Album Review: Mando Saenz – Studebaker

One of Country Music/Roots Music/Americana’s best artists, Mando Saenz isn’t as prolific as his contemporaries but tha’t exactly why Studebaker is such a welcome treat. Read on here to see what we have to say about the brand new album released by Carnival Recording Company.

With Studebaker, singer/songwriter Mando Saenz returns with his latest offering (and the first in five years) for the Carnival Recording Company. Produced by Mark Nevers, the album features guests like Jedd Huges, Kenny Vaughn, Kim Richey (who guests on opener “Breakaway Speed”) and Bobby Bare, Jr. The album finds the singer once again planting seeds along the Country/Roots singer/songwriter fields that are also home to artists like Rodney Crowell, Richey, Kevin Welch, Hays Carll, Ryan Bingham and and many more. 

Saenz mixes influences into an intoxicating stew of tracks that make up Studebaker including the spirited “Tall Grass,” and “Pocket Change,” the latter of which is a sonic cousin to the classic Monkees hit “Last Train To Clarksville.” “Nobody” is an emotional ballad that is only matched in emotional impact by “Breakaway Speed.” Jackson Browne fans will likely dig “The Road I’m On” while tender love song/album closer “Smiles At The Door” recalls the best of Bruce Robison and Guy Clark. 

Mando Saenz is a troubadour in the best sense of the word and throughout Studebaker he showcases everything we’ve come to love about strong songwriting and melody-rich Country/Roots music.