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Tish Hinojosa 

A Heart Wide Open (Valley Entertainment)

Where did your long hair go? Where is the girl we used to know?

She's still here. She just isn't a girl anymore. Like most women pushing 50, Tish Hinojosa has opted for the more matronly short coif, shedding the long raven tresses that were so familiar to her fans for so many years. Something else changed for the Tex-Mex songstress: Her gorgeous soprano just doesn't have the range it had on '90s masterpieces like Culture Swing and Homeland.

That's certainly not to say A Heart Wide Open doesn't stand up to its predecessors. Maybe her voice can't soar to the heavens these days, but she can still write great songs and sing with a unique passion and soul. And after forays into all-Spanish CDs, a Christmas CD, and children's CDs, it's good to have another record tailored for Anglos not familiar with the cultural landscape of South Texas. A Heart Wide Open is typical Tish -- a stew of ballads, country, singer-songwriter rock, conjunto, and border love songs that have been her trademark for almost 20 years. Hinojosa might have become one of roots music's elder stateswomen, but her latest CD proves she's anything but over the hill.

More by Steve Byrne

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