Los Super 7's latest is a grande dinner of Tex-Mex
The third time is quite the charm for ever-morphing Mexican-American musical confederation Los Super 7. With 1960s Texas border radio as the concept, this already Grammy-winning supergrupo delivers an album that's, well, super. Charlie Sexton proves himself Mr. Texas Record Man as producer. Calexico and sharp players from the Austin and San Antonio blues and country crew summon up vivid and alluring musical tracks to match the marquee lineup of singers. On the whole, the set kidnaps you from the first note to the last. The Lone Stars singing here include some of this state's signature voices -- Delbert McClinton, Lyle Lovett, Freddy Fender, Rodney Crowell, Ruben Ramos, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and Rick Treviño -- as well as singers so good (Raul Malo and John Hiatt) they oughta be Texans. They crack open the songbooks of Buddy Holly, Bobby Fuller, Doug Sahm, Sunny & the Sunliners and ZZ Top and have at them with new but thoroughly true reworkings that mine the rich essence of Tex-Mex, C&W, R&B, rock and roll, and blues. The result is a shimmering jewel of an album, and a reminder of the time when musical and media rebels eschewed genres and songs were hits simply because of the magic in their grooves. Every track is a champion and the CD is a winner all the way down to the smart and informative liner notes. If there were a half-million-watt, truly clear channel radio signal to air this masterwork, it'd be a sales smash as well as the musical monument it is.