The Hacienda Brothers are perhaps the musical cousins of Calexico in some respects. Core members Chris Gaffney and Dave Gonzalez are from Tucson as is Calexico's Joey Burns. But where Calexico goes for horns, the Hacienda Brothers opt for safe, but solid soulful country arrangements found on the Bonnie Raitt-ish "Midnight Dream" and the slow, wistful honky tonk of the title track.
The album is chock full of slow, soulful but punchy tracks like "Keep It Together" that has some funky feel to it. Meanwhile, they even reach back for a Motown-like style for "Cowboys To Girls" and the toe-tapping "Cry Like A Baby" while dropping some accordion into the mix. The Holmes Brothers would be another close comparison, especially on the slow and somber "It Tears Me Up."
A couple of songs in the middle seem to sag, including the ordinary "If Daddy Don't Sing Danny Boy" that is almost Celt-Mex if such a genre did exist. Far crisper and better is the uptempo, old-school rock flavor of "Rebound" that could have come from the Buddy Holly catalogue.
Perhaps the highlight is "Life's Little Ups And Downs," a gorgeous cover of the Charlie Rich classic, but a Waylon-like arrangement of "The Warning" is a close second on what is a very strong album.