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Americano Groove is welcome relief from a pretty slim year for good music, kicking off with the Los Lobos-like street-funk of “Down in the Barrio,” a duet with Alejandro Escovedeo (not to mention David Hidalgo on guitar!) that rattles and rolls like the opening credits to a Robert Rodriguez actioner. This is followed up by the more traditional accordion-driven rave up “Ya No Te Quiero Ver,” which is so different from the opener that within the first few minutes of the disc, the listener has experienced just how diverse the music of the Texmaniacs truly is.
The legendary Augie Meyers plays the keys on the sly “How Can a Beautiful Woman Be So Ugly,” while country singer Kevin Fowler (no relation…I think) gives a spirited Gilley’s-ready two-stepper in “Adios Mamacita” about loving and leaving a woman who “like a good tequila, she goes down nice.” Same goes for a Joe Ely guest spot on “I Wanna Know Your Name” and Rick Trevino spotlighted on the most modern country-ish track here, “Big Night in a Small Town.”
With only one or two slower numbers, Americano Groove revels in the fiesta festivities, right down to the final track “Polka Palitos” that actually inspired me to pick up a couple of Frankie Yankovic and Myron Floren albums—who knew at the age of 36 I’d replace rock with polka in my aural diet? This is the car-stereo album of the summer (or what’s left of it), perfect for cruising with the windows rolled down, steering wheel in one hand, Tiger’s Blood raspa in the other. And maybe a cup of elote between your legs just for fun.
1. Down In The Barrio (Feat. Alejandro Escovedo) (3:52)
2. Ya No Te Quiero Ver (3:13)
3. How Can A Beautiful Woman Be So Ugly (4:14)
4. How Long Is Patient (4:45)
5. Adios Mamacita (Feat. Kevin Fowler) (2:41)
6. Muchachos Alegres (2:14)
7. I Wanna Know Your Name (Feat. Joe Ely) (3:13)
8. Herido (4:17)
9. Como Te Quiero (3:09)
10. Big Night In A Small Town (Feat. Rick Trevino) (4:04)
11. Mentirosa (4:06)
12. Polka Palitos (2:29)