I skipped Tunesday last week as I was in a bit of mourning finding out that morning that Langerado, a huge music festival planned for next month had just been canceled. I had been really looking forward to 3 days of getting away, and just seeing live music. One of the bands that was scheduled to play is one of my all time favorites, Lucero.
I discovered Lucero via a jukebox. One of those jukeboxes in a hip downtown bar: dark, smoky, someplace you can both go to hang with friends, or sit and drown your sorrows as you suffer a broken heart. It was during one of those times of broken heartedness that I first heard them. It was soon there after that they came through town, and the rest, as they say, is history.
I was sitting at the bar, throwing back a few whiskeys, and struck up a conversation with a guy at the bar. We wound up buying each other a shot, listening to the opening act. As the first band ended, he got up, we exchanged a few pleasantries, and he proceeds to head towards the stage. Damned if it wasn’t Ben, the lead singer. They proceeded to play one of those sets that you just never forget, and set the stage for me not missing another opportunity to see them live.
As with a lot of music I listen to, they have that Alt-Country/Americana edge, think
somewhere between the Pogues, Johnny Cash, Gram Parsons, and Tom Waits,
with just enough punk influence to not just have a twangy Skynard cover band sound. Their early cover of Jawbreaker’s Kiss the Bottle is a perfect example of that synergy.
I’m also a big fan of Ben’s lyrics, probably due to my propensity for finding myself in those melancholy introspective moments. Lines like
I think I’ll stay right down here on this floor
Cause if I get back up I’ll only fall down more
It ain’t the liquor and it ain’t the beer that keeps me down
It ain’t the sad songs or heartache it ain’t even this town
From the song I’ll Just Fall
The beer tastes like blood, my mouth is numb
I can’t make the words I need to say
She had a weakness for writers
And I I was never that good at the words anyways
From Nights Like These
If I were to suggest albums to start with, certainly Nobody’s Darlings and That Much Further West would top the list, but from my blinders on position, you can’t go wrong with any of their recordings, and as I’ve said, they are a can’t miss live outfit.
All of Lucero’s music is available on emusic.com. If you’d like a invite to emusic for a trial membership and 50 free downloads (you’ll have to give a CC#, but they don’t charge until after the first month), leave a comment with the email address you’d like it sent to, and I”ll send one your way. Shameless confession – you can do a trial membership without the invite from me, but if you were to sign up with emusic after the trial via invite, I’d get a 50 song credit