Lots of musicians compare their careers to roller-coaster rides, but Los Lonely Boys have had so many close-your-eyes-and-hang-on moments in the 14 years since they recorded their self-titled debut, they should buy an amusement park.
The story of how the Garza brothers – vocalist/guitarist Henry, bassist/vocalist Jojo and drummer/ vocalist Ringo – rode their bluesy “Texican rock” sound from San Angelo, Texas, to worldwide fame is one of rock’s great Cinderella tales. But the story of how they’ve persevered in the face of subsequent challenges is just as compelling. In 2013, they canceled 43 shows and paused work on their last album, Revelation, after Henry was seriously hurt when he fell from a stage in Los Angeles. A couple of years previously, vocal cord nodules had forced Jojo to stop singing for months. And in 2015, their mother passed away.
Their strong brotherly bond helped them through those rough spots – just as it did when they made the hard decision to step out from under their father’s musical leadership and form their own band after performing with him since childhood. The desire to follow their musical muse still drives them today
“We want to make music that brings people together”, says Jojo “We’re all about having a good time, but we also make an effort to write about subjects that matter. Life, death, love, hate, compassion, transgression, light, darkness, truth; they’re what we’ve always been about. We’re not interested in songs about how you look and what kind of car you drive and how much money you have. We want to create music that’s about the love and energy and spirit we all carry. It comes from a bigger source than ourselves.”
Their scare with Henry caused all three brothers to re-examine not only how they make music, but how they conduct their lives. “The whole experience was a wake-up call,” Jojo admits. “It reminded us of what’s really important.”
Once again, they affirmed that’s family. And music. For this trio, the two are inseparable. In fact, the sons of Enrique “Ringo” Garza Sr. are a second-generation sibling band; their dad and his brothers played conjunto as the Falcones before the elder Garza formed a band with his sons.
They were still teens when he moved them to Nashville, hoping to hit career pay dirt. But their big break came after they returned to Texas and began playing Austin clubs in the early 2000s. One day, Willie Nelson’s nephew heard some demos. Next thing they knew, Willie showed up at a gig. Then he showcased them at Farm Aid, fronted recording time at his famed Pedernales Studio and even guested on their album.
Released in 2003 on startup label Or Records, Los Lonely Boys got picked up by Epic and rereleased. Propelled by its No. 1 single, Heaven, it wound up selling over 2 million copies, spending 76 weeks on the Billboard Top 200 album chart and earning them a Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group.
Their dream-come-true rise was chronicled in the documentary, Los Lonely Boys: Cottonfields and Crossroads, directed by fellow San Angelo native Hector Galán. Another dream came true when Carlos Santana invited them to guest on his 2005 album, All That I Am. They also released Live at the Fillmore that year. Their father and Nelson joined them on 2006’s Sacred, and in 2007, their cover of John Lennon’s Whatever Gets You Through the Night became the second single from the album Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur.
If anything, Jojo says, life’s upheavals have tightened their bond even more. “We stick together,” he adds, “and we’re trying to pass on that feeling of brotherhood, of familia, in all the music we make.”
Friday, August 25, 2017 8pm
Tickets: $34 - $49
Rock Power Trio!
Grammy Award-winning, Texican rock power trio Los Lonely Boys knows how to wow their audience! Brothers Henry, Jojo, and Ringo exploded on the music scene with the hit single Heaven in the mid-90s. On the road, they have earned a reputation as a powerful live act with their signature style and infectious sound!