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This is K-E-X-P Seattle, that's music from a Hubei, from South Africa, group led by Steve Dyer and Oliver with the Kutsi, who's coming to town soon. In September, but coming to town, actually tomorrow night, they're here now, actually. Rodrigo, you can probably get every other welcome, Rodrigo, Gabriela, and really honored to have you here and starting out through U.S. tour here in the U.S. and let's hear some music and then we can talk about it. Would you like to play? Would you like to play? Would you like to play something called Tamacon? Tamacon? Yeah. Rodrigo, you, Gabriela. Do you like to play something called Tamacon?
Do you like to play something called Tamacon? Yeah, it's a third track, it's about a person, a natural person, isn't it? It's about a guy called Tamacon, who lives in the Pacific Ocean, Mexico, and he takes
care of their crocodile community there. It's a crazy guy. Sounds like an interesting guy in a really song about that. Just to introduce you a little bit, you're from Mexico City, but you've been living in Dublin in Europe the last, what, six, seven years, and must be real change from living in Mexico. Well, yeah, it was, it's a predictable story, and it's just a bit crazy, but everything started in our metal band in Mexico, about maybe 10 years ago, and you guys were playing in the band together. Yeah, we played the band together, a band called Tirasida, and we played like a mix between influenced by metallic Pantera and all those. Eventually, because we worked in another, like, office jobs, we didn't leave for music, so we kind of got tired of trying to make it with our metal band in Mexico City, which is not a very good idea, and the end of the day we decided to just go and really play
guitar and make a live in a semisitions, and so our goal was to become a super background musician and the hotels in the beach, and just play music there and learn more about different types of guitar. So you switched from electric to acoustic back there? Exactly, yeah, that's what we did, and then eventually we wanted to travel the world like kind of an adventure, you know, and that's what we say, okay, let's go to Europe, and we kind of choose Ireland as a first place to be. Yeah, a lot of people might have guessed you'd go to Madrid or go to a Spanish-speaking area, but you wanted some different. Yeah, because, you know, the obvious place to go for a Mexican kind of young guy is Madrid or Paris, or even London, though, but we come from a massive city, you know? What is it?
20 million people? Yeah, that's five, 10, 6, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, so we just wanted to go to somewhere smaller, and unknown, we didn't know really anything about Ireland, I'd prefer for you too, so everybody knows you too. Dublin is a really nice-sized city, so you can walk from one end to the next, and it's just a real friendly place, we were talking about. In general Ireland, it's a very musical, extremely musical country, and they have, well, they have their traditional music, which is still alive, pretty much. They have amazing musicians in the traditional Irish music. They're very progressive, very innovative, and they also have great jazz musicians, and they have also great singer-songwriters. So every night in Dublin City, and I had different places in Ireland, you're going to find music, at the beginning, because we were so ignorant, we didn't know, you know, but that was the idea to kind of learn, so we arrived that into that place, and then...
So you became buskers, I mean, you became buskers, yeah. Which, in terms, I know people know in this country, but in Europe, busking is just playing out in the street, and there's a big busking tradition all over Europe. And, for example, in Mexico, a busker will be seen more like a beggar or something. But in Europe, it's different, because you see very good performers and musicians and actors and all sort of a jungle there, you know. It's just... But it can be pretty competitive, but you get in the right spot, and you must have fed a... But, you know, it's a community, it's great, because just start, the first time you go there, you don't know everyone, and obviously all the people, all the buskers, they know each other, most of them, they know each other. And that's what happened to us, was that we heard a guitar, and it was actually a Mexican guy, busking in Grafton Street, which is... And we didn't, at that time, when we met him, we were still thinking that we could play in a hotel or whatever, and we met the guy, and he was very friendly, and went
to have coffee in two weeks after we had to start busking. So we came back to him and said, listen, you've got to tell us how to do it, you know. And... We didn't have any English. Yeah. So it was a very lucky that we got all the instructions in this van, and everything. See, you went over there, we're not speaking much English, we learned there. There, it was just completely nonsense decision. But it's... Once you get to know the buskers, then they take care of the prizes, and because it's in Ireland, it's not like organized, you know, like in other countries that they give you a license and all that, you can busk, but you have to be friendly with the others, then you can just share the places and the good spots. So for example, you said, like, okay, I'm going to start tomorrow at 10, and then the other guy comes to the lab, and all that stuff, you know, and then gives a full schedule. But it's formal, and then unless you track a lot of people, then the shops can complain with guard at the police, and then the police is coming, stub you for a while, just to make
people just to move a little bit, and then you can start again. It's pretty friendly and pretty cool. So it was Grafton Street, the best place to be in trouble? It was, except for their rain. Well, sure. Sometimes it was like, oh my god, 15 minutes, play, play, play, fast as you can, and then rain, and then just go back, you know, it was crazy. Like, in this plane was different, the police wasn't friendly at all. So whether it was good, police wasn't good, and Denmark was the same, was so full of rules, and critical rules, you know. So Dublin was a place for you. Yeah. I want to hear more music, and find out the story about how you guys got signed in John like you made a record, you know, let's hear some more music, but we didn't like you too. Yeah, well, what do you want to play? Okay, let's go. Juan Loco, as well. Let's go. He's at a tribute to John Lakey, actually. Oh, John Loco. Yeah. Okay. All right, there you go.
