Keep it simple.
It’s easy to forget sometimes. Like when you are looking out across a riot of 35,000 smiles at the Hollywood Bowl, with a 40 piece orchestra exploding behind you.
Like when someone asks you, very politely, if you could just do that 16 second piece of score for the animated cat; again please?
Or even when you’re melting in humid Havana, translating an alien musical language with some cool Cuban compadres.
Keep it simple. Strip it back. Remember where you came from.
These words kept coming back to Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero, from their humble roots busking in Dublin, playing Metallica bossa nova style in hotel bars for their own amusement; before they became one of the biggest selling acoustic instrumental acts in the world.
After finishing the successful “Area 52” album in Cuba, and taking it on the road with Cuban musicians, Rodrigo y Gabriela decided to downsize. After all, it’s a short step from tour to entourage, so go back to basics, rediscover the joy of playing face to face, guitar versus guitar, rhythm and melody.
Gabriela: “My idea was to record it as if we were to playing a live gig in your living room”.
First and foremost, Rodrigo y Gabriela’s new album “9 Dead Alive” is a FEEL record. It’s closest relative in the RyG canon would be 2006's self-titled break-out album. The playing is intuitive, the sound is intimate, the results are spectacular: bursting with melodic energy and rhythmic invention.
Recorded at their Pacific Coast hideaway in late summer, the album captures the warmth and spontaneity of two great musicians riffing and jamming together; perfectly distilled into 9 new songs teeming with desire, elegance and gusto.
Where does the inspiration for this luminous, unadulterated music come from? Remember where you come from, remember your gifts are slender compared to the sacrifices of others. Each of the songs on the album is a personal celebration of individuals who have passed on, but through their deeds and words still resonate in the 21st century.
Going as far back as Eleanor of Acquitaine (1122 – 1204) to Viktor Frankl (1905 – 1997), and including a tribute to one of Rod & Gab’s enduring touchstones – animals and nature. The nonet celebrated in this diverse and fascinating list will strike a chord with anyone familiar with the duo’s passion for human rights, literature, history and philosophy.
Rodrigo y Gabriela left Mexico at the end of the millennium. Since then they have played for presidents, toured the world many times over, written soundtracks for Hollywood block-busters, and sold over 1.5 million albums. “9 Dead Alive” sees them bring their timeless music all the way back home. Simple.