Fricke's Picks: A Family Affair

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Hacienda are a band of brothers from San Antonio, formed in 2006 by Abraham, Jaime and Rene Villanueva — pianist, drummer and bassist, in that order, and all singers — with guitarist-vocalist Dante Schwebel. Unlike Austin's heavy-blues brother trios Los Lonely Boys and Amplified Heat, Hacienda write eccentric pop songs and play them with flashes of T. Rex ("She's Got a Hold on Me") and the Friends-era Beach Boys ("Sun," "Degree of Murder") on the fine debut album Loud Is the Night (Alive). Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys produced the record with a kitchen-jam, bathroom-echo touch, like a central-Texas version of Paul McCartney's 1970 home-made solo debut, while the Tex-Mex groove Hacienda put under their cover of Sonny and Cher's "Baby Don't Go" reminds me of the great early-Seventies Chicano band Louie and the Lovers, who were not brothers but sure sounded like it.

[From Issue 1063 — October 16, 2008]

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