Album Review: Buenos Diaz – Fox Street Blues

Buenos Diaz, real name Nick Diaz, is an Austin, USA-based singer songwriter who combines blues, rock and roll and “a little bit of Tex-Mex” with his sound. He’s just landed on my radar thanks to his new album Fox Street Blues.

By Graeme Smith

Fox Street is located in east downtown Houston and is known primarily as a lower-middle class Mexican-American neighbourhood. It’s where Nick’s mother grew up, raised by a single mother. Nick, too, would be raised by his mother alone, with his father leaving when he was two years old. It’s against this backdrop that Fox Street Blues plays out, and the world on which Nick wishes to put a spotlight with his latest album.

The album opens with Hope, a slow-burning and atmospheric vignette that sets the scene for what’s to come. A marching drum leads us nicely into Nothing To Lose which gives explosive and quickfire blues rock. Big riffs combine with a relentless tempo and image-laden lyrics to great effect. The pair of tracks are a strong start.

Let It Go, Let It Out takes us into traditional blues with a cantering rhythm and some tasty guitar licks. Punch Drunk In Love is swaggering rock and roll while Big Hips, Smooth Lips, Wet Kiss is sultry, jangly twelve-bar blues. The Blues Live In Texas is a moody, simmering tribute to Nick’s home state. Single Bandit Blues is a highlight, delivering moodiness and adventure in equal measure.

Bourbon Street Blues is a lively, Dylan-esque departure to New Orleans. I Got The Blues is rich with fuzzy guitar and passionate vocals. Where’s The Funk In The Neighborhood takes us, of course, into funk, with an infectious groove and meandering melody. Where Do We Go brings with it a little country folk romanticism before Little Wing closes the album with Nick’s take on Hendrix’s psychedelic meditation.

Fox Street Blues was performed by Nick Diaz on vocals, guitars, bass and percussion, Sam Powell on keyboards, and Jeff Olson, Matty Amendola and Mark Henne on drums. It was recorded, produced and mixed by Nick and mastered by Kevin Blackler in Brooklyn, New York. The album is out on 22 September.