Hacienda Brothers

Origin: USA

Genre: country-rock band


Web Site:  Official Website



The Hacienda Brothers is the name of an alternative country band composed of Chris Gaffney, Dave Gonzalez, Dave Berzansky, Dale Daniel, and Hank Maninger. They have been described as “the finest country-rock band since the Flying Burrito Brothers in their prime,” and were called “the best country band of the decade.” Their music blends soul, blues, rockabilly, country, Tex-Mex and rock and roll. They themselves call it “western Soul.” The band was hailed as making a “groundbreaking blend of country, rock, blues and accordion-anchored Americana” and by the time founder Chris Gaffney died in 2008 had made three studio albums and one live album.

The Hacienda Brothers began in 2002 when friends Chris Gaffney and Dave Gonzalez played together during a planned jam session at the 40th birthday party of their mutual friend Jeb Schoonover. Gaffney was a successful singer and songwriter who had released several albums with the band the Cold Hard Facts and had toured with Dave Alvin. Gonzalez is a singer, songwriter, and guitar player, then mainly active with The Paladins. After playing on stage together, and at the urging of Schoonover (who would become their business partner and manager), they soon joined in Tucson, Arizona, to write and record their first album.

Calling themselves the Hacienda Brothers, they were joined by Dave Berzansky (pedal steel), Hank Maninger (bass, also with the Aqua Velvets), and Dale Daniel (drums). Their self-titled debut (2005) was produced by the legendary Dan Penn, who also wrote two tracks.[7] The album was praised widely; Vintage Guitar called it “a great CD.” What’s Wrong with Right, also produced by Penn, was released the following year and garnered critical accolades. Bob Mehr, writing for Mojo Magazine, praised its “authentic sawdust-floor shuffles” and “cinematic Morricone twang.”

Their self-titled debut album appeared in 2005, and quickly the band received critical recognition for their eclectic music. Their second album, What’s Wrong With Right, was chosen by the alternative country magazine No Depression as one of the top 60 albums for 2006[9] and by R&R as one of the top 100 Albums of 2006[citation needed]. Band leaders Gaffney and Gonzalez were interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air;[10] and Gonzalez was voted one of the “Top 101 All-time Unsung Guitar Heroes” by Guitar Player Magazine. In 2007, they were nominated for “Group of the Year” by the American Music Association. In August 2007, they released a live album Music for Ranch & Town.

Chris Gaffney died of liver cancer on April 17, 2008, while the band was wrapping up the recording of their third studio album, Arizona Motel. The album received great critical acclaim and was called “forceful and timeless.” A positive review accompanied an “in memoriam” article for Gaffney in Vintage Guitar;[15] a later review in the same magazine said the album “kicked butt”: “This album delivers more moments of greatness, more consistently, than any of their previous releases and is a fully realized work of music-craft.” The band planned on touring in support of a tribute album for Gaffney and did so in 2008; on at least one occasion they were joined by Dave Alvin as a special guest. In 2009, a tribute album to Gaffney was released, A Man of Somebody’s Dreams: A Tribute to the Songs of Chris Gaffney, which included songs played by fellow Hacienda Brothers as well as others.

Song choice

Their range of musical taste is evident in their choice of material. In addition to many originals, they have recorded Johnny Cash’s “Home of the Blues,” “Cry Like a Baby” (originally by the Box Tops), Gamble and Huff’s “Cowboys to Girls” (recorded by the The Intruders and the Commodores), Charlie Rich’s “Rebound” and “Life’s Little Ups and Downs,” Penn and Oldham’s “It Tears Me Up” (also recorded by Percy Sledge), and “Mental Revenge” (a song written for Waylon Jennings by Mel Tillis).

Band members

Chris Gaffney – vocal and accordion Dave Gonzalez – vocal and guitar Dave Berzansky – pedal steel guitar Dale Daniel – drums Hank Maninger – bass guitar


2005 – Hacienda Brothers 2006 – What’s Wrong with Right 2007 – Music for Ranch & Town (Live) 2008 – Arizona Motel


  1. Hal Horowitz’s review of Music for Ranch & Town
  2. Jump up ^ Marx, Wally (September 2008). “The Last (and Best) of: Review of The Hacienda Brothers, Arizona Motel“. Vintage Guitar 22 (11): 146. |accessdate= requires |url= (help)
  3. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e Scoppa, Bud (2008). “Hacienda Brothers Band Biography”

    . Hacienda Brothers. Retrieved 2009-06-07.

  4. Jump up ^ Marx, Jr., Wally (June 2008). “Dave Gonzalez: Western Soul Brother”. Vintage Guitar magazine 22 (8): 28. |accessdate= requires |url= (help)
  5. ^ Jump up to: a b Kinsler, Robert (2008-05-29). “Orange Pop: Check out the late Chris Gaffney’s work with the Hacienda Brothers”

    . Orange County Register. Retrieved 2009-06-07.

  6. Jump up ^ Loftus, Johnny. “Chris Gaffney – Biography”

    . Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-06-07.

  7. Jump up ^ Hacienda Brothers on Allmusic.com
  8. Jump up ^ Forte, Dan (April 2005). “Music: The Hacienda Brothers, Hacienda Brothers

    . Vintage Guitar. Retrieved 2009-06-07.

  9. Jump up ^ See the Jan/Feb 2007 issue of No Depression.
  10. Jump up ^ “Hacienda Brothers and ‘What’s Wrong’/story.php?storyId=6581032”

    . Fresh Air. 2006-12-05.

  11. Jump up ^ “101 Forgotten Greats & Unsung Heroes”. Guitar Player 41 (2): 72–102. February 2007. |accessdate= requires |url= (help)
  12. Jump up ^ AMA’s website
  13. Jump up ^ Owens, Kevin (August 2008). “Passing Notes: Chris Gaffney”. Guitar Player 42 (8): 60. |accessdate= requires |url= (help)
  14. Jump up ^ Gallo, Phil (2008-04-18). “Roots rocker Chris Gaffney dies: Musician played with Hacienda Brothers, Dave Alvin”

    . Variety. Retrieved 2009-06-07.

  15. Jump up ^ “Hacienda Brothers Album Out June 24”

    . Vintage Guitar magazine. 2008-05-13. Retrieved 2009-06-07.

  16. Jump up ^ “Music: Hacienda Bros., Arizona Motel

    . Vintage Guitar magazine. September 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-07.

  17. Jump up ^ Rodgers, Larry (2006-06-06). “Fans get chance to pay tribute to Hacienda Brothers’ singer”

    . The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2009-06-07.

  18. Jump up ^ Richardson, Derk (2008-08-07). “The Hacienda Brothers ‘farewell’ tour pays tribute to the late Chris Gaffney”

    . San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-06-07.

  19. Jump up ^ “Alvin, Escovedo, Los Lobos, and More Unite for Gaffney Tribute”

    . Vintage Guitar. 2009-01-13. Retrieved 2009-06-07.