The Lusitania
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The Lusitania

El Paso, Texas, United States | INDIE

El Paso, Texas, United States | INDIE
Band Americana Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Lusitania Interview Part 2"

This is part 2 of 2 of our interview with EP Culture Beat - EP Culture Beat

"The Lusitania Interview Part 1"

This is part 1 of 2 of our interview with EP culture beat - EP Culture Beat

"Editorial: From the End of This Pen"

Saturday night I went to Zeppelins to see The Cave Singers. It is a new band
from Seattle that has my good friend Derek from The Murder City Devils and
Pretty Girls Make Graves in it. They were amazing... The surprise of the night
was Lusitania. They are a band from here and they played first. I was
completely blown away. They are Americana, a little country-ish, and
everything I am into right now. I was surprised I hadn't heard of them before,
but I am hooked now. Check them out at I am a huge fan now for sure.
- What's Up Weekly

"The Audio File"

To hear Adi Kanlic tell it, his band is at a crossroads.

“It’s been good,” he says. “We’re getting to play these really cool shows, getting on bills with national acts. Personally, I’m happy with where we’re at, but we’re hungry – always trying to push it to the next level.”

The five-piece local band will hit a new plateau this Sunday when they celebrate the release of their new CD, “Rain and Rivers,” with a show at Ardovino’s Desert Crossing. Jim Ward will open with a solo set.

Six years on the local scene, and The Lusitania are finally debuting a full-on studio album. And it’s a doozy: “Rain and Rivers” is a strident collection of 12 songs steeped in heartbreak, booze and boozy heartbreak.

A confident statement, the LP was painstakingly crafted over the course of a year at Jim Ward’s Clap of Thunder studio with production help from Ward and studio wiz Gabe Gonzalez. It will be released on Ward’s label, Civil Defense League, and will be sold at shows and the label’s website,

Avid El Paso music fans should be no strangers to The Lusitania’s rustic music, a rock-country blend that has shaken the ballasts of many a local rock bar with organ-washed, Beat-inspired tales of love gone wrong.

But they haven’t quite heard it like this – at least not on record. The gritty sound of the band’s live show has been given justice by Gonzalez’s deft touch, which has crisply captured The Lusitania’s base sound – guitars, drums, bass and keyboards – and filled it out at various points with horns, banjo and other flourishes.

One of their oldest songs, the anthemic “The Wolves,” is given an awesome treatment: a staccato drum assault during the first chorus that packs a big, angsty wallop in an otherwise wistful song.

“We feel like this is the album that we can use to represent ourselves,” bassist Blake Duncan says. “It’s something that gives a good, whole picture of what we do, so some of the songs are older songs that we have recorded before, but we changed them up and added new items, and it’s definitely a much better version of everything.”

The solid record comes as the lineup has solidified. Membership has fluctuated since Blake and his brother, lead singer/guitarist Mike Duncan, started the band in 2004, but now it’s settled into a quintet: Mike, Blake, Adi, lead guitarist Will Daugherty and drummer Charles Berry. Back-up vocalist Nicole Smith, who leads The Royalty, is a revolving band member.

“This band is definitely the best band, with Will now playing lead guitar,” Blake says. “Adi’s been in it, Charles has been in it for a long time. I consider this The Lusitania and what it’s supposed to be.”

Now that the record will be out, the band’s priority is hitting the road – a feat constrained by day jobs and full lives. Two members are going to school and one is a teacher at El Paso High, making the fall and spring tough.

“We are currently restricted by those timeframes, but we’re doing pretty much every weekend – going somewhere, leaving on Friday, coming back on Sunday,” Blake says. “And once December rolls around, we’re going to do some serious traveling. We’ve got to reach a few stepping stones before we call it quits on our day jobs.”

Stalwarts in the local live scene, they play an average of one to two live shows a week, have opened for Deer Tick and have gained cache in cities across the Southwest, especially in Lubbock, where they will open for Lucero in two weeks.

Grungy western bar scenes are an apt fit for their music, which blends down-home twang with highbrow tragedy. Mike, a UTEP graduate student studying multicultural literature, weaves hyper-literate tales of heartbreak into his lyrics.

