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Big Red & Barbacoa

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Audio CD, April 6, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Big Red and Barbacoa is the second album by South Texas' Hacienda, and like its predecessor Loud Is The Night (Alive 2008), it has been produced at the Akron Analog Studio by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys.
Recorded on the tail end of a year of playing at clubs and festivals across North America, Australia, and Europe, opening for Dan Auerbach and Dr. Dog, this new album brings heavier grooves and flavor to the '60s harmonies sound the band is known for. The result is a blend of Tex-Mex roots rock, retro-pop and R&B that can only be described as South Texas Soul. Big Red and Barbacoa captures the attitude of a band ready to throw pretension to the roadside and play rock'n'roll the way it was intended.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 6, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alive Records
  • ASIN: B0037W38ZC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #304,733 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By hyperbolium on April 11, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Among the most intriguing aspects of this San Antonio quartet's second album is that you're never quite sure what you're listening to. Is it taking cues from early rock? California production pop? Stax soul? Tex-Mex? Neo-psychedelic grunge? The answer is `yes' to all. At times, like the Beach Boys `65-inspired "Younger Days," the influence is pure honorific. Other antecedents are amalgamated, such as the suggestions of Little Richard and Thee Midniters in the early rock `n' soul of "Mama's Cookin." Others are honored and tweaked at the same time, such as a cover of the Everly Brothers' "You're My Girl," on which the sound is a bit harder than the original, but the lust in the vocal gets at what Phil and Don could only allude to in 1965.

You can hear Sgt. Pepper's-era Beatles in the guitars, the somber mood of Johnny Cash in the vocals, and the teenage energy of mid-60s go-go rock in the rhythms. But as quickly as one thing strikes you familiar another emerges from the mix to create doubts. "Got to Get Back Home" features the roller-rink organ of Dave "Baby" Cortez," a Norteno polka-rhythm and accordion, and a vocal that swings like a drunken folk-revival whaling song. The closing title track is an instrumental session that sounds like ? and the Mysterians jamming a B-side in Memphis. As an added treat, several of the tracks are produced in punchy AM-ready mono and the album is available on vinyl! [©2010 hyperbolium dot com]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Erik Vitols on July 10, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Here's a great band from San Antonio (also where I live!) that gets no airplay, except maybe from college radio. In the 60's or early 70's, "Big Red & Barbacoa" would have been all over the airwaves. On this album, Hacienda continues their winning blend of Tex-Mex, 60's and 70's pop and rock, along with a psychedelic touch, but keep the mix sounding fresh. Standout cuts for me are "Younger Days", "Hound Dog", "You're My Girl", "As You Like It" and "Apples". This collection takes a few more listens to grow on you than "Loud is the Night", but that's not a bad thing. With electro-fluff and bling music ruling the corporate airwaves, this album sadly stands no chance of breaking through there, so it looks like it can rule your car, iPod or other listening device of your choice. Recommended for fans of 60's/70's psychedelic pop/rock (like Sir Douglas Quintet) and good music in general.

The 'but' part in my review title refers to the mostly mono production of "Big Red & Barbacoa". "Apple" is the lone exception; it really makes your sound system come alive after all the mono tracks. While this type of production does lend a sort of 60's AM charm to the album, it doesn't do a good sound system justice. Perhaps they could have included a stereo mix or let the customer decide which version they wanted.
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