Carlos Paredes was once almost hit by the famed Fado singer Amália Rodrigues, while performing at her home. Rumor has it that this was her reaction whenever she was deeply moved by someone's artistry. Paredes was one of the greatest Portuguese guitarists, and a symbol of the Portuguese culture - not simply a great composer, but one of the men behind the world-wide understanding of his instrument and his country.
The Portuguese guitar is an instrument that dates back several hundred years. It was built according to different standards around the country, but by the time Paredes began playing it, it had been generally agreed upon the construction: a short-necked, wide-bodied instrument with twelve-strings strung in six courses comprising two steel strings each. It has a distinctive tuning mechanism and it is most notably associated with the traditional Portuguese popular music known as fado.
Carlos Paredes, "the Man with a Thousand Fingers," passed away in 2004, after a long, ten-year fight with a disease that tragically prevented him from playing his instrument in those final years of his life. His musical voice has never really been stilled – but the Drag City reissues of the Guitarra Portuguesa (1967) and Movimento Perpétuo (1971) LPs marks the first time they have ever been released in the U.S. and the first time they have been repressed anywhere, since 1983. The artwork for both records is a near-perfect copy of the originals, complete with original Portuguese liner notes (and English translations for the unfortunates among us who do not speak the língua portuguesa).
Movimento Perpétuo is next-level Paredes. Four years after his debut, Carlos was working beyond the boundaries of traditional Portuguese music, playing his Coimbra guitar in a way that the whole world could appreciate!