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Hacienda Brothers

Music for Ranch & Town – 2008 (Hacienda Brothers)

Reviewed by Andy Turner

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CDs by Hacienda Brothers

If you've ever had the pleasure of seeing the Hacienda Brothers live, you know their versatility comes out best on stage. Country, soul, blues and Tex-Mex mixed and played intensely with enough conviction and fun to hit whiskey - hard.

The limited-edition (and bare-bones packaged) CD comes from a excellent live recording on Norwegian radio, covering both of the band's full-length albums along with their distinct takes on the likes of "Mental Revenge," "Cowboys to Girls" and Johnny Paycheck's "If I'm Gonna Sink" over 14 tracks.

On his "Turn to Grey," main vocalist Chris Gaffney delivers a gritty, pedal steel-backed punch while slower songs such as "Seven Little Numbers" or "Walkin' On My Dreams" show off his fine ability to drain every bit of pain out of a song. Dave Gonzalez displays his sharp guitar work throughout, but especially shines on an outstanding 12-minute version of Ivory Joe Hunter's "Since I Met You Baby." Very much worth seeking out.