Music: Little Silver Hands

In a whitewashed, thatch-roofed cabaret in St.-Maries-de-la-Mer, west of the French Riviera, the crowd sat in the smoky darkness one night last week as the guitarist strummed the gypsy rhythms that he had learned as a boy. The slight, intense performer did not like the feel of the crowd—"les marts," he contemptuously called them, "the dead ones." His playing was listless until midnight, when the dead ones left, and an enthusiastic group of flamenco appreciators—some gypsies among them—arrived from Aries. Then 29-year-old Ricard Baillardo (Manita de Plata, or Little Silver Hands to his...

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