Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Texas Tornados

  • Texas Tornados [Warner Bros., 1990] B+
  • The Best of Texas Tornados [Reprise, 1993] A-
  • Esta Bueno [Bismeaux, 2010] **

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Texas Tornados [Warner Bros., 1990]
On record they're a little too country for a honky-tonk conjunto rocking that Western swing. Freddy Fender especially is more ragged and more glorious entertaining fellow graybeards in person. But when Augie Meyers gets real silly or Doug Sahm gets real gone now, it doesn't matter at all. And the rest of the time it doesn't matter much. B+

The Best of Texas Tornados [Reprise, 1993]
The debut was rougher than tough and sweeter than shit, but as a genre band they're made for this selective, wide-ranging format. Mad rocker Doug Sahm is no longer a legend outside his place and time, vato vibrato Freddy Fender now remembered as a have-a-nice-day one-shot with a novelty artist's name, but not only were they both major in the bilingual, panstylistic Tex-Mex universe, they ain't oldies now. As for Augie Meyers and Flaco Jimenez, they're born sidemen whose solo albums stand up. In short, any young person who loves good rock and roll, good country, good conjunto, maybe even good polka has a supergroup out there waiting. Try "Guacamole," a great sex metaphor. Or "Who Were You Thinkin' Of," a classic country song. Or "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights," no one-shot. A-

Esta Bueno [Bismeaux, 2010]
Spitting image Shawn Sahm and raised-from-the-vault Freddy Fender resurrect lost supergroup's good humor and Tex-Mex pride ("Chicano," "Esta Bueno"). **