Personnel: Shawn Sahm (vocals, guitar, drums); Flaco Jim‚nez (vocals, accordion); Augie Meyers (vocals, piano); Freddy Fender (vocals); Louie Ortega (guitar, background vocals); Michael Guerra (bajo sexto); Westside Horns, Louie Bustos, Spot Barnett, Al Gomez (horns); George Rains, Ernie Durawa (drums); Neal Walker, Nunni Rubio (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Sam "Lightning" Seifert; Stuart Sullivan; Shawn Sahm.
Recording information: Bismeaux Studios; ITG Studios; Poverty Studios; Wire Recording.
Photographer: Todd V. Wolfson.
The Texas Tornados quietly folded in the wake of the death of Doug Sahm in 1999, but roughly a decade later they just as quietly became a going concern under the direction of his son Shawn, reuniting for regular gigs and a new album called Esta Bueno!. Released in March of 2010 (alongside the publication of the first-ever Doug Sahm biography entitled -- what else -- Texas Tornado), Esta Bueno! revives a couple of Sir Doug staples ("Chicano" and Bobby Charles' "Tennessee Blues"), and also several unreleased performances from the other departed Tornado, Freddy Fender -- a whopping five, including a handful of new songs, their presence giving Esta Bueno! an even stronger feel of a classic Texas Tornados album. And that's the entire intent of Esta Bueno!: this is designed as a continuation, not a revival, of the band's signature Tex-Mex style, and since Shawn Sahm, Augie Meyers, and Flaco Jimenez are old road dogs, they miss not a step when they fall back into their old groove. Like much roots rock made since the Tornados' 1990 debut, Esta Bueno! is a shade too clean in its production -- it could use just a bit of grit in its sound -- but it's hard to complain too much because the spirit of the record is so joyous, it's hard not to smile as it plays. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine