Music can channel infinite emotions. You might want to let loose and dance yourself to death, release anger, or explore romance, passion, loss or grief. There is a song for you out there, and those who dwell on the beauty of introspection will find kindred spirits in Hermanos Gutiérrez, a Swiss-Ecuadorian duo that released one of the best albums of 2022.
El Bueno y El Malo is a beautiful instrumental record produced by The Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach, and their collaboration highlights the expressive virtues of good old-fashioned guitar playing. Hermanos Gutiérrez will perform live at UT Connewitz on April 24, one of their three dates in Germany for their 2023 tour (they play in Mannheim on April 23 and in Cologne on April 25).
Hermanos Gutiérrez Discography
Since they started playing together in 2015, brothers Estevan and Alejandro Gutiérrez have released five albums: 8 años (2017), El camino de mi alma (2018), Hoy como ayer (2019) and Hijos del sol (2020). In their latest album, El Bueno y el Malo (2022), Hermanos Gutiérrez paint a sound gallery of purely instrumental music that builds layers reminiscent of desert landscapes, long empty roads and epic cinematography. With no need for lyrics, Estevan and Alejandro play side-by-side, embarking on a conversation sustained by the intimacy of their guitars.
This seemingly simple formula has allowed the brothers to go down a unique musical highway, balancing their initial heavily Latin American-inspired tunes with melodic arrangements that work as perfect homages to the finest Morricone’s Spaghetti Western scores, the ambiance of Gustavo Santaolalla, and twang-guitar legend Duane Eddy, while resembling parts of Fred Drake’s Twice Shy (2001), and Calexico’s The Black Light (1998).
The Third Brother
While absolute independence on creation, production and distribution characterized their first four records, El Bueno y el Malo has changed how the duo operates. For this particular project, the brothers have brought in the celebrated musician Dan Auerbach.
Auerbach is one of the biggest names in contemporary rock music and has reached international recognition as the singer and lead guitarist of the blues-rock band The Black Keys. Alongside drummer and lifelong friend Patrick Carney, Auerbach and the Keys have released 11 albums that include Grammy-winning Brothers (2010) and El Camino (2011). Parallel projects include the psychedelic garage-rock of the Arcs (Yours, Dreamly 2015, Electrophonic Chronic, 2023) and Auerbach’s solo work (Keep it Hid, 2009, Waiting on a Song, 2017). As a producer, Auerbach has worked with renowned artists such as Lana Del Rey (Ultraviolence, 2014), Hank Williams Jr (Rich White Honky Blues, 2022) and Ray LaMontagne (Supernova, 2014). His Nashville recording studio has also served as a haven for a number of less-known musical talent, including bluesmen Marcus King and Natt Myers and country-soul singer Yola.
In El Bueno y El Malo
Auerbach demonstrates that he perfectly understands the underlying dynamics of the Gutiérrezs’ chemistry. The result is a carefully curated 10-song record stylistically coherent with the brothers’ previous work. This cohesiveness is seen in “Los Amantes” or “Hermosa Drive,” and mixed with the more introspective string arrangements on “Los Chicos Tristes” and the distinctive twang-blues presence of “Thunderbird” and “Pueblo Man.” Auerbach himself co-authors one of the highlights of this record, the superb “Tres Hermanos”; a mellow melody and uplifting rhythm elevated by the brothers’ steel lap guitar sound that brings us even closer to Americana. El Bueno y el Malo shows that the musical landscape of Hermanos Gutiérrez keeps on expanding. Leipzig is the next stop on their journey. Get ready for the trip.
Hermanos Gutiérrez in Leipzig
What: Hermanos Gutiérrez concert
When: April 24, 2023, 19:30
Where: UT Connewitz, Wolfgang-Heinze-Straße 12 a, 04277
More information on Hermanos Gutiérrez is available on their official website.
By Arturo Cueva Temprana