Thank you so much. That's called Juan Loco for John Leckey. So I should mention they're here in town playing tomorrow night and Wednesday night, the first time in Seattle, one of the first shows in the United States at Jazz Alley. So come on out and see him. And I have to ask you then, how did you make it from where just I'm busking the streets and all of a sudden, I hear your records up in the charts, and you made a record with John Leckey, and how did all this happen? Well, after we spent a year in Dublin, we went to travel in around Europe, and we did same that we did in Ireland.
We were busking in different countries in Denmark, and Spain, and France, and then we eventually got a call from a friend that owned a club in Dublin. He said, like, you want to come and play, and we were in Barcelona at the time. He said, okay, let's go and see the friends and all that. We came back to Dublin, and we started playing in Pops and all that, and eventually we ran into a friend that we met when we were living for the first time there. We were buskers all together, and this guy called them in rice, and he's at the time. I mean, he's a Samsung writer, and he was a friend of ours, and he invited us to support his gigs, at the time he started to make his own gigs, and he started to become big. So he said, yeah, I mean, support a gig, I mean, we didn't even know what was going to be like. We went there, and went down very well, and we met that night, actually, we met our manager, which is who is our manager now.
And then, I mean, we just got the record label and the deal, and it took like three years to get to this album, which has been finally released around the world. The first album was released just in Ireland, and the second was kind of a live album that we put out in 2004 that helps a lot to open the UK market. And then, John Electric came, you know, that we had to do this album, this new album, which was out in Europe in February of this year. And it's about to be released here. Yeah, in October, it's going to be released in states, and in America, actually, in Mexico and Canada. So we were supposed, we talked to our manager, he said, okay, listen, we want to do the record, but we want to go to our house in Mexico and the beach, and do the record there, and we're going to get our, just take our gear and to buy a little bit of more nice and shiny microphones and all that.
We went to our place with Irish people, Irish crew and all that, friends and some engineer and all that. And we just spent all time drinking, and it wasn't a recording, and I mean, we did a few demos, but we weren't very happy with the quality of the demos and all that. So we were a dragon, and we came back to Ireland and not no album. And the label was a little bit concerned, and then he got this, they started to send the demos to the albums, to the producers, and he got in contact with John, and at the same time with a guy who produced Chris Street, I think Chris Street, or something like that. He produced Nora Jones and the last Gypsy Kings album. And he was very interested, so he rang us, and we were like, I mean, he was so cool and he was in New York, and we were about to go to New York, but he had like a world music
kind of video album, and for some reason, I mean, we sound the world music and sometimes we step into that world, but for example, in New York, we are not in that kind of world at all. We are more in the rock kind of scene, and that's where we come from, actually, in the way. We felt more comfortable with the rock. And then John Lake, he was in UK, and he actually flew to Ireland, and he was so into, you know, he wanted to do it. So we flew to UK, and ended up doing the album in Bristol, right? Yeah, in Bath, Bath, Bath, yeah, beautiful place, but yeah, I mean, and it was a very good experience. I have to ask you a quick question, a lot of people say, well, this is, you know, one of the big influences on which you do are describing it as a flamenco, but you're so emphatic that it's not flamenco. You put that right on the album, and when I hear you, I can hear that it's not flamenco, it's just that I think it's because that percussive sound, you get on the guitars and people associate that with flamenco.
