Rodrigo y Gabriela - “Hanuman”

A strange thing happened to me this morning. As I was sifting through my unplayed podcasts, something emerged from my speakers that I wasn’t sure I’d ever heard before. It sounded like it rocked, it felt like it rocked, but it was early and I hadn’t yet had a reasonable amount of coffee, so I wasn’t sure my brain could be trusted. I asked a few friends with good music taste if my uncaffeinated brain was playing tricks on me, and as it turns out, I was right; this music rocked.

The rocking music in question is Rodrigo y Gabriela, a Mexican guitar duo with a flair for metal-infused flamenco. Yes, you read that correctly, they basically play acoustic Mexican folk metal. And it rocks. “Hanuman”, the lead-off track to the band’s latest record, 11:11 (which is a collection of 11 songs, each dedicated to a specific artist), is dedicated to Carlos Santana and features some breakneck guitaring with a Santana-esque feel. How could that not rock?