"5" er Carolina Gonzalez's revisiting of the Ruben Blades cinematic starring vehicle Crossover Dreams, got us in the mood to look back at one of the great salsa records of the genre's golden era, Willie Colon presents Ruben Blades: Metiendo Mano.
Sandwiched between Colon's lauded The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (Fania-1975)--featuring Blades and the departing Hector Lavoe--and the seminal Colon/Blades landmark LP Siembra (Fania-1978), Metiendo Mano is regarded by many as a solid precursor of bigger things to come, but plays "lean and mean, and thus light on its feet, like a welterweight boxer."
Among the stellar tracks on the album, are "Segun el Color", "Plantacion Adentro", "La Mora", and our personal fave "Pablo Pueblo" which our ears fell in love with from the very first time.
Here's Colon and Blades at a 1998 Amnesty International concert in Venezuela performing a rousing version of "Pablo Pueblo", which--as Blades states on stage--was written some 30 years prior. [Metiendo Mano album cover courtesy of allmusic.com]
(By the way, yesterday was Blades' big 6-0, so Feliz Cumpleaños, señor.)