Rodrigo y Gabriela
"We aren't flamenco" guitarist Gabriela often declares during their live show. She is half of the most amazing guitar band I have ever seen, and I have seen them all. To paraphrase the Princess Bridge > Clapton, Page, Garcia? Simpletons! Beck, Buckingham, Corgan? Idiots! I say that to say this: You too need to discover the amazing and mind blowing acoustic guitar songs of Rodrigo y Gabriela, a Mexican power duo based out of Dublin, Ireland and currently touring the USA.
I caught them accidentally opening at a Robert Randolph show the other night. Normally, I skip opening bands. However, I wanted to scope a seat because Randolph and Family's shows generally stretch to the four hour mark. As I walked towards the bar, I heard a flamenco band with several percussionists. It seemed cool enough, and I decided to enjoy them after I settled. I settled and found the huge Spanish band with a barrage of percussionists was two folks on stage: Rodrigo y Gabriela. Sorry, they don't give their last names anywhere... so I can't give them to you.
These two created the most amazing sounds I have heard from a guitar, and I am a life long guitarist. Also, all of the percussion sounds were coming from the guitar as well. It is simply way too good for me to delineate with mere words... so listen to a few tracks on their Myspace account here. I hadn't heard of them before, but I understand they are making the rounds on your local Clear Channel outlet (in between Jack Johnson and Jack Johnson songs). I picked up the disc at the show, and it came with a DVD showing them perform, so you can see it for yourself... the link is below. Their influences are broad, as proved by the three Metallica songs they did that night. In fact, their amazing take on Cliff Burton's 'Orion' (from Master of Puppets) is on the CD. Also to be found, is a beautiful, but barely recognizable in its new form, Stairway to Heaven. The music is transcendental, and I recommend it highly.
I know I bitch a lot, about Neil Young, Blues Traveler, Black Crowes, the Christian Right. In fact, you make think bitching about stuff is my 'bag'. Not the case, I just get so rarely impressed by great music in this homogenized Clear Channel world that I don't get to throw my praise often. When I do, take it seriously, brother. I told you about the Little Willies, and now I am telling you about these cats. Don't make me an ass. Go out and buy this disc. Don't burn it for your buddies, either. A new band like this needs every single Soundscan number they can get, so the suits will take them seriously too.