Stephanie Urbina Jones 'The Texicana Sessions' - Casa Del Rio

This CD just came in for review though it was recorded back in 2010. Jones’ energetic and spirited take on Tex-Mex music is an invigorating mix of mariachi horns, uptempo upfront beats, rockin’ roots guitars, swinging keyboards with some occasional fiddle and steel additions to drive it all along. The songs are sung in Spanish and English and highlight Jones’ power as a vocalist.  Her songwriting skills shine in all twelve tracks here. However there are no credits for production or players on the sleeve (or on the net for that matter). Como Se Llama, Mama features a male voice whom she addresses as ‘Augie’, so we assume that that is the voice of her friend Augie Meyers, Texas Tornado.

Jones mixes the tempos and moods throughout, from the raucous opener Revolucion en mi Carazon to the understated ballads Canta Me and The Midnight Side Of Me. Some of the songs are sung in both languages, but whichever one Jones sings in, it is her delivery that makes them work so well. The closing song Gracias is a vibrant country song with twangy guitar, an instant beat and a fiddle that again highlight Jones’ versatility as a singer and writer.

For those who like Patricia Vonne or The Mavericks - Jones has just played a festival with the latter in Switzerland - or music with a pronounced Mexican/ border feel here is someone you will likely to enjoy as I did.