Niño Chácara - a Tenerife rock band with a difference

Live music at El Risco Hippie Bar

El Risco is a very popular Tenerife bar and restaurant with a difference because it is hidden away up a mountain surrounded by forests. It is also known as the Eco Bar and the Hippie Bar which will tell you a bit about what to expect there.

It features all sorts of rock, blues, folk artists, singers and bands, and is known as a really great place to check out the best of independent live music in Tenerife in a truly rural setting. Think of a bar like a log cabin surrounded by woods with the acts playing outside in a small beer garden with a very enthusiastic audience of locals and those in the know because that is what you can expect there.

It was at El Risco that I came upon Niño Chácara, a brilliant folk-rock band with a difference. The group has a lead singer who also plays the stand-up bass. I don't think I have ever seen another band with a front-man who does this!

Niño Chácara on stage

Niño Chácara at El Risco. Photo by Steve Andrews
Niño Chácara at El Risco. Photo by Steve Andrews

Ramón on Double Bass

Ramón Ramos on double bass and vocals. Photo by Steve Andrews
Ramón Ramos on double bass and vocals. Photo by Steve Andrews

Niño Chácara's Ramón on timple

Ramón of Niño Chácara on timple. Photo by Steve Andrews
Ramón of Niño Chácara on timple. Photo by Steve Andrews

All about the rock band Niño Chacara

Niño Chácara are a folk-rock band made up of Rámon Ramos on lead vocals, double bass, timple and percussion, Jaime Marrero on Spanish guitar and backing vocals, Adrián Martínez on semi-acoustic lead guitar and Aarón Morales on drums, percussion and backing vocals too.

A "chácara" is, as far as I can make out, a sort of castanet-style percussion instrument that is played by hand and makes a clacking sound. "Niño" is a boy.

The group played two sets of songs that were all in Spanish and at least one song had a rousing chorus that we could all sing along with. I would class the band's genre as folk-rock because their instrumentation was semi-acoustic, though also incorporated amplified lead guitar with an FX pedal.

What stands out about Niño Chácara though is the singer, who plays the double bass as he performs but also switched to timple for one song. A timple is a very small Canary Islands stringed instrument like a guitar or ukulele. Guitar player Adrián took over on double bass on some songs too.

Singer Rámon has a very fine voice as well as being an accomplished musician. The band are really excellent and would certainly be good enough for festival line-ups in the UK.

My friend Dennis and I were surprised they didn't have a CD for sale. They certainly should get an album out because they have a stand-out sound, really great songs and the audience at El Risco loved them!

Guitar-player Jaime told me that they could be found on Facebook and Myspace but, as yet, I have not been able to find sites there for them which is a pity because Niño Chácara are certainly one of the best Tenerife bands I have seen.

The band are very friendly too and let me borrow a guitar so I could do a set of songs as well. I perform as the Bard of Ely and played my songs Kingfisher and Superhero, as well as covers of Dylan's Knocking On Heaven's Door, America's Horse With No Name, Redemption Song by Bob Marley and Stand By Me, which was originally by Ben E. King but later covered by John Lennon.

San Jose de los Llanos, Tenerife

How to get to El Risco

The easiest way to get to El Risco is to take the road from Puerto de Erjos opposite the freshwater ponds and by the Bar Fleytas. This road is signposted for La Montañeta and San Jose de los Llanos.

You will reach San Jose after a few kilometres and El Risco is up a turning on the right as soon as you get to the village. Just follow this road up the hill and you can't miss it.

The 460 bus from the station at Playa de las Américas, or Costa Adeje as it is now known, goes through Erjos on its way to Icod de los Vinos. There is also the 360 that goes from Puerto de Erjos to Icod or vice versa. Check the Titsa bus timetable for times.

Sunday afternoons are best for chcking out live music at El Risco and relaxing with a meal and a drink on a Tenerife mountainside.

El Colorao y el timple I

© 2012 Steve Andrews

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