The groundbreaking theater work By the Hand of the Father had its premiere two years ago in Los Angeles. Created by Theresa Chavez, Rose Portillo, Alejandro Escovedo, and Eric Gutierrez—with songs written primarily by Escovedo—By the Hand of the Father recounts the experiences of Escovedo's father's generation; that is, Mexicans who made their way north to the U.S. to build new lives.
With a formidable list of accompaniment vocal credits on her rÉsumÉ, including such gospel royalty as Yolanda Adams and the Canton Spirituals, Williams (not to be confused with the pop/R&B singer of the same name) is hardly a newcomer to gospel music.
With their fresh-faced good looks, sunny demeanor, and earnest optimism, this coed quartet establishes itself as a big target out of the box for those leery of yet another sticky dose of vaporous pop country.
Compendia releases this Texas-centric compilation under the "Cowpendia" banner, and quite honestly, it aptly represents the thriving Lone Star singer/ songwriter scene via rough-and-rowdy cuts custom-built for live audiences.
Obviously, the appeal of this disc isn't exactly all that broad. Yet, for the devoted Buffalo Tom fan, Besides—a companion to Beggars' 2000 best-of set, A-Sides—is a genuine jewel made even more precious by the fact that the band's future seems unclear (the band went on hiatus last year and has now scheduled a few shows).