Los Lonely Boys
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Los Lonely Boys

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE
Band Latin Classic Rock


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"LLB to release "1969" Tribute EP"

It was well before any of the three Garza brothers was born, but the magical music year of 1969 still contained "a lot of music we learned over the years and really influenced us," according to Los Lonely Boys bassist JoJo Garza.

So the Texas trio is paying "tribute" to the year with "1969," a five-song EP that's due out Oct. 13 and will be the first release on its own Lonely Tone label, after five years with Epic that included 2004's double-platinum "Los Lonely Boys."

"We had a good run with [Epic], man, we had some success together, but it was just time to move on, really," the middle Garza brother tells Billboard.com. "What band doesn't think about or dream about having their own label, y'know? Now we're really gonna be able to do it the way we want. This is our deal, and people will be able to hear that sound and that vibe and...the independence on what we do."

Garza says the group would like Lonely Tone -- which is part of Austin-based Playing in Traffic Records -- to house other acts, but "right now we're focusing all the energy that we can on us."

Los Lonely Boys chose the songs for "1969" from a long list of possibilities, favoring artists or particular songs that meant something to them. "Quite a few of those songs we played in our sets before all this (success) happened to us," Garza explains.

"Well All Right" -- produced by Andy Johns, who engineered the entire EP -- is something of a perfect storm, written by a fellow Texan (Buddy Holly), covered in 1969 by Blind Faith and later by good friend and musical mentor Santana, whose "Evil Ways" the trio also covers. They chose the Doors' "Roadhouse Blues" over "Touch Me" because they had played the former for many years.

The Beatles' "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window" and Tony Joe White's "Polk Salad Annie" were favorites of the Garza brothers' father. "We've been hearing ['Polk Salad Annie'] for years," JoJo says. "When it came time to talking about songs, that came up. Henry [Garza] said, 'Remember that song 'Polk Salad Annie?' 'Yeah! That's a fun song, man. Let's do that one.' It's just a cool tune. I don't know if anybody's re-done that song, ever."

Los Lonely Boys will be playing the "1969" covers during their Acoustic Brotherhood Tour with Alejandro Escovedo and Hacienda, which starts Oct. 5-6 in Alexandria, Va. Garza says the group has "ideas up the wazoo" for its next album, which it hopes to start recording later this year for release in 2010.
- Billboard.com


-Los Lonely Boys (2003)
-Los Lonely Boys - especial edition (2004)
-Live at the Fillmore (2005)
-Live at Blue Cat Blues (2006)
-Sacred (2006)
-Forgiven (2008)



It’s as simple as that, says guitarist Henry Garza of the artistic and emotional breakthrough achieved by him and his siblings, bass player Jojo and drummer Ringo Jr. From the bluesy groove of the opening song “Heart Won’t Tell a Lie” through the yearning plea of the title song, the heartfelt faith of “Love Don’t Care About Me” and a rollicking version of the Steve Winwood/Spencer Davis Group chestnut “I’m a Man,”

Los Lonely Boys has fully realized the potential shown as its first two studio albums, the multi-platinum 2003 debut Los Lonely Boys and 2006’s Sacred (a No. 2 arrival on the Billboard albums chart), made the Texas trio one of the most beloved and acclaimed new arrivals in rock. Each of the three reaches new levels in their playing and singing, Henry and Jojo alternating lead duties and all three joining in both the group musical dynamics and vocal harmonies that can only come with genetic bonds. Powered by passion and true brotherly love, Forgiven is in every note a rock ‘n’ roll classic.

But getting it in the grooves is not a simple matter at all. And that’s where producer Steve Jordan (John Mayer’s Continuum, Herbie Hancock, the music for the upcoming movie Cadillac Records) came in.

The plan: Forget the conventional recording studio. Book a soundstage, have the band play. A quick three weeks of sessions, and that’s it! Jordan assembled an ace team of sound artists, headed by renowned engineer Niko Bolas (producer of various Neil Young albums, engineer for Melissa Etheridge, James Taylor, Billy Joel and many others). Together they designed a series of set-ups specifically built to get the most out of the Boys.

“When I saw the room and the whole set-up I was really excited,” Jojo says. “ It was kind of like scientists, a whole new experiment. The vibes we got playing the songs were so much more live, able to be more in tune with each other rather than focusing on other things. It came down to having a good time and being able to play without playing, kind of like the theory of Bruce Lee and martial arts – playing without playing, thinking without thinking, knowing without knowing, being fluid like water.”

Certainly it’s no surprise to anyone who embraced the band’s initial, global hit “Heaven,” which hit No. 1 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart and earned a Grammy Award for best pop performance with vocal, or who has seen the group tear up concert stages around the world.

Forgiven is what Los Lonely Boys has been building toward, the fulfillment of the belief and support of not just millions of fans, but such notable mentors as Willie Nelson, Carlos Santana (joining him on tour, as well as writing and playing with him on “I Don’t Want to Lose Your Love” on his 2005 album All That I Am) and Los Lobos (with whom they’ll team for the 2008 edition of the Boys’ Brotherhood Tour). And it builds on the expanding breadth and range shown on such spotlights as their searing version of “Whatever Gets You Through the Night” for the 2006 John Lennon tribute album Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur. “They’re for real – the Brothers Garza are for real,” Jordan exclaims. “When they play they only play what they really believe in. Nothing’s ever contrived. And they have the support system to help them get where they’re going. They love making music, really love to do it, and are only getting better.” For Jordan, the course of action was clear.

“Obviously from ‘Heaven’ we knew what great songwriters they are and what kind of sound the group has,” says Jordan, who in addition to his status as an in-demand producer is an elite drummer (Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and too many others to mention). “They sing wonderfully together, three brothers with this chemistry. I went to see them live at the Fillmore last year and it was a great show. They play all-out live. So I thought the best way to capture them, where I would be satisfied and to instill some fun in the process was to capture that live energy and the groove of them playing.” And Jordan stepped right in with the same passion.

“He had ways to keep the flow going, capture the mood,” Jojo says. “He’d be there with us, standing there and jamming with this percussion thing he made, like a microphone shaker thing. And he’d play football with us and everything! When we got together with him he was one of the guys. His last name when he was with us wasn’t Jordan. He was Steve Garza!” It wouldn’t have mattered who he was, though, if Los Lonely Boys couldn’t deliver. And in this batch of songs they’ve established their own distinctive voices as writers and performers, while staying connected to the solid grounding of their musical roots. Though reluctant to single out any one song as the keystone, the brothers all say it’s no accident which one provided

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