For some, finding out that venerable roots artist James Keelaghan and international superstar Oscar Lopez have a band together would require immediate verification on Wikipedia. But it's true -- 10 years ago the two Calgarians joined forces to form Compadres, a duo that somewhat successfully mixes Lopez's Latin jams and Keelaghan's Celtic folk into an odd collection of sounds.
It's not exactly Latin-folk fusion. One song will be heavy on the flamenco guitar and Spanish lyrics while the next is far folkier, which makes for a disjointed listen. Between the two guitarists, Lopez's influence is much stronge. He tacks interesting classical flourishes onto Keelaghan's songs, but it's not vice versa, and the Latin tracks are definitely more thought-provoking than the folkier numbers.
Luckily, this is just a pet project for the two, and it sounds like they had fun, so if good times rather than great songs was the goal, they succeeded.
Compadres play Hugh's Room Tuesday (October 16).