Salsa superstar Ruben Blades has released a new album after a six-year absence from the music scene during which he was Minister of Tourism for his native country. The 61-year-old Grammy winner from Panama says the CD, “Songs of Underdevelopment” (Cantares del Subdesarrollo) is a tribute to Cuba, his mother’s homeland. It is also a tribute to the Cuban film Memories of underdevelopment by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea.
Blades says he played most of the instruments heard on the CD recorded in the garage of his Los Angeles home. He says the album, which he began to work on in 2003, is full of simple sounds that reflect Latin America’s popular music.
In a statement Monday, he says the CD will be sold through his website (http://www.rubenblades.com ). He plans a tour that will start Aug. 21 with a concert in Puerto Rico.