Los Super Seven
Heard It On The X is the third album from the Grammy Award winning Los Super Seven project. When it came time for Dan Goodman, the visionary behind Los Super Seven, to begin work on the next album, he enlisted long-time friend Rick Clark to collaborate. Goodman sought to merge the roots sensibilities of Los Super Seven with the freewheeling eclecticism of the acclaimed Oxford American Magazine music CD series, which Clark produces; seeking to capture the renegade spirit of "X" radio. Shortly after the two began work in 2002 researching and compiling material, they decided to cast their eyes toward the Border, and enlist a wide range of singers and players who might have fallen under that spell.
To help bring home the vision in the studio, Goodman and Clark felt that bringing Charlie Sexton on board would prove to be the last key ingredient. Sexton, a musical prodigy who by his late teens was a veteran of the Texas roadhouse scene, went on to a recording career and a multi-year stint playing in Bob Dylan's band. The production team of Sexton, Clark and Goodman have created an intriguing synergy that has taken Los Super Seven into a brand new world, one that is really beyond all borders—just like border radio itself.
Clarence Gatemouth Brown
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown helped invent border music, and he probably doesn't even know it. He's one of the original mix masters, taking jump blues and Texas swing, mashing them together into one irresistible style on his first hit—"Okie Dokie Stomp" in 1954—and then spending the next half-century proving it's not what you play but how you play it.
Rodney Crowell grew up in Galena Park, a Houston outpost not far from the city's ship channel. The city boasted a bountiful banquet of radio stations well before FM threw in a whole new bandwidth, and Crowell heard them all. Before heading to Nashville as a player and a songwriter, Crowell also kicked around the local circuit, grooving to whatever the airwaves sent his way.
A Los Super Seven alumni and native of Lubbock, Texas (hometown of Buddy Holly), Joe Ely grew up listening to border radio. Tuning in late at night, he felt the pull of the music from a place he probably only could imagine, and knew that someday he'd chase that sound to hell and back. One of Ely's favorites during his youth was Bobby Fuller, to whom he pays tribute on this recording.
Born Baldemar Huerta in the Texas Valley, Freddy Fender launched his career in the late 1950s with a number of local hit singles (he was known as "El Be Bop Kid" in the early days). After some trouble with the law in the 1960s, he hooked up with Doug Sahm in Austin in the mid-1970s and jumpstarted his career with the hit single "Before the Next Teardrop Falls." Act Three came in the early 1990s when he joined Augie Meyers and Flaco Jimenez in the guise of The Texas Tornadoes, a band that Sahm often referred to as "the Tex-Mex Beatles." Freddy's tracks were two of the highlights of the debut LS7 album.
Although originally from Indiana, John Hiatt is no stranger to the sounds blasting out of border radio stations, as well as a few Nashville clear channel killers and probably even a blues show or two aired from Chicago. Whatever and wherever the source, he heard it all as a kid, and distilled everything into a broad-based musical palette that brings color and tone to his award winning original songs.
Lyle Lovett cut his own path from the very beginning of his career, singing in coffeehouses in College Station during his years as a student at Texas A&M. From there, he moved on to Houston and worked his way to Austin and beyond. He has always defied description, and in choosing a song first made famous by Bob Wills ("My Window Faces the South"), he shows his rural roots, as well as all the sophistication he's developed since leaving home.
Raul Malo first came to national attention in the 1990s via the Mavericks, a Miami success story that always had much more on its mind than just country music. Born of Cuban-American ancestry, Malo grew up in Miami and listened to everything he could get his ears on. He makes two fine appearances on Heard It On The X: "El Burro Song" and Doug Sahm's "Song of Everything."
Delbert McClinton got his start in the rough-and-tumble Fort Worth club scene of the 1960s, perfecting his own brand of borderland rhythm and blues and scoring a local hit or two along the way. In the four decades since, he's ascended to worldwide status and developed a global following that seems to grow larger and stronger every year.
Ruben Ramos is the heart and soul of Los Super Seven, not to mention one of the classiest guys on the central Texas music circuit. He's been performing for most of his life, and is considered one of the most soulful singers on two legs around the Austin area. There's a circuit of clubs and dance halls where Ramos has been a fixture almost since they were built, and Spanish-language fans follow him wherever he plays.
A Lone Star native and veteran of the two previous Los Super Seven albums, Rick Trevino has worked both the country and Latin roots side of the fence. It's a quality that so many of the artists on this album share; that ability to take their music into separate but equal areas of appreciation, and find fans as rabid in one as in the other.