ARIZONA REPUBLIC | by Larry Rodgers, July 23, 2006

Album Review

  The Hacienda Brothers introduced the concept of “Western soul” two years ago on their self-titled debut album.  They’ve put a much larger dose of their country-meets-Motown creation on this follow-up.  As they did in 2004, California based co-founders Chris Gaffney and Dave Gonzalez convened in Tucson, where they both have roots, for inspiration from the desert.  The recipe works well on album-opener Midnight Dream, which starts with old-school soul vocals before pedal steel and guitar add the Western edge.  Keep It Together takes a more modern R&B approach, but a smooth pedal-steel solo by David Berzansky adds the twang.  Gaffney pushes the emotion in his gritty voice on the horn-powered It Tears Me Up, the countrified What’s Wrong With Right and the dreamy Cowboys to Girls.  His accordion puts a rootsy spin on Cry Like a Baby and If Daddy Don’t Sing.  Gonzalez continues to sound like one of the best guitar players in the world of Americana Music. This hard-touring band is built for the long run.