I've always considered Jimenez, as someone who crossed pop music with conjunto, to be at his finest performing traditional music. Here, the songs are in the same style as those from his old Arhoolie recordings - there are none of the fancy guitar solos or incongruous overdubs which marred his work from the early and mid-'90s - only the sound has the fullness, richness and clarity it deserves. And the warmth of Flaco's voice, alone or in harmony with vocalist Raul "Nunie" Rubio, more than makes up for the absence of that old needle-on-vinyl feeling.
| SQUEEZE BOX KING |
Squeeze Box King opens with "En El Cielo No Hay Cerveza (In Heaven There Is No Beer)," a catchy, rambunctious little ditty celebrating the camaraderie that comes from drinking with good friends. Reminiscent of "Borracho #1," one of Flaco's earlier polkas on a similar subject, "En El Cielo" sets a light-hearted and spirited mood for the rest of the album. Chances are you've heard it before, but what's unique about this version is its trilingual lyrics, in Spanish, English, and -improbably enough - Dutch. It's another reminder that as South Texas conjunto music has spread internationally, Jimenez has served as the genre's de facto ambassador to the world.