A review written by Steve Ambrosius
July 7, 2005

Frank Carillo & the Bandoleros
Jezebel Records
Score: 4 1/2 Stars

When I received the latest CD by Frank Carillo and the Bandoleros, my immediate thought was, "here we go with another Texan blues guitarist trying to be Stevie Ray Vaughan".  But then I put it in the changer and was pleasantly surprised.  Bad Out There has a definite blues flavor, but it will remind you more of The Farm Dogs ("Bad Out There"), John Hiatt ("Blame All My Troubles On The Moon"), Tom Waits ("Just A Photograph"), and The BoDeans ("Red Queen") than of The Fabulous Thunderbirds.

Released on Jezebel Records, Bad Out There will probably not get the air time that is necessary to ever become "popular", but there is little being played on 80s-rock stations that is any better than this look at roots-based rock-n-roll.  Frank Carillo does an excellent job of story telling and picture painting.  I must tell you that "With Her Pajamas On", a story about a battered wife that takes her revenge, kind of freaks me out, but then again, I think that is its purpose.

Bad Out There mixes John Hiatt and Warren Zevon on its closing number "If You Don't".  This piano ballad is the mellowest song on the CD but leaves me wanting to press play again.  And that really is the way I like to judge CDs.  Will this get much play time, and after several listens, I have a strong feeling that I will be spending quite a bit of time with Frank Carillo and the Bandoleros.

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