Guillermo Anderson has put Honduran music and culture on the global map. This has not been an overnight event. The singer, guitarist and songwriter has been recording and performing for more than two decades now, operating out of his home town of La Ceiba, on the Caribbean side of his country. He has recorded a dozen albums on the homespun Costa Norte label, owned and operated for the past fifteen years by Max Urso in Tegucigalpa, the capitol of Honduras. It should be noted that each of Anderson’s rcordings have their own, unique sound, a key in demonstrating that like Costa Rica, Honduras also has a versatile, panoramic spectrum of musical styles and genres. Papaya Music, a major recording company in Costa Rica agrees: the produced a greatest hits CD, “Llevarte al Mar” for distribution here on their label.
Max actually took Guillermo to Italy to record his debut album, “Desde el Fondo del Mar,” This initial connection to Europe would help open the doors to his touring there later. His second recording, “Costa y Calor” has a definite “Caribe” feel to it. Many of Guillermo’s albums do (he is from the Caribbean coast, afterall), but I think it is essential to understand that there is not just one style of Caribbean music. Anderson sings calypso songs but, as in his “El Tesoro Que Tenes,” he concentrates on music of the Honduran Mesquitia area which is built on the indigenous peoples of that area. The same is true of his work with the Honduran Garifuna, a subset of indigenous Arawak who began cohabitating with Afrikaners more than four centuries ago.
He has recorded another concept album, “Mujer Canciones, Cancion Mujer” in which each song is written about a different woman, concentrating on her strengths. And “Para los Chiquitos” is a collection of Guillermo Anderson songs directed at children. This album became so popular in Honduras that a section of people there thought that kid’s songs was Anderson’s only forte. My two favorite Guillermo Anderson albums are “Pobre Marinero” and “Del Tiempo y del Tropico.” His most recent album, “Lluvia Con Sol” (“Sunshowers”) was released last year.
Anderson’s guitar playing is amazingly clean and bright. He has a very clear, distinct voice, a perfect compliment to his guitar work. And he writes almost all the songs he records. He and Urso have been working extensively on getting the Anderson global exposure he deserves. He toured Japan in 2009 with rave reviews and has returned to Europe twice to perform in Italy, Spain, Portugal & Switzerland. He has toured the U.S. & Canada as well as South America, all with warm responses. Last April, he appeared again in San Jose and last month he played in Managua, Nicaragua.
I think a testament to his stature in his home country is that his song “En Mi Pais” (In My Country) is used by all three Honduran television stations as there nightly sign-off.