Sound — 10
It was nice to finally hear something on the radio worth listening to. At first, I didn't know what to think when I heard "Heaven" on the radio, but then it hit me. I realized, that for the first time in years, the blues had started to make a comeback. Since Stevie Ray Vaughn and ZZ Top and even Santana started to fade in the early/mid '90s, it's been hard to find a good group that can hit those quick blues licks and control both rhythm and lead fluidly on just one instrument. Although this may be a bit of a new sound to many people, since A the blues aren't that popular among today's radio-mongers and very few people will actually see the talent that lies in these young men. I on the other hand, saw that these guys might actually bring a whole new generation of blues-rockers to the stage. There's a great deal of style that I could talk about, but I'll just go over the basics. Henry Garza is a wonderful guitarist, and a very creative one at that. His skillful blending of SRV-esque licks and Santana like rhythms with Spanish based guitar shows that he has no limit to his unique style. And I'd also like to add that it's nice to see somebody use a wah-wah pedal as effectively as he does, since many songs with wah effects have been abused over the last few years. The emotion that goes into Henry's playing shines through on all the songs.
Lyrics — 9
Solid, soulful and very, very bluesy. That's how you can describe the vocals and lyrics of the Brothers Garza. I'm happy to see that these brothers can share the spotlight, alternate vocals and still play like it was nothing. All the songs have a real blues quality to them, dealing with real emotions put into real words. From "Senorita," dealing with the flirty ladies, to "Velvet Sky," a classic lover's lament, they all show the deep side of the blues, and a very raw power only seen in the masters like King or Gibbons. How could I forget the radio favorites? "Heaven," a wonderful little ditty that almost refreshes your beliefs in the Powers That Be, and "More Than Love," another tasteful ballad. This album is full of great lyrics and smooth vocals. My only complaint is that "Onda," a very beautiful song, is mainly in Spanish, so it was hard for me to understand, seeing as I'm kind of challenged in foreign languages. But overall, it was a great listen (and the Johnny Cash cover made it all worthwhile).
Overall Impression — 10
I don't think you can find any other band that can match the Lonely Boys' talent. It's hard just to find a good blues band nowadays, period. But these guys show how hard work, emotion and dedication can pay off and create a beautiful masterpiece. These guys have impressed me, using such a simple and raw form of music and turning it into a cultural shock is just one of those feats you don't happen to see everyday. I love a clean or dirty Strat tone, and love 6 string bass lines and I adore drumming that compliments the band, so I'd have to love these guys. I don't think they could do anything wrong with this album, which oozes with Santana and Vaughn and even Albert King influences. If this was stolen, I'd have to have it back, because it is an essential part of my blues collection. I don't think anybody's blues collection would be complete without this, since they are the future for the blues guitarists of the future. An added bonus, if you buy the special addition, is a DVD filled with three music videos and a full acoustic performance of many of the wonderful tunes on this album, as well as insight into the creation process of Los Lonely Boys. This album is a must-have, so rush out to your nearest CD retailer and get this now.