Rodrigo y Gabriela add tour to 10th anniversary celebration of Rodrigo y Gabriela LP

rodrigo y gabriela
Rodrigo y Gabriela | photo by Noah Silvestry |

Ten years ago, Mexico City duo Rodrigo y Gabriela released their sophomore self-titled LP, a record that put their dual-guitar compositions on the map. To mark the album’s milestone, the musicians have announced a U.S. tour that stops at the Electric Factory on Saturday, June 10th.

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Rodrigo y Gabriela reissue self-titled album as deluxe, double LP

Photo by Jim Mimna/courtesy of the artist
Rodrigo y Gabriela | photo by Jim Mimna | courtesy of the artist

Ten years ago, acoustic guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela released their self-titled, sophomore LP. It debuted at #1 in Ireland, where the pair was residing at the time, and became an instant hit stateside, particularly in the XPN universe. Now it’s getting a deluxe, double LP reissue jam-packed with new material. Continue reading →


XPNFest Recap: Rodrigo y Gabriela bring the first day of #xpnfest to a close on the River Stage

Rodrigo y Gabriela | photo by Noah Silvestry |
Rodrigo y Gabriela | photo by Noah Silvestry |

Mexican acoustic guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela closed out the first night of the festival with a striking set on the River Stage.  The fusion / rock pair performed songs from their three albums, going for long stretches of time before addressing the audience.  That was fine by everyone in the crowd though, as they were happily wrapped in the trance of an eclectic and electrifying instrumental set.

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Watch #xpnfest’s Rodrigo y Gabriela perform “Torito” from the Artist’s Den

Photo by Jim Mimna, courtesy of artist.
Photo by Jim Mimna, courtesy of artist.
Mexican acoustic rock duo Rodrigo y Gabriela recently did a session with the Artists’ Den, where they performed “Torito” off of their newest album 9 Dead Alive. The album, their first in five years, came out in April this year. 9 Dead Alive is a movement away from 2012’s Area 52, and a return to the duo’s more “heavier” side. The energetic, live performance highlights what is best about Rodrigo y Gabriela: their phenomenal guitar skills. The two guitars overlap, collide and combine to play a truly beautiful tune. Somehow, this performance feels more intimate than having vocals. Watching the two play live is mesmerizing. Earlier this year, they did an equally entrancing live session with Lumbini Studio in Mexico, where they played “The Russian Messenger”. The duo actually made “The Russian Messenger”, as well as four others, free for download through The Soundmaker EP via NoiseTrade.

Check out Rodrigo y Gabriela live at XPoNential Music Festival Friday July 25th. Purchase tickets here. Watch the performance below.


Download a new song by #XPNFest band, Rodrigo y Gabriela, “The Russian Messenger”

Photo by Shayne Hanley |
Photo by Shayne Hanley |

Mexican acoustic rock guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela have released their first new studio album in five years, 9 Dead Alive. The band are one of the headliners for this summer’s XPoNential Music Festival happening July 25-27th at Wiggins Park and the Susquehanna Bank Center. Weekend passes are available now here. The band has made available a free collection of five songs, The Soundmaker EP, via NoiseTrade. The EP includes two songs from the band new album, 9 Dead Alive, including “The Soundmaker” and “The Russian Messenger,” a live recording from France and two songs from previous studio releases. Download the EP below.


First Listen: Rodrigo y Gabriela, playing #XPNFest, stream new album, 9 Dead Alive

Photo by Jim Mimna/courtesy of the artist
Photo by Jim Mimna/courtesy of the artist

Rodrigo y Gabriela release their new album, 9 Dead Alive, on Tuesday, April 29th. The duo are part of the over 30 band lineup for WXPN’s XPoNential Music Festival being held on July 25-27th on the Camden Waterfront.

Writing about the new album for NPR Music, Jasmine Garsd says:

In their newest album, 9 Dead Alive, return to their roots, reminding listeners why they fell in love with the Mexican duo in the first place. The album finds them at the peak of their musical flexibility, dexterously weaving elements of heavy metal with flamenco.

These Mexico City natives are an if-at-first-you-don’t-succeed parable. As heavy metal musicians, Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero had trouble launching their careers. Making it in one of the biggest music scenes in the Spanish speaking world is as pivotal as it is nightmarish: if you break through in Mexico, you’ve made it in Latin America, but succeeding in an environment that is frequently reluctant to take risks can also be an impossible task. So they picked up to go busk in Ireland, where they perfected the guitar licks that have made them famous.

Listen to 9 Dead Alive here. Purchase tickets to the XPoNential Music Festival here.


The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Rodrigo y Gabriela, Elegant Animals, Railroad Earth and more


Photo via
Photo via

On Thursday WXPN announced the 25 acts that will take part in this year’s XPoNential Music Festival – among the list of artists are “dueling Spanish guitarists” Rodrigo y Gabriela.  Get a preview of the duo’s forthcoming LP 9 Dead Alive by downloading “The Soundmaker” below.

Railroad Earth bounded into the Folkadelphia studios for this week’s session, bringing an arsenal of songs that prove their musical sum is greater than any labeled parts.  The New Jersey band has released seven full-lengths, including a new one called Last of the Outlaws.  Stream and download the acoustic session below.

