the black keys

Rig Rundown: Hermanos Gutiérrez

Witness how this Ecuadorian-via-Switzerland duo evokes everything that’s beautiful and bleak from the desert, using hollowbodies, a serendipitous Strymon, and rhythmic hypnosis to paint an Ennio Morricone soundscape.

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Seen here at Nashville’s Easy Eye Sound, Estevan strums an E minor on “Rudy,” Dan Auerbach’s 1958 Gretsch 6120, while Alejandro cradles his own Silvertone 1446 with his Rickenbacker Electro NS looking on.

Photo by Andy Hawkes

Brothers Estevan and Alejandro Gutiérrez invoke the grainy films of Sergio Leone and Jim Jarmusch to create a soundtrack for dramatic, arid landscapes on El Bueno Y El Malo, their Dan Auerbach produced Easy Eye Sound debut.

The desert has captured the imaginations of so many guitarists. Throughout the modern history of our instrument, players have been enchanted by its mystery, stillness, or whatever they feel it represents. Those who’ve made the desert their muse, whether for a one-off project or lifelong dedication, interpret their feelings just as widely. From Grant Green’s funky settings of cowboy tunes on his Goin’ West to the slow, monolithic riffs of doom icons Earth, Ry Cooder’s lonely, plaintive slide work on the soundtrack for Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas, to Saharan guitar masters Ali Farka Touré and Tinariwen, there is no one desert sound. Instead, there’s an ineffable feeling, a vibration that resonates across the quirkiest and the most severe of these projects.

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Sophie Gault (Sophie & the Broken Things) joins Premier Guitareditors and our reader of the month to discuss favorite albums—then and now—as well as new musical obsessions!

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