Heard It on the X

Heard It on the X

by Los Super Seven


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Los Super Seven isn't a band, per se -- it's a collective, organized by manager Dan Goodman, who comes up with a concept for each of the group's albums and assembles a band to fit. For their third album, Goodman turned to music journalist
ecord producer Rick Clark, whose giveaway CDs for the Oxford American journal are highly regarded in certain quarters. Inspired by ZZ Top's classic boogie rock tribute to border radio, "Heard It on the X," Clark came up with a sharp idea: a salute to the heyday of AM radio on the Texas/Mexico border, when rock & roll, blues, country, jazz, Western swing, and mariachi mixed freely. Clark and Goodman drew up a list of songs and musicians to play them, recruited two different core bands -- indie rockers Calexico and a group featuring Charlie Sexton, who also served as the third producer on this album (along with Clark and Goodman), with drummer Hunt Sales -- and then brought in a bunch of Texas-identified singers. Some -- like Raul Malo, Joe Ely, Rick Trevino, Ruben Ramos, and Freddy Fender -- were Los Super Seven veterans, while others -- John Hiatt, Lyle Lovett, Rodney Crowell, and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown -- are new to the game. That list of musicians signals that Heard It on the X is not nearly as Latin-centric as its predecessor, Canto, which theoretically means it may play to a wider audience, but in 2005, with all this roots music and versions of songs that are 30-40 years old, it's unlikely that this will get much play outside of roots fanatics and those who long for the heyday of Musician magazine. That said, Heard It on the X is executed about as well as it could be. The song selection is expert, touching on lesser-known tunes by such Texas giants as Doug Sahm and Buddy Holly and standards by Blind Lemon Jefferson, ZZ Top, and Bob Wills, adding a few cult favorites and a new tune or two along the way. While this certainly reads like an eclectic listen on paper, in practice it flows easily, thanks to both the house bands, the professional (albeit a bit too clean) production, and the fact that the borders separating these genres are virtually nonexistent these days. There's no real cross-pollination within the grooves themselves (having Ramos sing the title track doesn't quite qualify, since it still comes across as bloozy boogie rock), the styles merely rub shoulders with each other, and since all the musicians already travel in these circles, there are no real surprises (well, apart from Hiatt's mannered vocal on "I'm Not That Kat (Anymore)," but on second thought, that's not much of a surprise, either). But surprises are overrated, particularly with so many similar albums shooting too high and missing the mark. Here, the songs are excellent, performed by the right musicians, and the result is a highly enjoyable record for anybody into any of the featured artists or songwriters. If this doesn't pack the thrill or sense of discovery that the original recordings have, mark that down to the ultimate triumph of border radio -- its influence has been so strong and so far-reaching that listeners take its innovations for granted, so an album as nonchalantly diverse as this seems like a welcome everyday occurrence.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/22/2005
Label: Telarc
UPC: 0089408362323
catalogNumber: 83623
Rank: 67762

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Super Seven   Primary Artist
Delbert McClinton   Vocals
Rodney Crowell   Vocals
Joe Ely   Vocals
John Hiatt   Vocals
Lyle Lovett   Vocals
Charlie Sexton   Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Electric Bass,Drums,Electric Guitar,Timbales,Background Vocals,Hand Clapping,Shaker,Lap Steel Guitar,Flamenco Guitar,Fuzz Guitar,Hand Drums,Hi String Guitar (Acoustic),Mando-Guitar,Guitar (Resonator),Guitar (Baritone)
Denny Freeman   Piano,Electric Guitar
Augie Meyers   Piano
Rubén Ramos   Vocals
Rick Trevino   Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Courtney Audain   Percussion,Djembe
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown   Electric Guitar,Vocals
Joey Burns   Piano,Electric Bass,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,Upright Bass,Bowed Double Bass,Guitar (Nylon String),Vocal Harmony
Rick Clark   Background Vocals,Hand Clapping,Vibes
Freddy Fender   Vocals
Flaco Jiménez   Accordion
Lloyd Maines   Pedal Steel Guitar
Raul Malo   Vocals
Hunt Sales   Drums
Redd Volkaert   Electric Guitar
Glen Fukanaga   Upright Bass
John Convertino   Percussion,Drums,Shaker,Echo
Larry Fulcher   Bass
Gomez   Trumpet
Max Baca   Background Vocals,Bajo Sexto
Paul Niehaus   Pedal Steel Guitar,Background Vocals,6-string bass,Guitar (Electric Baritone)
Spot Barnett   Saxophone,Soloist
Alexander-Sergei Ramírez   Violin
Jacob Valenzuela   Trumpet,Background Vocals,Soloist
Martin Wenk   Trumpet,Background Vocals,Claves,Vibes
Volker Zander   Upright Bass
Arturo "Sauce" Gonzalez   Organ,Piano,Hammond Organ
Louie Bustos   Baritone Saxophone
Ollin Chavez   Violin
Adolph Ortiz   Background Vocals,Guitarron
Duane Reed   Percussion
Michael Guerra   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Willie Dixon   Composer
Blind Lemon Jefferson   Composer
Doug Sahm   Composer
Charlie Sexton   Producer
Frank Beard   Composer
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown   Arranger
Joey Burns   Arranger,Composer
Rick Clark   Producer,Executive Producer
Bill Crawford   Liner Notes
Billy Gibbons   Composer
Dave Goodman   Producer,Executive Producer
Jerry Livingston   Composer
Dave McNair   Engineer
Mitchell Parish   Composer
Bill Bentley   Liner Notes
Joe Seneca   Composer
Robert Fuller   Composer
Jim Vollentine   Engineer
Fred Paragano   Engineer
Bryan Graban   Engineer

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