June 2005

Los Super 7 - Heard It On the X
Telarc CD-83623
Released 2005
Format: CD

by Doug Blackburn

Musical Performance ****
Recording Quality **
Overall Enjoyment ****

Los Super 7’s third CD is based on the music played on ultra-high-powered AM radio stations that existed from the 1930s until the mid-1960s along the Mexican border and whose call letters always began with "X." They ran so much power, they could be heard over most of North America, and the music played was an exhilarating mixture of styles not heard on US radio stations. This CD mimics the play list, swinging through rockabilly, blues, Texas swing, Mexican pop, American and Spanish love songs, Buddy Holly, rock, and mariachi. A colorful mix of modern and traditional instruments accompanies the English and Spanish lyrics.

Vocals are provided by several band members and guest performers, including: Lyle Lovett, Delbert McClinton, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Rodney Crowell, Raul Malo (The Mavericks), John Hiatt, Joe Ely and Freddy Fender. The heart-felt performances snagged me on the first listen. This CD is still a favorite during the commute home from work. The tasty arrangements and changes in style from track to track keep the disc playing from beginning to end.

The sound, however is another matter. It is disappointing on a good stereo system, as if you’d turned on a circuit that truncates dynamic range for late-night-listening, perhaps as a further homage to AM radio. On the other hand, in your car, boat, portable CD player, motorcycle or boom box, this CD sounds great. Take it with you for some fun on the road, on the lake, or at a party. It will not fail to please.