Rodrigo y Gabriela On Unknown Sundays 2024


The record store junkie in me visits them all over the US and Canada, and as you would expect, if I’m in a foreign country — that doesn’t deter me either. However this story doesn’t start in Mexico City, where the band is from, this one goes to Bogota Colombia, where my wife and I were there adopting our first child. So, one afternoon, we took a cab up to The Hacienda Santa Barbara. Now, you know me, I brought everything I needed to play my music, which amounted to a CD case of what I had selected for 24 albums, the laptop to play them, and a backdoor link to some of my start of digitizing my catalog (although the internet speed in our abode was not first world). That’s right, I was not on a streaming service at the time, and I’m not quite sure if it would have even worked, considering the connection and out-of-country IP. But, I was prepared to purchase some native music from across the genres, so that my daughter could continue to be immersed in her culture’s sounds, as well as for me to enjoy.

I did my homework, and knew that I would do several compilations (especially in the folk concepts), but I was truly fascinated to get into the Jazz, Electronica, and the acoustic playing. Bogota is a Spanish settlement. So, obviously, there’s a deep search going on in the store, as they tend to sell a bit more of the Western music because of exposure. So, for some reason, in the World Section (will call it, or at least I called it with my limited Spanish), I see this eyeball of a lizard or a dragon, and I’m immediately taken by the name Rodrigo y Gabriela, and it had this sticker claiming all sorts of great things! And, there were two mentions that immediately drew my attention, covers of “Stairway To Heaven” and “Orion” by Metallica. Oh you got some balls on you! Snag! Mission accomplished! Several albums, got the cultural music, after some broken Spanish communication, and a huge thumbs up from the one person behind the counter when they registered the Rodrigo y Gabriela album.

Surprise! They’re not from Bogota, Colombia. Somehow, they just were in the wrong bin title, or placed there unknowingly. But, oh thank you that mistake because I might have had to wait even longer to make the connection to this great duo out of Mexico City.

The minute it started I could immediately discern their unique manifesto to conquer the sound environment through especiale guitar workings, which at point were mostly acoustic (or at least in the first several studio albums Rodrigo y Gabriela played acoustically to each other with other artists coming in with an electric guitar in some spots along with the other instruments. Remarkable and impeccably produced, even the album, Re-Froc, which I believe was done without any microphones.  Also, the pounding of face of the guitar is the percussion in a lot of their music, and a backbone of their rhythmic connection as well as to the audience.

The duo does love the cover, and of course the more complicated the better. From Echoes (Pink Floyd) to Al Di Meola, Jimi Hendrix, and Carlos Santana. We were able to see them perform a few years ago with our two children at the University of Buffalo Center for the Arts, and it was a masterful acoustic and electric session of mind blowing proportions. I know it wasn’t Drake or Gavin DeGraw, but they knew they were in the presence of two talented, outrageously ferocious guitar players, and the Flamenco style was something they don’t hear in their music much, and that’s mostly true of the music multiverse. That’s why when they come up again the Metallica Three Album Tribute and do “The Struggle Within” to close the four disc set, you know the tremendous respect they have in the industry for their unique sound and love of music.

They were recently at Ameba Record Store in a YouTube “What’s In My Bag” and I just loved their choices, and it’s moments like that — that feed my curiosity for sounds and more music exploration. If you’ve not heard of Rodrigo y Gabriela, you should definitely give their flamenco modernized style and variety a good listen, especially if you’re an Al Di Meola fan, as they can certainly give him a run for his title.

Albums by Rodrigo y Gabriela In My Collection
  • Re-Froc (2002)
  • Rodrigo Y Gabriela (2006) – oddly enough released in Ireland.
  • 11:11 (2009) [Yes, that’s a Pink Floyd song title and they cover it.
  • Area 52 [Live] (2012) That’s with a Cuban orchestra.
  • 9 Dead Alive (2014) Which is all about paying homage to famous people and their triumphs.
  • Mettavolution (2019) – We’re going electric and acoustic.
  • In Between Thoughts…A New World (2023)
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