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Rodrigo y Gabriela: Live in France  

The Mexican guitar duo's third live album is raw energy at play. Drawing mainly on selections from their latest studio album 11:11, Live in France showcases Rodrigo y Gabriela's ability to feed off each other and the audience where they are most comfortable — on stage. Though Rodrigo y Gabriela's studio albums have won over the world audience, they lack the raw, improvisational element of the duo, which is its most impressive quality. Live in France provides a remedy. The album opens with the explosive, Santana-inspired "Hanuman," which seamlessly fuses metal and Latin guitar licks. Faster and more energetic than its studio counterpart, improvisation abounds. Two other noteworthy tracks, "Gabriela Solo" and "Rodrigo Solo," showcase each of the guitarristas' individual talents. Gabriela's rhythmic wah-pedal playing is interspersed with percussive wood tapping, while Rodrigo's finesse and virtuosity allow him to transition from the meditative to the explosive while the crowd's response parallels his musical direction. Live in France is not a departure from the duo's roots. Rather, it is a testimony to how they are continually improving and refining their fiery artistic abilities.

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June 16, 2021

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