This best-of is an unconventional one -- though its type is becoming increasingly less so as the 21st century immerses itself in nostalgia from Tish Hinojosa. The recordings were done with a reunion band at the Cactus Café in Austin in 2002. There are 17 songs here, 15 of which come from albums she recorded on four different labels and cover the period from 1980-2002. Along with her regular band, which includes the truly gifted Marvin Dykhuis on all things with strings, pianist Danny Levin, Marty Muse on pedal steel, percussionist Arturo Garza, Glenn Kawamoto on bass, and drummer Bob Madden, there is a guest appearance by the incomparable Santiago Jimenez Jr. on accordion. Everything one would except from Hinojosa is here -- "Taos to Tennessee," "Aquella Noche," "Bandera del Sol," "I'm Not Through Loving You Yet," "She's a Highway," "Otra Vez," "Donde Voy," "Roses Around My Feet," "Little Faith," and others. The sound is pristine, which is in keeping with Hinojosa's live mix for anyone who has ever seen her -- instruments are perfectly balanced and the volume is kept at a minimum. That's accurate, but it seems that Chet Himes and Bill Johnson, who recorded this set, recorded it even warmer than it comes off live. There is something here that is not quite distant but doesn't quite capture the pure pastoral elegance and grace of Hinojosa at her best. The performances are fine, inspired even, but they just don't "sound" that way. It's too tidy even for Hinojosa, a bit too subdued for the joyousness of the occasion. That said, if you were only looking to have her finest -- and favorite -- material on one disc, this might be the one for you.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek