The flamenco soul of David McLean graces Oaklandside

Everyone knows that the Bay Area has a tremendous music scene, but how many of you are aware that it boasts the most active Flamenco scene outside Spain? Guitarist David McLean is one of the mainstays there and this amazing Oaklandside article by the awesome Andy Gilbert dives in deep.

The flamenco soul of David McLean

The Oakland guitarist—an essential player in the Bay Area’s vibrant flamenco scene—performs Sunday at The Sound Room.

by Andrew Gilbert
November 9, 2021

Oakland flamenco guitarist David McLean rehearsing with his wife, the esteemed dancer and vocalist Clara Rodriguez. McLean is releasing a new album, “Te Canto Colores,” in mid-Nov featuring many prominent players in the Bay Area flamenco scene. He is celebrating the album’s release with a performance at The Sound Room on Nov. 14. Credit: Amir Aziz

Flamenco tends to strike suddenly, seizing the soul of unsuspecting listeners with its finely calibrated balance between physical control and unbridled emotion. The combination of blazing guitar runs, propulsive hand claps (palmas), wailing vocals (cante), percussive footwork, and passionately defiant gestures (baile) flows from a worldview that transforms everyday struggles into exquisite, strikingly cathartic expression. 

Encountered at the right moment, the Andalusian art form has been known to reconfigure entire lives. At least that’s the way American-born artists who’ve dedicated themselves to flamenco describe falling under its spell. For Oakland guitarist David Scott McLean, a mainstay on the Bay Area flamenco scene for the past 15 years, even a course of flamenco guitar lessons didn’t prepare him for his first brush with an unadulterated Gitano performance. Read the rest at

Published by Ron Kadish

Founder and chief bottle washer at Dog Ranch Music PR

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