Philly band Elegant Animals are this week’s featured Key Studio Session subject, a five-piece that blurs the lines between electronica, R&B and rock.  They performed two songs from a 2012 debut Spectrum Nocturnal and a pair from this month’s Carnivora.  Take a listen to “Carnivora” below and get the full set here.

New York outfit Spottiswoode & His Enemies released a new album called English Dream, touching on pop and rock with a piano foundation.  You can stream and download “No Time for Love” off of the record below, and catch the band live at World Cafe Live at The Queen on May 1st.

Pulling work by beatmakers from all over the country for their compilation Oddiology, Philadelphia production pair ILL Clinton and John E Cab (Us Natives) have put together an instrumental work of art.  Stream “War Chant” by New Jersey’s Expo below and get the full album here.


Guitar deities and #xpnfest artists Rodrigo y Gabriela give a taste of their new album in “The Russian Messenger”

Rodrigo y Gabriela | photo courtesy of the artist

There may be no two people on earth who play the guitar like Rodrigo y Gabriela. The XPoNential Music Fest artists are a harmonious duo who blend rock with flamenco, metal, jazz and more. They are finger magicians, with Rodrigo’s pulsating guitar lines leading the way and Gabriela following as the “rhythmic battery,” with a finger picking style that is truly otherworldly.

Rodrigo y Gabriela are known especially for their exhilarating live performances, mesmerizing audiences from their early days on as buskers in Dublin to the huge festivals and sold out crowds they play to now. To get a taste of their latest record, 9 Dead Alive, watch an in-studio performance of “The Russian Messenger,” performed live at Lumbini Studio in Mexico. Uno dos tres va!


Download Rodrigo y Gabriela’s “The Soundmaker”; buy tickets to see them at #XPNFest

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

In case you missed the big announcement, Rodrigo y Gabriela are playing this year’s XPoNential Music Festival, July 25-27th. The incredible acoustic guitar playing duo are releasing a new album, 9 Dead Alive, next Tuesday, April 29th. Weekend passes to #XPNfest are available starting today for new and renewing WXPN members. Go here to purchase tickets. Below, download “The Soundmaker.”


Rodrigo y Gabriela, Hurray for the Riff Raff, The Hold Steady and more top the XPoNential Music Festival lineup

Rodrigo y Gabriela | photo via
Rodrigo y Gabriela | photo via

Dueling acoustic duo Rodrigo y Gabriela, eclectic New Orleans folk-blues combo Hurray for the Riff Raff, and stalwart rock n’ rollers The Hold Steady are just some of the 25 artists announced today in the full lineup of this year’s edition of the XPoNential Music Festival.

These acts will play the two stages in Wiggins Park from July 25th to July 27th of this year, alongside the festival’s headlining concerts at Susquehanna Bank Center featuring Ryan Adams, Jenny Lewis and Dawes (July 26th) and Beck, Band of Horses and The Districts (July 27th).

Hurray for the Riff Raff | Photo by Kate McCann |
Photo by Kate McCann |

The Wiggins Park bill is filled with WXPN favorites, like alt-country heroes Old 97s, Jersey singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins and Diego Garcia, all of whom are return-XPNFest-ers.

There is also an assortment of up-and-coming names like countrified Nashville singer-songwriter Caitlin Rose (featured on World Cafe’s Sense of Place: Nashville series); Bear’s Den, a UK rock trio with a flair for drama (they made a splash at the March Edition of the Communion Club Night at Underground Arts), the jazzy / folky vocal combo Lake Street Dive and the art-pop powerhouse Lucius, (who knocked our socks off at Free at Noon late last year.)

Man Man | Photo by Rachel Barrish |
Man Man | Photo by Rachel Barrish |

The greater Philadelphia scene is nicely represented as well. Bigger names like avant-garde rockers Man Man (who leaked their appearance last week), punk rock troubadour Dave Hause and reinvented folklorists Marah will mix with emerging artists Commonwealth Choir, Our Griffins, Marian Hill, The Lawsuits, Ginger Coyle and Viv and the Revival.

And adding an even more eclectic scope to the lineup is a taste of zydeco from C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band and some Mississippi blues care of harmonica master James Cotton.

Three days passes for new and renewing WXPN members are available now here. Tickets for the general public go on sale on May 1st; as with previous years, three-day passes will include lawn admission to the Susquehanna Bank Center shows (seated tickets to those are on sale separately, here and here).

Below, listen to a Spotify playlist of the Wiggins Park lineup, and read the complete list of artists after the jump.

Wiggins Park
Rodrigo y Gabriela
Trigger Hippy (featuring Joan Osborne, Jackie Greene & Steve Gorman)
Lake Street Dive
Old 97’s
The Hold Steady
Hurray for the Riff Raff
C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band
Man Man
Nicole Atkins
Diego Garcia
James Cotton
J. Roddy Walston & The Business
Dave Hause
Jeremy Messersmith
Caitlin Rose
Bear’s Den
The Lawsuits
Marian Hill
Ginger Coyle
Our Griffins
Viv and the Revival
Commonwealth Choir

Susquehanna Bank Center
Ryan Adams
Jenny Lewis
Band of Horses
The Districts