When we moved to Cuenca, I was pretty sure I was waving a sad goodbye to decent live music. Ecuador isn’t exactly a huge stop on the international touring circuit. I was relieved when I heard that Metallica was playing in Quito, but that is an eight-hour drive away, and the tickets weren’t what you’d call cheap.
Some friends of ours had mentioned a local Cuenca band called Rubber Biscuit, but we hadn’t gotten around to seeing them play live. Finally, after much procrastinating, we figured we’d go check them out just to be safe. Oh man! These guys bring some serious grooves to Cuenca’s Latin-dominated music scene. Not that there’s anything wrong with Latin music, I’m just a rock-n-roll guy, ya know? With everything in their set from Santana to Stevie Wonder, Maroon 5 to Michael Jackson, I was enthralled. Sometimes, I’d even have to stop dancing to watch the band do their thing. Just for a bit, though since there are suitable numbers for cha-cha, rumba and even swing dancing.
Rubber Biscuit is fronted by Brian Gary who used to rock the keys for Eddie Money (and others) back in the day. Now he’s happily settled in Cuenca, and is a fixture on the musical scene here. Brian keeps the rock-n-roll alive here in Ecuador, and that is key for a recovering drummer like myself. More importantly, he’s a down-to-earth, approachable guy. He always has a smile on his face like he loves what he does, and he always makes the rounds of the rooms he plays getting to know the people who come to hear him.
Even before they took the stage, I saw that their drummer, Jose, plays ddrums brand drums which to other percussionists is a dead giveaway that he knows his $#!+. Marko on bass is as solid as they come, keeping the groove coming all night long. But I was completely blown away by Andres on guitar. He seems to channel every great guitarist from Carlos Santana to Eddie Van Halen.
Don’t take my word for it, though; check them out on YouTube HERE, HERE*, and HERE, and then come on down to Cuenca and hear them live for yourself. Now, if only they’d let me sit in on Enter Sandman…
*Look for our friends Michele and Jennifer front and center in this second one.