And so what you're playing style by is it's not flamenco. And some of the harmonies in Roomba, but Roomba is Cuban as well, and Roomba from Costa Rica, and Roomba, Roomba, Flamenco. So the harmonies pretty much the same, but flamenco has different language all together. They have, it's almost as ritualistic, and it has different measures, and it has different rhythms, like Boula Diaz, that's all they are. And there's a whole very much a very special vocal style. So it's different. So I guess we have influenced by flamenco guitarists, that Paco de Lucie, and all those, which they have mixed flamenco with jazz music. So because sometimes we do some jazzy chords and sounds with the acoustic guitars, it might sound that we had influence from those that like the three-yoguitar, but if people don't listen that carefully, then they can feel that we play pretty much like that, but it's
different. It's just a matter of flamenco people will be happy, you know, we don't care. When you say trio guitar, you're talking about the record that John McLaughlin did with Paco de Lucie. Yeah, they did three records. Who's the third guitar player's Paco? I didn't know that. Oh, I didn't know that. I hear a little bit out of me over there. Yeah. But out of me, it really comes from a jazz rock. Yeah, I didn't see. Totally. And John McLaughlin is pretty much like jazz rock as well, yeah, that's rock. Yeah. Well, I'm glad to clear that up. But one other thing I wanted to mention is there's a really nice track on the record. I can't pronounce the title, but it features what you're playing all the tracks yourself, except for one track on the record has this gypsy violin, it's just great to talk about. Oh, Robert. Yeah, yeah. So how did you get hooked up with him? It's amazing. I mean, that was a great experience because we were in a tour and you know, there's a TV channel called performance, TV or whatever. We were somewhere and we saw a concert of him and he was in Holland and now I'm
sure done. And I didn't know his music until I saw that concert on TV and I was amazed, you know. And since then I bought his albums and for a two years I was kind of impressed of what he was doing. And then I learned a little bit more of him and he was invited by the best classical players to play with them like Vengarov, you know, which is top-fitted by an employer, you know, classical player. And I mean, he's so recognized, but because he's gypsy, I mean, he steps in different worlds, you know, what does he live? He lives in Belgium actually in Belgium and Belgium. And so when we were doing the album, we were asked by our record label if we wanted to invite someone. And the first person we thought was like, okay, we can invite Carlos Santana, but that could be a long shot or something better off of someone, live it closer.
And yeah, we said like, well, Robert Lakaz would be amazing. Yeah. But we were quite like, okay, let's see. And they invited him and he was turning UK and he loved it and he just next week he was there. He next week he was in the studio just unbelievable to have him there. And he was like, what do you want me to play? Yeah, he was like 11 in the morning, he requests vodka if he was smoking a craze. She sounds crazy, guys, you know. So have you had a chance to play live with him yet? No. No, no, no, no. That's a very day apart from the recording, we were like playing, but they had to go and that's it. It's amazing. He's very funny because he wanted to play all over the song. I mean, he's a master, you know, but he, I mean, if you want to play all over the song and we're going to say, okay, this is the song, you know, it's a solid part. He was listening to say, okay, well, but if I just kept playing, he also wanted me in the cover of it.
So funny, but it's amazing, it's amazing to come back with him here some day now. Yeah. So I understand you get a long piece for us to finish off. Yeah, well, yeah, we play, we can play the second track on the album as well, which is called the, the award, well, you can play in both if you want. I mean, it's up to you. I love you. Yeah, both aren't long, but I'd say we play from the new album, which you would be, or at least he would be actually better. Why don't you do that? Okay, cool. Yeah. Okay, this is, uh, Rodrigo Gabriella. Wow. Thank you so much, it's beautiful guitar work, I should tell people you can't watch
you, it's just amazing to watch because we're in a great league arts and I've never heard anybody play rhythm, like every other is doing all the fantastic rhythmic work on the guitars and really powerful and you know I can see that you're a complete band here, you don't need any other musicians with you and I can see it being almost difficult to add anybody else to what you're doing because you're so self-contained and what you're doing, it's great though. Thank you very much, thank you. And I should welcome you to Seattle which is you know the home of a birthplace of Jimmy Hendricks and lots of great guitar players and I hope a lot of those guitar players come see you in the next couple nights. Thank you so much, thank you so much for doing it. So thanks so much for coming because I know this is one of your first times in the United
States and really welcoming you back here anytime. Yeah, oh thank you very much and I hope you're you know successful in the US and I know you just played Edmonton the folks rest of all of them. I mean we have a successful. Yeah it's beautiful and we played like two three nights and like before Edmonton like New York San Francisco and LA and then we're going to come back to do a long tour when the album was held in October September and October all around the American States and Canada. It's really a treat having you here. Yeah, thank you. I would just like to announce that we have a website so the people who want to know more about us is, it's a beautiful website, very well done website, I love their eyes and they're coming over there, it's a great chipping up there. Thank you very much. Well thank you Rodrigo Cabriella playing tomorrow night and Wednesday night at Jazz Alley, I think it's 7.30, I'll be down there and hope to join us there. This is KXB, the best ambiance, get back to music now in just a minute. Thank you again. Thank you.
Gracias. Gracias. Thank you very, I'm a guitar player so I love you too. Have a great day. Have a great day. You
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Best Ambiance
Rodrigo Y Gabriela (recorded 2006-07-14)
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Audio Engineer: Nixon, James
Guest: Rodrigo Y Gabriela
Host: Kertzer, Jon
Performer: Rodrigo Y Gabriela
Producing Organization: KEXP
AAPB Contributor Holdings
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Format: DAT
Duration: 01:07:49

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Chicago: “Best Ambiance; Rodrigo Y Gabriela (recorded 2006-07-14),” 2006-07-14, KEXP, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 2, 2024,
MLA: “Best Ambiance; Rodrigo Y Gabriela (recorded 2006-07-14).” 2006-07-14. KEXP, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 2, 2024. <>.
APA: Best Ambiance; Rodrigo Y Gabriela (recorded 2006-07-14). Boston, MA: KEXP, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from