Solid Songcraft Is the Key to Los Lonely Boys’ Success

Posted in MusicWorld on December 15, 2004 by

Los Lonely Boys have described their style as a “musical burrito,” and apparently there’s quite an appetite for what the three Garza brothers — guitarist Henry, bassist JoJo and Ringo Jr. on drums — have wrapped up. Their self-titled Or Music/Epic Records debut has become their indie label’s first platinum-selling release.

The three brothers, who describe themselves as “Texicans,” grew up in San Angelo, Texas, playing in a family conjunto band with their father, Ringo Sr., a veteran musician who had been a member of Los Falcones. This history is apparent, as the brothers, only in their twenties, play a compelling and rootsy mix of blues and rock with son and conjunto rhythms. An irresistible Tex-Mex backbeat conjures up the legacy of Doug Sahm and Freddy Fender, and Henry’s searing fretwork honors the instrumental prowess of Stevie Ray Vaughn. At the center of the sound is solid songcraft, with lyrics encompassing English, Spanish, and the hybrid “Spanglish.”

The trio swept all of the major honors at this year’s Austin Music Awards, and they’ve been enthusiastically championed by fellow Texan, Willie Nelson, as his favorite new band. He helped land the band a slot on Farm Aid, playing to 25,000 people alongside John Mellencamp and Neil Young, and their debut was tracked at his Pedernales Studio in Austin.

Honed in the honky-tonks of Texas, the band is united by a common work ethic and the undeniable bonds of brotherhood. “We just want to play music and give it to the world,” says Henry Garza. “You give, you shall receive.”


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