Review: Jack Foley
THE spellbinding guitar brilliance of Mexico's finest exports,
Rodrigo Y Gabriela, is displayed to quite breath-taking effect
on this live album, which expertly showcases what an essential
double act this duo have become.
Recorded in Dublin's Christ Church Cathedral and the Manchester
Academy over the past five months, this rare live outing is an
absolute must for anyone who was seduced by their work on Re-Foc.
It also capably realises the duo's successful transition from
former heavy metal band members to acoustic artists of the highest
calibre, as they take in everything from folk, funk, flamenco
and jazz to the timeless brilliance of Astor Piazzolla's evergreen
Such is their enjoyment, that there's even a nod to The White
Stripes, in a blink and you'll miss it homage to Detroit's favourite
citizens, as well as a sublime cover of jazz classic, Take
5, interwoven with Metallica's One, delivered as
only R&G know how.
But then this live album is all about having fun and the energy
contained within is quite infectious.
You'll be clapping and cheering along to the live renditions
of album favourites, and laughing as they crack jokes with their
audience and mix things up a little.
All of which serves to ensure that Rodrigo Y Gabriela continue
to remain an inspiration for anyone who has dreamt of playing
a guitar for a living.
Hard to believe, isn't it, that they perfected their skills in
their hometown of Mexico City by playing hard, fast, US-influenced
heavy metal for seven years in a band called Tierra Acida, before
deciding to make the break and go acoustic.
Yet, after busking their way around Europe, including spells
in Denmark and Spain, they eventually settled in Dublin and were
soon wowing crowds at Womad.
As word spread, so did their popularity, culminating in the live
shows that are showcased on this live album.
As a must-own companion to Re-Foc, or simply as an outstanding
acoustic guitar album in its own right, this is a Latin-influenced
dazzler that possesses all the passion and desire that we have
come to expect from that continent.
It should leave you breathless.