Burqueño reggae-rock band ¡Revìva! has been making music about peace and positivity since early last year. In that short time, the group has had the honor of opening for acclaimed acts like the Wailers. But after ¡Revìva! releases its first album, Change, on Saturday, the band will be transformed. Vocalist Chris Brennan, who sings in English and Spanish, is taking a two-year assignment in Nicaragua with the Peace Corps. He leaves soon after the show. Once he’s in the hemisphere's second-poorest country, Brennan will teach English, as well as start a music exchange program with Van Buren Middle School (where some ¡Revìva! members work). Brennan says he has the full support of his bandmates—Ragen Espinosa (drums), Glenn "Buddha" Benavidez (bass), Jerel Garcia (guitar), Daniel Garcia (keys) and Cody Jones (percussion). "It will be interesting to see if ¡Revìva!’s second album has a Nicaraguan twang to it," he says. We asked Brennan to put his music library on shuffle. Below are the random tracks that appeared.
1) "Better Man" • Keb' Mo' • Playing For Change: Songs Around the World
"This song has a nice blend of banjo, slide guitar and a simple beat that gives it a Southern backyard barbecue sort of vibe. Which makes sense given that Keb' is from Nashville. In the song, he says he’s gonna make his world a better place by making himself a better man first."
2) "Stephen's Skream Feat. Mike C" • ¡Revìva! • Change
"You said no cheating! This is one of our heaviest songs, literally and metaphorically. In the background is our bassist 'Buddha' Benavidez, screaming to exemplify the pain we felt when one of our close friends and fans, Stephen, died of a heroin overdose. Addiction to heroin and pills has become a large problem in Burque. His brother also gives a shout out to him."
3) "Flores del Caribe" • Guajiras • “Guajiras”
"Guajiras is a local group that used to play around the city quite frequently. This song, meaning 'flowers of the Caribbean,' possesses the typical Cuban/folk rhythm of guajira music, which, simply put, makes you want to find a Latina mistress and dance the night away."
4) "Ring Song" • Krishna Das • Pilgrim Heart
"Looking for a way to make the ride to work less stressful? Put on any of the soothing chants by Krishna Das, an American-born kirtan singer. His deep, soothing voice resonates powerfully, demonstrating a certain level of inner peace. This song is the only one in English on the album and tells the story of an ancient Hindu imprisoned for having a vision of Krishna, a Hindu god."
5 ) "Leave" • Glen Hansard • Once soundtrack
"You can hear a pain in Hansard's voice in this song that could only be caused by heartbreak. We often lead people on in this world, dragging them along with us because we're afraid to be honest. In 'Leave,' Hansard demands that his partner say what she needs to and leave!”