Jim ParisiMusic Review

Lucky Thirteen for Costa Norte

Costa NorteBy Jim Parisi

Max Urso is a busy guy, a tireless visionary. He started his recording studio and label, Costa Norte Records, in San Pedro Sula, Honduras in 1998, after hearing a rough cassette tape of Honduran singer/songwriter Guillermo Anderson performing and perceived a real need for a recording studio in the country. Both Guillermo and Garifuna singer Aurelio Martinez were recently included in the Central American Music Box CD, a compilation album demonstrating the musical diversity of this region. It is an accomplishment that all three of them are very proud about and happy to be a part of.

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Max is now building a new recording studio “from scratch” and is hoping it will be ready in the near future. The new studio is also in San Pedro and will actually be next door to his house there, so when inspiration arrives, he will not have far to walk! He is also keeping the original name: Tarantula Studios. Sr. Urso already has plans to record the premier albums for two young, very talented local singer/songwriters, Rodrigo Cervantes and twenty-four year old phenom Sonny Moran, who is already receiving notice for his single “Misterio”. Sr. Urso also informed me of a new Guillermo Anderson CD in the works for 2011, his twelfth in as many years for Costa Norte. Guillermo is the label’s best known artist, with fans all over the world. It looks like Urso’s new recording studio will be busy as soon as its doors open.

Max Urso was a member of Khaos, the second Rock ‘n Roll band to form in Central America. He now plays in The Khaoticos, who have the distinction of being the only Central American group to be invited to play on “Strummer”, a tribute CD to The Clash. The band has been steadily recording new material and they would like to have enough material and time to record a new CD (their third) this year, too. Urso is also very proud to have had the opportunity to work with Joey Ramone, on a record Max produced in New York more than a decade ago for an Italian band called Senzabenza. He should be very proud of what he has created at Costa Norte Records, too.

We talked about how musical influences fail to recognize manmade borders, how musical styles like calypso and Garifuna have equal influences up and down the Caribbean, regardless of the name of the country. Certainly, both these styles of music that stretch along the entire eastern shoreline of Central America are well represented on the Costa Norte label. I know that one of Urso’s goals is for the music of Honduras and of all Central America to be heard on a further reaching scope.

So, now Costa Norte is a teenager! Max’s new recording studio should help the musical styles here to get the recognition they deserve. It may also serve as an incentive for musicians outside the area to come to Honduras to record, creating a whole new level of interplay. And that can only be a good thing for everyone involved. Happy birthday Costa Norte!

2 thoughts on “Lucky Thirteen for Costa Norte

  • Well deserved words for my friend and partner, who has done so much for Honduras music.
    With regards,

  • I am very confident about what the new Tarantula-studio will offer.
    My best wishes to my friend Max…

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