Billy Bacon & the Forbidden Pigs
An unabashed musical tribute to Tex-Mex pioneer Doug Sahm — who died in 1999, spurring this album’s release — Billy Bacon has compiled 15 tracks, five of which are new to CD, to pay homage to one of his musical heroes. Bacon’s associates include Dave Alvin, who produces a few selections, and Chris Gaffney whose accordion is a major player here. These tunes, although lacking the fire and bite of the best of Sahm’s work, resonate with the South of the Border soul, garage rock, and blues that influenced Bacon and his eclectic band.
Bacon has an ingratiating, low-key voice, and his plaintive singing works well on this mix of covers and originals. The red-hot polka flavored “Nogales” sounds like a Sir Douglas Quintet cover, and “Una Mas Cerveza,” previously available only on a difficult to find single, was actually recorded by Sahm before his death. Like Joe “King” Carrasco, who gets name checked in the liner notes, Bacon has a ball with this music as evidenced by the energetic “aiy-yi-yiii’s” liberally sprinkled throughout the bouncy disc.
Literal but far from genre defining covers of “Wooly Bully,” and a live “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” are enjoyable, but don’t add anything to the originals making Pig Latin a fun, loose, and absolutely entertaining party disc, yet one that still sounds like a respectful tribute, and not the real thing.
Triple X Records, P.O. Box 862529, Los Angeles, CA 90086; http://www.triple-x.com