“A lot of the writers I like, the Beat writers – Jack Kerouac, Hunter S. Thompson, my heroes – were always hard-drinking, drug-using, heartbreaking men. So I write about that stuff … and I do drink a lot, too.”

That may be one true-to-life aspect of their music, but with a new label, album and game plan, The Lusitania’s future hardly looks tragic. - What's Up Weekly

"The Lusitania - Rain and Rivers"

El Paso-based The Lusitania have been making the rounds touring across Texas and the Southwest for the past few years, steadily making a name for themselves with great songs and high energy performances. Their quality is apparent in the fact that they have found the support of fellow El Pasoan Jim Ward, known for his work with At The Drive-In, Sparta, and Sleepercar.

The Lusitania are yet another promising band in the canon of West Texas music. Out of a seemingly sparse landscape, great music continues to emerge, and not just run-of-the-mill music, but that which could hold its own in any major music market in the U.S. right now.

Rain and Rivers, produced by Ward and Gabe Gonzalez, was recorded at Clap of Thunder Studios in El Paso and is being released on Civil Defense League Records. You can download or buy a physical copy of the record here. The record finds the band re-recording some previously released material as well as putting a good deal of new material to tape as well.

Rain and Rivers offers new versions of Lusitania staples such as "Wolves," "Bottle Neck Blues," and the Bukowski-esque "Spoils of War," as well as the previously vinyl-only songs "Down the Tracks" and "Tributaries." Beyond that, however, you'll find a number of great new songs. "Your Style" far and away stands out as my early favorite, and I find myself either playing it on my ipod or singing it aloud in not always appropriate places. However, this new song doesn't stand alone, as the growling rocker "'Til My Heart Gives Out" fits perfectly in the Lusitania's catalog, adding some great vocal harmonies into the mix for depth. Alternatively, the album's second song, "A Line in the Sand" is more uptempo and should be a fantastic song for the live show.

The Lusitania have put in a lot of dues touring the last few years, and the release of R & R will only bolster their efforts. The album is a solid full-length effort that should be appreciated by fans both old and new. These guys are deserving of a great deal of success, and this album is a good step toward getting their names out. Spread the word. - Wind Farm Records


"The Lusitania" EP

"The Lusitania/Buckeye" 7" split - Leatherfist Records

"Rain and Rivers" - Civil Defense League Records



The Lusitania was formed in 2005 by brothers Michael and Blake Duncan. The band went through a few line up changes before coming to their current cast of the Duncan brothers, Charles Berry, Adi Kanlic, and the latest member, Will Daugherty. An auxiliary horn section containing two trumpets and an alto saxophone has been added to the live performance on occasion.

The band has toured the Southwest consistently since 2008 covering the region from Phoenix to Houston, and as far north as Ft. Collins, Colorado. Many times the bands frequent the same cities up to 3 times a year. They have shared the road with bands such as Lucero, Sleepercar, the Thrift Store Cowboys, and The Royalty.

The Lusitania has shared the stage with Deer Tick, Jim Ward, Crystal Antlers, Mason Jennings, Lucero, the Thrift Store Cowboys, The Royalty, Zech’s Marquise, Dale Watson, Tim Kasher (Cursive), the Orbans, As Tall As Lions, and Drag The River in the past year.

The Lusitania put out an eight song self-titled EP on their own, along with a 7” vinyl split with El Paso natives, Buckeye on indie label Leatherfist Records. The band has just released their first full-length professional studio album “Rain and Rivers” through Civil Defense League Records in early October 2010. The album was recorded at Clap of Thunder Studios in El Paso, TX over a year long span in 2009.

Through the release of “Rain and Rivers” the band hopes to build a loyal following across the US. They are determined to tour tirelessly the remainder of 2010 and into 2011. The record has the support of Jim Ward in both the label and production aspect. Tembloroso Creative Lab, and Viva Creative Group have provided support to The Lusitania through the recording process of “Rain and Rivers”. After the success of “Rain and Rivers”, The Lusitania is discussing plans for a follow up record.