This is a review of Al Hurricane and Al Hurricane, Jr.’s Live at the Kimo. Neither Al Hurricane nor Al Hurricane, Jr. are strangers to live performances, they’ve toured and performed the world over, and their live performances have been captured on the tribute albums and DVD, A Tribute to Al Hurricane. Those previous albums were recorded as a part of the Tribute Concert to Al Hurricane, many musical artists performed in that concert, and both Al, Jr. and Al performed during the concert. The setlist of that prior concert centered on songs that had impacted each individual musicians, that concert was a big event at the Isleta Casino & Showroom. Whereas this concert’s setlist focused on songs from throughout both Al and Jrs career, and is obviously picked with the focus on pleasing the Hurricane’s core audience, New Mexicans and Southwesterners.
Volume 1, starts out with a song from Al Hurricane’s newest studio album,Hey Sugar Baby! “Los Chukos Suaves”. Followed up by a classic, one of the songs that Al, Jr. made famous “Flor De Las Flores”. The next trio of songs, “El Rebelde”, “Cruz de Madera”, and “El Botones” are local favorites which lead to a hit song performed by Erika, “Puñalada Trapera”. This is then followed by cover of Tiny Morrie’s “Lonely Letter” being performed by Al Hurricane, Jr. Then, to round out the album, Al performs a couple of mainstays “La Colorteada” and “Sentimiento”.
The second volume, kicks off with “La Puerta Negra”, an Al Hurricane classic staple and “El Pintor” a classic Al Hurricane, Jr. staple. Al’s take on the old Colombian cumbia “La Macura” comes up next, with Al, Jr. singing “Por Que?” The eponyomous song from Al’s 2000 album Siempre is then sung by Jr with ferver. Erika then takes the limelight with a rendition of “Ni Si Quiera una Mirada”. After Erika’s song, the father takes the stage for an energetic “Cuando Quieres Tu”. Al then dedicates “A la Guerra Ya Me Llevan” to the U.S. Armed Forces and Jr then triumphantly sings. The Hank Williams classic, Jambalaya, is then given the Al Hurricane treatment, in similar fashion to the A Tribute to Al Hurricane’s rendition. Jr and Erika then give a heartfelt take on “Cada Día Mas”. Al then rounds out the performance with “Baila, Bailame”.
There are only two real downsides to this album, that don’t come from the performances. But, rather, the album’s mix accurately mimics the tinny and reverberant sound of the Kimo Theatre, which is both a good and bad thing, its not distracting but its noticeable. The other thing is having to choose between these two otherwise great albums. – Review by Mario J. Lucero