Album review- Squeezebox Bandits’ “Check to Check”

Squeezebox Bandits is a tejano and honky-tonk quartet from Fort Worth, Texas. Last May, they released for the “Cinco de Mayo” their third studio album via State Fair Records, named “Check To Check“. This record was produced by Matt Hillyer, Eleven Hundred Springs’ frontman, and Paul Williams.

Abel Casillas, who is a Fort-Worth native, is the leader of the quartet, the lead singer, the accordionist and he’s also a songwriter. The other members of the band are Vincent Saldivar (guitarist and vocalist), Ty Ybarra (drums and back vocals) and Austin Gardea (bass guitar).

Photo : Rachel Delira

After their debut “Clear As Day” (2018) and “Sounds of Texas“, the new studio album of the band is particularly brilliant. As usual with a tejano band, and as we can expect with the name of the quartet, the accordion is very present in each song. The result is a perfect combination of honky-tonk and traditional country with a strong Tex Mex sound.

Matt Hillyer wrote or cowrote 5 of the 10 songs of the album, including the amazing “Never Again” and the wonderful lead single “Check to Check“. Most of the songs were written or cowritten by the band’s frontman Abel Casillas.

It’s difficult to name an outstanding song, because the whole album is absolutely amazing. With each song, you’ll find the same quality and authenticity of the music and of the songwriting. The truth is that I appreciate all of them, the awesome “Hello Heartache“, the gem “Gone Away“, the catchy “Playgirl“, the other single, the excellent “Bayou Beauty“, the wonderful “Grass is Greener” and the beautiful “Adios Amor” and “What Kind Of Fool“. You also need to listen to the fantastic “Niles City Polka“, an instrumental song that you’ll love if you’re a fan of accordion (well, you’ll love it anyway!).

If you love tejano music and honky-tonk, you’ll have this album on repeat. It’s brilliant, excellently written and very representative of the rich variety and quality of Texan music.

Nicolas Davelu

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