Chris Gaffney sings like a soul man long past his prime, returning for one last go and finding battered but beautiful emotions that justify all the croak and creak. He's no threat to James Carr, and his band (along with co-singer and songwriter Dave Gonzalez of the Paladins) the Hacienda Brothers
won't make you forget the Buckaroos or those dudes from Muscle Shoals. But the Brothers' take on Western soul kicks the dust around classics from Spooner Oldham and Dan Penn (who produced the recent What's Wrong with Right
) with voluptuous pedal steel, scampering Telecaster licks, in-the-pocket country rhythms and the funky accordion Gaffney has lent to LA cohort Dave Alvin. Collectively, the band swings and flickers like a dream honky-tonk on the outskirts of Sin City.