Hailing from San Antonio, Texas, Hacienda are a band with one foot in the past and the other in the present, playing music that harks back to pop, soul, and blues sounds of the 1960s and '70s while maintaining a contemporary focus and enthusiasm. Hacienda are also a family affair, featuring three brothers -- Abraham Villanueva on keyboards, Rene Villanueva on bass, and Jaime Villanueva on drums -- joined by their cousin Dante Schwebel on guitar. Abraham and Dante began forming Hacienda in 2004, but had a hard time finding a rhythm section that understood the sound they were looking for; meanwhile, Rene and Jamie were playing with a local bar band, but were growing frustrated with their musical direction. When Rene and Jamie's band broke up, they teamed up with Abraham and Dante, and Hacienda were born.
Early on, Hacienda were interested in the possibilities of the recording studio, so they bought a portable digital recording rig and set up a makeshift studio in their practice space. As Hacienda's musical ideas coalesced into songs, they assembled a six-song demo CD, and when the Black Keys played a club show in San Antonio in late 2005, the members of the band met the group's guitarist, Dan Auerbach, at the bar. After talking music before the show, Auerbach was given a copy of Hacienda's demo, and he liked it enough that he contacted the bandmembers, offered his opinions on their songs, and passed the demo along to the A&R staff at Fat Possum Records. While Fat Possum eventually passed on Hacienda, Auerbach invited the band to record some material at his studio in Akron, Ohio, and the sessions produced Hacienda's debut album, 2008's Loud Is the Night. After signing a deal with Alive Naturalsound Records (the same label that released the Black Keys' debut), Hacienda hit the road in support of the disc, and in 2009, when Auerbach released his solo album Keep It Hid, he recruited the members of Hacienda to play in his backing band the Fast Five (with Patrick Hallahan of My Morning Jacket joining in).
Hacienda returned to the studio with Auerbach to cut their second album, 2010's Big Red & Barbacoa, and ramped up their tour schedule, playing as many as 200 dates a year, headlining club shows and playing larger venues opening for Dr. Dog, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, the Greenhornes, and My Morning Jacket. In 2012, Hacienda completed work on their third album, Shakedown, which was their first release for Collective Sounds, arriving in stores in June. ~ Mark Deming