Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fighting the Fool

Posted on Wed, Sep 8, 2010 at 4:00 AM

Fighting the Fool
Composer: Mario Flores
Conductor: Mario Flores
Label: ShimFlo
Release Date: 2010-09-08
Rated: NONE
Genre: Recording

I hope I don’t blow what little credibility I’ve built over my brief tenure in the Current’s music section, but I’m about to do the unthinkable and recommend a radio-friendly country album. Many people respond to the “What kind of music do you like?” question with the answer, “Anything but country.” Occasionally, a few are savvy enough to qualify it with, “Anything but mainstream country.” But, in general, most music snobs turn their noses up at the sort of slick, twangy country Mario Flores boasts on his debut album. A regular entertainer at local saloons like Tra’s and Stetson Bar, Flores has a Tim McGraw croon and a tight, streamlined backing band, making for a polished final product full of ballads and bar burners. What really sold me though, is the second single, “Bubba Martinez.” It’s singalong-catchy on a subject that is omnipresent in Texas, yet gets zero play on any radio station — what the song’s writer Bill Butler calls “rednecks with a natural tan.” Flores expounds in the track, “He’s the original, honky-tonkin’, hillbilly, Spanish-speaking, bass-fishing, king of the Cantina.” AKA, red-blooded, American Hispanic. And that deserves some coverage, country-pop genre or not.

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