Mojo (Publisher) (p.96) - 5 stars out of 5 - "[A] remarkable debut album from one of Lubbock, Texas's more obscure but most original artists....[With] rollicking barroom piano, Texan guitar, Mariachi music and border blues ballads."
Pitchfork (Website) - "An outlier on the outlaw country scene of the 1970s, Terry Allen's JUAREZ is a bawdy song cycle that alludes to the fall of the Aztec Empire, Jesus, and motel sex. It retains its kick 40 years on."
Personnel: Terry Allen (vocals, piano); Peter Kaukonen (guitar, mandolin); Greg Douglas (guitar).
Audio Remasterer: Patrick Klem.
Liner Note Authors: Cormac McCarthy; Gloria Anzaldúa; Terry Allen.
Recording information: Wally Heider Studios, San Francisco, CA.
Originally released in 1975 on the Lubbock-bred singer/songwriter/visual artist's own Fate label and reissued in the '90s by Sugar Hill, Terry Allen's first album bears the influences of fellow Lubbockites Butch Hancock, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Joe Ely and of Californian adventurers Randy Newman and Little Feat, whose artsy folk-Western swing-R&B melange may be the album's nearest point of reference. Allen, at the time a teacher and artist-in-residence at California's Chouinard Institute, originally conceived JUAREZ as the soundtrack to an exhibit of lithographs. In fact, the struggling artist was only able to pay the studio musicians by giving them copies of the artwork. JUAREZ more than stands on its own merits as a concept album/morality play concerning two pairs of lovers on a southwestern killing spree. Allen's uncommon lyrical skill and unerring eye for detail are already in full evidence here, and JUAREZ is a fine debut.