Charlie Baran has lived a life of music. Before moving the the United States he was a founding member of the legendary Honduran musical group Banda Blanca, who’s song “Sopa de Caracol” became the #1 Billboard Top Latin Songs hit in 1992. Now a maintenance man at a Catholic grade school by day, Charlie has kept his musical flame glowing largely through acoustic solo performances around Chicago for the past ten years.
Charlie Baran is a true virtuoso. No one sees him perform without recognizing the presence of a true master – an heir to a rich tradition of Honduran music, as well as a guitar slinging showman and a gifted songwriter whose skill transcends all genres. But throughout most of his career he has existed in the shadows – until the formation of Radio Free Honduras.
Radio Free Honduras is a diverse collective of Chicago musicians, all united under one goal – supporting the artistry of Charlie Baran and bringing this tremendous talent into the spotlight where it belongs. Founded by Dan Abu-Absi, longtime guitarist for JT and the Clouds and Birds of Chicago, Radio Free Honduras plays mostly Baran originals, but their live shows often feature a wide variety of reimagined cover songs. This band provides Charlie with the wide musical pallet his talent (and songs) deserve. Abu-Absi has gathered a large, revolving collective of some of Chicago’s most talented musicians; lively percussion, eclectic instrumentation, and rich harmonies all provide the backdrop, allowing Charlie to do what he does best – stunning guitar work, tapping into what seems a limitless supply of energy and enthusiasm for music.
Charlie Baran has lived a long and storied musical life – but very few are familiar with his side of the story. Radio Free Honduras has made it their mission to change that.
Radio Free Honduras Recent Press
“Traditional Honduran music with Rhumbas, Los Lobos inspired rock, and south of the border soul. Baran has made a record that feels right at home as a summer sound-track for Chicago’s eclectic Latin neighborhoods.” (Illinois Entertainer)
“The Midwest is heating up thanks to Radio Free Honduras, an eclectic group that can’t be categorized as within any traditional genre. That’s because they take Honduran Punta, mix it with Spanish Flamenco, Rock ‘n Roll, Jazz Fusion, and throw in a little bit of Latin country music. You have to hear it to believe it!” (Jacira Castro, President, SalsaPower.com)
“Our festival audience loved the Gipsy Kings-meets-Los Lobos sound of Radio Free Honduras.” (Rico Neller, Midwest LatinoFest)
“Radio Free Honduras is great Latino music – just try not dancing to it. Honduran-born Charlie Baran is a triple threat singer, songwriter and musician. His guitar runs are jet-propelled roller coasters, and his mid-tempo and romantic melodies are beautiful. Baran wrote 11 tracks, crafting irresistible Cuban-style dance (“Vengan Vengan”), playful (“Picale Picale”), bouncy rock (“Otra Cerveza”), and romantic (“Cancion de Amor”) songs. The disc is beautifully arranged and produced.” (Tahree Lane, Toledo Blade)
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