PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER | by Nick Cristiano, July 9, 2006

Album Review

"Western soul" is what the music of the Hacienda Brothers has been dubbed. The "brothers" - actually Dave Alvin accompanist Chris Gaffney and former Paladins singer-guitarist Dave Gonzalez - do indeed have Western roots and recorded both their first album and this one in Tucson, Ariz. But their sound is a synthesis with a broader geographical reach.

With Dan Penn back as producer (and cowriter with Gonzalez of the title song), the Haciendas again put a strong dose of country into the kind of country-soul Penn pioneered in the South. Gonzalez even drifts all the way to country for a few twanged-up honky-tonk shuffles, and Gaffney's accordion provides some Southwestern atmosphere. But the emphasis is on soul - the feeling - and Gaffney's voice, full of weathered character, delivers loads of it, from the terrific "What's Wrong With Right" to Percy Sledge's "It Tears Me Up," and, reaching all the way to Philly, Gamble and Huff's "Cowboys to Girls."