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Big Red & Barbacoa

Hacienda

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

This familial quartet (made up of three brothers and a cousin) combines swirling keyboards, fuzzy bass tones, sharp Telecaster licks, and rock solid retro grooves to deliver a funky, fun, and high-energy album. Their songs are catchy, well crafted, and brief (most are under three minutes) and echoes of the Beach Boys, Tex-Mex, and classic Memphis soul can be heard in their sweet hooks (“Prisoner,” “As You Like It,” “Mama’s Cookin”), close vocal harmonies (“Whose Heart Are You Breaking,” I Keep Waiting”), and a pair of smoking instrumentals (“Big Red,” “Barbacoa”). Their edgy cover of the Everly Brothers’ “You’re My Girl” gives another hint about their influences. As he did on their debut, Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys produced the album and he helps gives it a gritty, soulful feel. Hacienda has served as both opening act and backing band for Auerbach, so these guys clearly understand each other. Big Red & Barbacao is a terrific effort that hits the sweet spot between a classic ‘60s sound and a modern garage band aesthetic. Great stuff.

Customer Reviews

Invigorating mix of rock ‘n’ roll, production pop, Tex-Mex and more

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]

Rock On!!!!

Digging the tunes, still keeping true to the Beach Boys and Beatle melodies, but with a rougher edge.

Reminds me vaguely of earlier Gomez

Love it. Don't know how I haven't heard of these guys before.

Big Red & Barbacoa, Hacienda
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Customer Ratings