Break Away Speed, co-written with Kim Richey and presented as one hell of a duet kicks of this album. And from there on Mando Saenz just keeps on delivering and kicking ass.

He writes honest songs about the stuff he’s seen, and as his press-kit says “Mando Saenz has made a career out of watching people, haunting places and asking questions.”

Richeys backup-vocals lifts this album, her voice fits Saenz like a warm, comforting glove, and makes sure this sits comfortably in your ear.

What really hooks me in here, is that raw and dirty twangy guitarsound that’s being used on several tracks. The songs rock, and they roll. And there’s enough country here to place it well into that category, all the while staying miles away from the evil parts of the Nashville generic sound machine.

With great new albums from Caitlin Rose, Stephen Simmons, Rod Picott, Otis Gibbs and the like – it seems that the songwriters are making sure Nashville still can be a town to be reckoned with, even for those of us who can’t watch the CMAs without gagging.

Mark Nevers production is dirty, direct and as tight as it comes. He’s worked with Lambchop, Bobby Bare Jr. and Norways own St.Thomas. And while he takes good care of the up-tempo songs with the aforementioned twangy guitars, the ballads on the album gets a touch of piano and even some horns to make them flow. Again, and I can’t mention this enough, Kim Richeys backup vocals really makes these songs shine. It’s as close to perfection as you’d ever find.

As I mentioned earler, Saenz songwriting is strong. He seems to be good at noticing the details around him, and uses that in his songs to create strong characters and stories you want to follow until the end.

I would suggest you get this album, and spend some time with Mando Saenz. Me thinks you won’t regret it!

Mando Saenz – Break Away Speed
Mando Saenz – The Road I’m On

Get it (digital, cd or glorious vinyl) at Saenz Bandcamp.


  1. Thanks for posting this I just ordered the album from Bandcamp, not a duff track to be found. Excellent!

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