With career album sales now in excess of 1.5 million worldwide, Mexican acoustic-rock duo Rodrigo y Gabriela won the GRAMMY® for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album at the 2019 62nd GRAMMY® Awards ceremony. The award was given for Rodrigo y Gabriela’s most-recent album METTAVOLUTION, their 6th studio album and first in five years. The award is just one of the recent career highlights for Rodrigo y Gabriela, who have undoubtedly established themselves as the planet’s preeminent acoustic guitar duo, earning international acclaim and a fervent fan following with their awe-inspiring mastery of their instruments as well as a truly distinctive approach to melody, energy, and rhythm.
Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero have been playing together since the mid-nineties when they were members of Mexican thrash-metal band Terra Acida. Both were raised on a musical feast of classic rock, including The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, but the eureka moment came when they first heard Metallica’s ‘Master Of Puppets’, which was their gateway to the fast and furious world of Megadeth, Slayer and Pantera.
When Terra Acida split, Rodrigo and Gabriela decided to go travelling, with just a suitcase and two acoustic guitars for company. They arrived in Ireland at the turn of the Millennium, having heard the country was “a good place for musicians”. Speaking no English, they soon ran out of money, and took to busking on Dublin’s Grafton Street to make ends meet. Here they met Damien Rice, himself embarking on his solo career, and he invited them to open at one of his key early headline shows.
From this beginning, their reputation as killer musicians – Rodrigo with the faster-than-lightning lead guitar and Gabriela with her unique, rhythmic, strumming-and-drumming style – started to spread across the country. Following a successful live album in 2004, their debut self-titled studio album, produced by John Leckie of Radiohead and Stone Roses fame, was released by Rubyworks in February 2006 and charted at # 1 on the Irish national charts, keeping the Arctic Monkeys off the top spot.