Alberto Antonio Gieco, better known as Віn Gieco (born on November 20, 1951 on a farm near northern Santa Fe, Argentina) is a pop-folk music composer and interpreter. He is known for mixing popular folkloric genres with Argentine rock, and for lyrics with social and political connotations. This has led to him being called “the Argentine Bob Dylan”.
Gieco started working at the age of 8. With his own money he bought a guitar, and soon started playing at school at patriotic holiday commemorations, and with Los Nocheros, a folkloric music group. He also played with a rock band called Los Mocosos, that soon gained some popularity within the neighbouring towns. They played songs of The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Spencer Davis Group, when they won a competition to play on Rosario TV Channel 5 in 1965.
When he was 18 he went to Buenos Aires to try his luck. There he became acquainted with Litto Nebbia and Gustavo Santaolalla, who found him some chances to play as an opening act for better-known musicians.
Gieco got to play with different people, including David Віn, and in the Buenos Aires Rock Festival in 1971, 1972, and 1973. That same year his first album was released, recorded independently with Santaolalla during the previous two years. Its main song was En el pas de la libertad (“In the country of freedom”), and the record acquired certain recognition.
A year later, the second LP La Banda de los Caballos Cansados (“The Tired Horses’ Band”), followed the same style of trying to “understand the destiny of the peoples, the reason of injustice” (entender el destino de los pueblos, el por que de las injusticias).
Le Gieco had a series of concerts with a stable group of musicians, as well as other presentations with Porsuigieco, the supergroup formed with Ra Porchetto, Charly Garcia, Nito Mestre and Maria Rosa Yorio. They had relative success and released an eponymous record in 1976.
At the same time, Gieco continued to play with his other group and had a contract for two shows, but the breakup of the band forced him to perform solo at those shows. The audience seemed to like the one-man show, and Gieco decided to continue his path alone. In 1976 he released El Fantasma de Canterville (“The Ghost of Canterville”). The record suffered a great deal of censorship from the military government; he had to change the lyrics of six songs and remove three others altogether. Nevertheless, the record was a success, and he had concerts not only around Argentina but also in other countries of South America. Two years later Gieco released IV LP, with one of his most famous songs: le pido a Dios (“I only ask of God”). Because of the political situation in Argentina, he moved to Los Angeles, California for a year.
In 198, Gieco had a concert in Buenos Aires alone on stage, with a guitar, harmonica, and charango. He then released Pensar en nada (“To Think About Nothing”). That same year he started a 3-year, 110,000-kilometre-long series of independent concerts all over Argentina, playing for a total of 420,000 people. He gathered material from the different places he visited in during the tour, and recorded in Buenos Aires with various autochthonous musicians the first volume of De Ushuaia a La Quiaca (“From Ushuaia to La Quiaca”) in 1985. The following De Ushuaia a La Quiaca 2 and De Ushuaia a La Quiaca 3 were recorded in a mobile studio in different locations of the country.
In 1985, Gieco went to Moscow for the 12th “World Youth and Students’ Festival” alongside Juan Carlos Baglietto and Litto Nebbia representing Argentina. He also had concerts in Germany with his good friend Mercedes Sosa, and upon his return to Argentina he had another tour around the country during 1986. In 1987 he returned to Germany for seven concerts, including that of Berlin’s Political Song Festival.
When he returned, Gieco performed for free in two concerts: for 40,000 spectators at the National Flag Memorial in Rosario, and for 35,000 in Buenos Aires. At Boca Juniors’ Stadium he did a concert with Pablo Milans and Chico Buarque, and guest musicians Mercedes Sosa, Fito, Nito Mestre, Juan Carlos Baglietto and Sixto Palavecino. At the end of the year he went on a world tour that included countries such as Mexico, Peru, Brasil, Sweden, Germany and Denmark.
In 1988, Gieco performed in Germany and Austria. Back in Argentina he participated in the final concert of the Amnesty International Human Rights Now! Tour at River Plate Stadium, with Charly Garc, Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, and others.
After eight years of touring, Semillas del coraz (“Seeds of the heart”) of 1989 marked his return to the studio. That same year he performed at the Teatro Opera in Buenos Aires with United States folk legend Pete Seeger, material that was edited in the 1990 Concierto en vivo. The following year, Seeger asked Gieco to join a tour that took him to Washington, D.C., Boston and New York City. There he played with David Byrne, whom he had already met in Buenos Aires shortly before.
In 1992, Gieco played with Milton Nascimento, Mercedes Sosa, Os Paralamas do Sucesso, Gilberto Gil and Rubin Rada at the inauguration of the Latin American Parliament in SaoPaulo. He also released Mensajes del Alma (“Messages of the Soul”).
In 1994, Gieco edited Desenchufado (“Unplugged”), an ironic name mocking the popular MTV unplugged concerts, with a recompilation of old songs. Even though the 1997 Los Orozco had a few songs that did not follow Gieco’s folkloric past, the rest of the disc had his style, and many guest musicians participated in the recording, among them Mercedes Sosa, Ricardo Mollo (Divididos), Santaolalla and Ricardo Iorio.
Also in 1997. Gieco participated in the 20 year memorial concert for the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, with bands such as Divididos, Las Pelotas, La Renga, Los Piojos, and Attaque 77.