One of the few contemporary bands to land a decidedly roots-rock song on the charts with 2004's Grammy-winning "Heaven," Los Lonely Boys solidified their status as youngsters with an established sound on their first disc. On this highly anticipated studio followup, all talk of the sophomore jinx dissipates with the opening soul-drenched riff rocker "My Way." Although horns are added for extra drama, the three Garza brothers nail this groove as Henry's Stevie Ray Vaughan-fortified guitar powers one of the boys' most fiery performances. Supporter and mentor Willie Nelson joins on the wah-wah driven, Waylon Jennings-styled "Outlaws," as does the brothers' musician father Enrique Sr. Tough midtempo ballads such as "Home" and the very Santana-ish "I Never Met a Woman" follow in the footsteps of "Heaven" as candidates for slow dance song of the year.
Anyone entranced by the Garzas' debut will be thrilled by this classy followup that tightens some of the loose ends bu! t displays additional confidence resulting from two years of nearly nonstop road work. The band spotlights its Tex-Mex roots on the accordion-driven "Texican Style," where near-perfect vocal harmonies drive an irresistible bluesy shuffle. Most encouraging is that Los Lonely Boys haven't succumbed to commercial pressure since their surprise hit debut. Rather, they have refined and organically expanded their approach, and crafted another classy, committed, radio-friendly Americana gem that meshes blues, Mexican, and soul with a spicy topping of hot-sauce musicianship. --Hal Horowitz
Más Lonely Boys
Special fanpack edition of Sacred includes a bonus DVD entitled "Brotherhood." A short film directed by acclaimed photographer/filmmaker Danny Clinch (Bruce Springsteen, Audioslave) contains a candid behind the scenes look, interview with the boys and exclusive acoustic performances!