro, named after its creator Alfredo Marceneiro, one of the most important and enduring figures in the history of fado.

The song tells the tale of a man in a dilemma. His mother with the greatest of intentions is trying to set him up with a girl who is crazy about him. He has no interest in her and does not want to give her false hopes. In turn he reveals ironically with great sorrow that his love for someone else goes unanswered.

5. TÚNICA NEGRA | Black Tunic
Frei Hermano da Câmara

This tune was written by Portugal’s “Singing Monk”. Frei Hermano da Câmara was born in 1933 and made his first recording in 1959 with great success. In 1961 he entered a monastery and decided to become a Benedictine monk. Eight years later, with the blessing of the Church he re-emerged and still performs today.

This song has great appeal to me. I have always enjoyed wearing black and often perform in black. Apart from its spiritual overtones, the author defends black as being more than a colour of mourning. He promotes it as a symbol of beauty and life. Spring in Portugal is marked by the arrival of one of God’s creatures, the black swallow.

6. FADO DO LADRÃO ENAMORADO | Fado of the Thief in Love
Carlos Tê | Rui Veloso

Rui Veloso is regarded as the “father of Portuguese rock”, this composer and interpreter had a great impact on the Portuguese music scene with the record Ar de Rock (1980). His lyrics are usually written by the great lyricist/poet Carlos Tê. He is an unconditional lover of the blues and one of the most productive and renowned Portuguese musicians. I must confess that he my greatest idol of all Portuguese artists.

This song tells a story of man that steals a fancy necklace for his lover. He wants people to notice it but wants her to tell everyone that it is a fake. He is penniless, thus he doesn’t want to raise suspicion. He believes it was passion that made him do it.

7. Ó MEU AMIGO JOÃO | Hey My Friend John
Jorge Fernando

Here is the tale of a man, a friend, a brother that left the homeland. It speaks of his hardships and his death. His labour helped build someone else’s fortune but not his own. Was it misfortune or did someone force his fate?

8. NO VAZIO DA TUA AUSENCIA | In the Emptiness of Your Absence
Tony Gouveia/Fado menor (traditional) arranged by Custódio Castelo

This is the basic melancholic type of fado in a minor key with a unique impromptu arrangement by virtuoso guitarist Custódio Castelo. This was the last track chosen for the album and it was not on the list to be recorded. The producer, Jorge Fernando felt we needed one more traditional fado. I chose the melody and returned the next day to the studio with new lyrics. It evokes the sentiment of saudade, the sorrow of the longing for someone and expresses the desire to rekindle a love.

9. CARACÓIS | Escargots
D.R. | Traditional

I first heard this tune on Portuguese radio when I was a young boy. Amalia Rodrigues recorded this traditional folk song with fado accompaniment in 1968. It was one of her greatest hits in the Sixties.

Since the song talks about going to Spain and having some escargots with the locals, I thought of bringing together the two distinct national music styles. On this track, one can hear the Portuguese guitar of fado and the flamenco guitar to the rhythm of an Alegria played on a cajón.

10. VIRA A CARA | Turn Around
Tony Gouveia | Tony Gouveia & Hernani Raposo

In the lyrics there is a sly play on words in Portuguese. “Cara” can mean dear as in; “my dear friend” or it can mean “face” as in; “She turned her face in disgust”. The main message in the song is that sincerity is vital in any relationship.

I came up with the chorus and later my longtime great friend, Hernani Raposo; a highly esteemed Luso-Canadian music producer finished the melody and gave it an original arrangement in a fado context.

11. LÁGRIMA | Tear
Amália Rodrigues | Carlos Gonçalve

The great queen of fado, Amália wrote the lyrics to this fado ballad. It was the title song (and also the last song) on her final album of all-new studio material, “Lágrima”, released in 1983 and featuring exclusively her own lyrics. The song is heavy with great sorrow and desperation. The words are very moving: “For one of your tears, joyfully I would let myself be killed!”

Many female artists have recorded it but very few males have attempted it.

12. TRIGUEIRINHA | Green-Eyed Dark-Skinned Girl
Jorge Fernando | Vilar da Costa

This is a man’s challenge to a green-eyed dark-skinned beauty with a naughty charm. He wants her to show her vocal attributes and to the sing him a love song to the beat of the heart. In the end it all came undone. He is left to deal with the rejection.

13. ACELERA O PASSO | Pick Up the Pace
Tony Gouveia | Hernani Raposo

This is a portrayal of a businessman beyond his prime who is struggling to keep up with the fast pace of this high-tech century. The demands of an extremely competitive global market are taking a toll. With the quest for a profit, gone are the moments of leisure and conversation. Can he survive it all and a what cost?

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