AMERICAN SONGWRITER | by Hal Horowitz, September-October 2006

Album Review

  Gram Parsons called his mélange of country, rock and soul “cosmic American music.”  The Hacienda Brothers dub theirs “western soul,” but they both travel a similar dusty road from Memphis to Bakersfield.  Fronted by roots rocking guitarist Dave Gonzalez (The Paladins) and singer/accordion player Chris Gaffney (Dave Alvin’s Guilty Men, Cold Hard Facts) the Hacienda Brothers tap the common denominator between tex-mex, r&b and c&w.  Perfectly produced by Dan Penn writer of such classic soul as “Cry Like a Baby” and “It Tears Me Up”—both covered here—this is leisurely, stark, emotionally stirring music created by veterans who understand that less is more.  Think George Jones fronting The Flying Burrito Brothers; add a windswept spaghetti Western (“Son of Saguaro”) and a rousing Gamble-Huff cover (“Cowboys to Girls”) and you’ve got cosmic American music for the millennium.