SHERMAN OAKS SUN | by Bill Bently, May 6-20, 2005

Hacienda Brothers (Koch). A 99-cent CD tip: if you ever come across the album Chris Gaffney & the Cold Hard Facts on Rom Records, grab it quick. It's an undiscovered gem from the 1980s of hard scraple California country as performed by a singer-songwriter who really din't give a damn about playing the game, and features a couple of songs so good it's crazy george Jones never got around to cutting them (though Freddy Fender wisely di one on the Texas Tornado's last album). Gaffney has thrown in with Paladins front man Dave Gonzalez in the Hacienda Brothers, and it's the musical equivalent of William Holden and Ernest Borgnine in "The Wild Bunch" movie masterpiece: a pair of renegades who live by their own code and can't believe the way things they cherish are now circling the drain. The Haciendas are ably aided in their quest by producer Dan Penn, the Memphis musical legend who has worked with everyone from The Box Tops to Aretha Franklin, and the band's dead-on sound is perfect backing for the two singer's subltle swagger. With originals that stand tall next to songs by Dallas Frazier, Mel Tillis, Fred Neil and Penn, this album is one that the movie's bad boys Strother Martin, L.Q. Jones and Warren Oates would have surely had in heavy rotation on their trailer 8-tracks. As Oates' character said, "I've got poetry in me." So do these soul brothers.