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Music Review - `Fantastico ` by Mitch Webb & The Swindles (bm)

Mitch Webb & the Swindles - Fantastico  (click on image to watch video)

 22 December 2019



Mitch Webb and the Swindles celebrate Texas-born country and rock ‘n’ roll’s longstanding fascination with its South of the Border neighbors on new album Fantastico. 

Examples of Tex-Mex cross-pollination include the Flamenco-inspired title track and 

“New Bordertown,” a horn-led team-up with Augie Meyers (Texas Tornados, Sir Douglas Quintet) and Josh Baca (Los Texmaniacs). Those two aren’t the only impressive special guests lending their talents to the album, as the credits list The Mavericks’ Michael Guerra as an accordion player and Los Texmaniacs’ Grammy-winning engineer Joe Trevino as co-producer alongside Ronnie Morales.

Webb’s musical melting pot also acknowledges Southern rock and punk’s undeniable impact on all things Americana. For instance, “Gone, Gone, Gone” is a swaggering tune intended for the Georgia Satellites’ second album, while “Jail in San Antone” and “Can’t Stop” hit harder than most rockabilly scorchers. 

At the heart of it all, Webb and friends tell stories in line with country music’s tradition of blunt honesty. Fiddle tune “Hold Me Down” deals with a soldier’s struggles after coming back home, “Barrel of a Gun” tries burying sorrow over a dead girlfriend and “Marie” tells a tale of chasing love and running drugs.

For classic country with fewer nods to other genres, check out “Driftwood 4023,” a raunchy Hickoids cover performed in the style of Ray Price. Likewise, “I Was Wrong” crashes the cowpunk party as a slowed-down ballad that revisits the polished Nashville sound of the ‘60s.

Overall, the album reminds us that such cross-cultural exchanges benefit more going into the new millennium than mainstream pop.


Bobby Moore




Bobby Moore





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