By Graham Griffiths
Pirates of the Caribbean Official Music Video. Rodrigo y Gabriela
Mexican guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela have gone from humbly busking on the streets of Dublin, to headlining massive outdoor festivals such as the Irish music festival Oxegen, Glastonbury 2010 and played the King Tuts Tent at T In The Park on 10 July 2010 to name but a few. They’ve even performed in front of U.S. President Barack Obama in May of 2010. More recently, Rodrigo y Gabriela entered the studio with Hans Zimmer to write and record sessions of the score from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides of which the soundtrack was released on May 17, 2011, three days before the film’s release.
Well now that you know how accomplished they are, let me introduce you to their latest studio offering, and why it should be in your car’s CD player… The meaning behind the mysterious numeric title is quite simple: 11 songs written by RyG in tribute to 11 artists who have been most influential on the duo’s style and musical development. Some of the artists payed homage to are: Carlos Santana (with Hanuman, the opening song), Jimi Hendrix (through Buster Voodoo the second song on the album) and Pink Floyd (via the closing song also the title of the album, 11:11). There are also tributes to some lesser known musicians such as Al Di Moela, an acclaimed American jazz-fusion guitarist (payed homage to through song four; Logos) and Shakti, an acoustic group who fuse Indian music with elements of jazz (honoured through song seven, Savitri).
The album varies the mood and tempo from the excited and energetic, through Buster Voodoo, Hanuman, Atman (featuring Alex Skolnick of Testament) and Hora Zero, to slower, gentle and even more entrancing songs like Logos, Atman, Chac Mool and 11:11.
The album is perfect for listening to whilst driving, because there is enough variation in the music to soothe and calm the driver’s temper. But it’s equally suited to your situation if you want to let-fly you fancy footwork, or get lost in a trance-like dance atmosphere.
Rodrigo Sanchez provides fluent lead guitar that seems to flow carefully but easily along with Gabriela Quintero’s astounding percussive abilities and her diverse chord sequences all rich in tone. Together, they form a mysterious combination of jazz, flamenco and hard rock. In a review of one of their previous gigs, The Independent claimed that, “Rodrigo y Gabriela’s secret is maybe quite simple. They are resourceful musicians, and are open-hearted, happy entertainers. That, very often, is what people want.”
Gabriela Quintero (Left) and Rodrigo Sanchez (Right) of Rodrigo y Gabriela
Rodrigo y Gabriela’s 2009 studio album: 11:11