During the 1970s, Brazilian luminaires Sá, Rodrix & Guarabyra invented what they called “rural rock” as a mixture of anglophone folk rock and música caipira (an umbrella term for the Iberian-descending, acoustic-guitar-based musics from the countryside of Brazil). In 1974, Rodrix dropped the band and Sá & Guarabyra continued as a duo, detaching themselves even further from conventional MPB and going simultaneously more regional, towards genres like sertanejo de raiz and xote, and more pop, towards the esoteric country ballads of Van Morrison or JJ Cale.
In addition, the duo invited Os Mutantes’s arranger Rogério Duprat to synthesize those influences. The result was Nunca, a light but adventurous record with nods to children’s TV shows, prog rock, salsa, and the mythologies of the Brazilian backlands, that sounds like The Flying Burrito Brothers if Gram Parsons had been born in the South American savanna of Cerrado. | r moraes