Texas Tornados

¡Está Bueno!

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The Texas Tornados quietly folded in the wake of the death of Doug Sahm in 1999, but roughly a decade later they just as quietly became a going concern under the direction of his son Shawn, reuniting for regular gigs and a new album called ¡Esta Bueno!. Released in March of 2010 (alongside the publication of the first-ever Doug Sahm biography entitled -- what else -- Texas Tornado), ¡Esta Bueno! revives a couple of Sir Doug staples (“Chicano” and Bobby Charles’ “Tennessee Blues”), and also several unreleased performances from the other departed Tornado, Freddy Fender -- a whopping five, including a handful of new songs, their presence giving ¡Esta Bueno! an even stronger feel of a classic Texas Tornados album. And that’s the entire intent of ¡Esta Bueno!: this is designed as a continuation, not a revival, of the band’s signature Tex-Mex style, and since Shawn Sahm, Augie Meyers, and Flaco Jimenez are old road dogs, they miss not a step when they fall back into their old groove. Like much roots rock made since the Tornados’ 1990 debut, ¡Esta Bueno! is a shade too clean in its production -- it could use just a bit of grit in its sound -- but it’s hard to complain too much because the spirit of the record is so joyous, it’s hard not to smile as it plays.

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