Freddy Fender

Freddy Fender

The Best of Freddy Fender

MCA Nashville

While the millennium may’ve produced a lot of silly hoopla, at least it also produced Universal’s “Millennium Collection” of best-of releases. In the this case, the best of one Baldemar Huerta, better known as the guy who was stuck for a name, looked at the headstock of his Telecaster, and decided to call himself Freddy Fender.

Unless you’re one of those “discourage inbreeding, ban country music” idiots, there’s simply nothing to dislike here. Honky-tonk classics like “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” and “Before the Next Teardrop Falls” get the Tex-Mex treatment here, complete with numerous songs containing alternate verses in Spanish. The playing is top-notch, and this is real country, not the pop crap playing on most country stations, even venturing into a Johnny Rivers-like boogie (“Since I Met You Baby”) and a countrified cumbia (“I Love My Rancho Grande”) written by Senor Huerta himself. If you have an open mind about country, this is classic stuff.

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