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Enrique Bunbury’s careful with his carols this time of year

2012 LatRecording Academy PersOf The Year Honoring Caetano Veloso - Arrivals

2012 Latin Recording Academy Person Of The Year Honoring Caetano Veloso - Arrivals

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Updated: December 29, 2012 6:28AM



The sounds of the season, wafting through a hotel lobby, caught the attention of Latin rock star Enrique Bunbury.

“That’s something [a holiday disc] you will never see me doing,” said the Spanish-born singer-songwriter, looking as usual rather angelic with his halo of thick curls, in an interview here Tuesday.

So don’t expect to hear “Silent Night” or “Sleigh Ride” when he and his band, Los Santos Inocentes, perform Wednesday at the Congress Theater.

Though seasonal songs doesn’t jingle his bells, he’s not a Grinch. “I love Phil Spector,” he said, referring to the classic disc “A Christmas Gift for You” (1963) — which featured an all-star backing band of Jack Nitzsche, Hal Blaine and Sonny Bono on percussion, Leon Russell on piano, and Barney Kessel and Nino Tempo on guitars. “Also Elvis Presley, any of his Christmas albums.”

Bunbury doesn’t really begrudge anyone his carols. Not even Rod Stewart, whose latest cash-in is the hit “Merry Christmas, Baby.” “He’s still a great singer.” He does draw the line at “Christmas in the Heart” (2009). “I love Bob Dylan, but that album was horrible.”

He reserves nothing but praise for Los Santos Inocentes, easily the equal of the Spector ’63 band. (Los Santos replaced the much-beloved Huracan Ambulante, which backed him from 1997 to 2005.) “This is the best moment now for this band,” he said. “I feel it onstage. It has been a long tour but we are in an incredible place right now.”

Note: This is part of a much longer interview, which will appear at a later date in the Sun-Times.



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