Hacienda Brothers: Dave Gonzalez (vocals, guitar); Chris Gaffney (vocals, accordion); Hank Maninger (acoustic guitar, bass guitar); David "DB" Berzansky (steel guitar, trumpet); Dale Daniel (drums).
Additional personnel: Joe Terry (piano, organ, background vocals); Dan Penn (background vocals).
Recording information: The Cavern Recording Studios, Tucson, AZ.
The second album from the Hacienda Brothers, 2006's What's Wrong with Right, is cut from the same cloth as the self-titled 2004 debut from Chris Gaffney, guitarist Dave Gonzalez, and their musical cronies, but if the approach is very much the same, there's no arguing that they've gotten even better at fusing classic country and old-school soul into one emotionally powerful package. If one wants to pinpoint a difference this time out, the R&B side of the mixture has been beefed up, and Chris Gaffney's vocals communicate the necessary passion and heartache with genuine force and a fine actor's sense of drama; while Gaffney has always been a fine singer, his performances here rank with his best work in the studio to date. Dave Gonzalez doesn't bring quite as much flashy picking to What's Wrong with Right, giving pedal steel player David Berzansky more room to move, but when he does step up, he sounds fine indeed, and the final track, "Son of Saguaro," is a great showcase for his deep and twangy licks. Southern soul legend Dan Penn produced these sessions as he did on the first album, and he gives the music a clean and unobtrusive sound while urging some stellar work from the band. Bringing a few classic R&B numbers to the set (including "It Tears Me Up," "Cowboys to Girls," and "Cry Like a Baby") was a gamble that paid off big-time, giving the group plenty of room to shine (and Gaffney is truly outstanding on the Charlie Rich classic "Life's Little Ups and Downs"). The group's original tunes are fine stuff, too, especially "Midnight Dream," "The Last Time," and the title cut (which Penn co-wrote with Gonzalez). What's Wrong with Right is great soulful music proving that heart and passion recognize no generic boundary line, something that defines the Hacienda Brothers' musical mission. ~ Mark Deming
Uncut (p.86) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he band adroitly blur shuffles into Joe Tex-style balladry...[The songs] catch the Haciendas in full flight."
No Depression (p.115) - "Throughout their stellar sophomore disc, they bridge the gap between Memphis and Bakersfield."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.96) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Gaffney --- his voice a haunted, expressive husk -- puts his stamp on challenging fare....Elsewhere, Gonzalez pens everything from authentic sawdust-floor shuffles to cinematic Morricone twang."