California's Los Lobos are the reigning kings of Tex-Mex/Rock Espanol. But this debut CD by the San Angelo, Texas band Los Lonely Boys might herald a changing of the guard. This is truly a band of brothers, led by guitarist/vocalist Henry Garza and his younger, bass-and-drum-playing siblings Jojo and Ringo. Like a lot of groups, they had to move away to achieve fame--in their case, to Nashville. But after the release of their EP, Willie Nelson heard them, put them on tour as his opening act, and recorded them at his studio. Stylistically, the Garza brothers' bilingual songs about love and life combine Stevie Ray Vaughan blues, Santana-style guitar licks and R&B. Nelson helps out on guitar, with Reese Wynans on keyboards. Produced by Keb Mo and B.B. King producer John Porter, the music is honest, driving, and down home, especially on the organ-filled uptempo tracks "Senorita" and "Tell Me Why." The stinging guitar solo on the Afro-anthemic "Onda" recalls the '70s grooves Santana built his chops on, while "The Answer" and "More than Love" are raw power ballads that show off this group's dynamism and diversity. --Eugene Holley, Jr.
Los Lonely Boys ~ Los Lonely Boys