After a brief distribution stint in the U.S.

After a brief distribution stint in the U.S. with Balboa Records, Colombian troubadour Andrés Cepeda has released his follow-up on Colombia's Discos FM. An eclectic mix of Latin rhythms, El Carpintero is an entirely acoustic album that manages to have a decidedly contemporary feel. Cepeda balances tradition with vision, blending Colombian rhythms, boleros, and even mariachi with a certain edginess that depends more on the sincerity of the music than slick production. El Carpintero can be danced to (as in "El Tren") or simply savored (as in Cepeda's aching version of Alvaro Carrilo's "Sabor a Dios"). And although this album tends to be all over the map when it comes to musical styles, it also slowly reaches out and takes hold of the listener.—LC