Los Lonely Boys
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069
Los Lonely Boys
Can anything even more magical happen in the already charmed career of Los Lonely Boys? You bet. It’s called Rockpango, their first self-produced long player on their own LonelyTone/Playing In Traffic Records. And yeah, it’s magical indeed.
At least as magical — and maybe more so — as debuting in 2003 with a multi-chart gold single, selling millions of albums, winning a Grammy, racking up reams of critical acclaim, opening for The Rolling Stones,
and many more accomplishments for the Texican rock’n’roll trio of
brothers. Plus playing and recording with such legends as Willie
Nelson and Carlos Santana, associations that give a strong hint at
what’s at work here on Rockpango.
After proving themselves one of the most stunning and wonderful
musical success stories of the last decade, Los Lonely Boys are now
carving out their legend with their fourth studio album. Even though
the band has already shown they can “up the ante with greater
musicianship and confidence” (People) every time out, on Rockpango
they heighten the trajectory, open up their sound, and show what
flourishing maturity feels like from these veteran yet still young and
burgeoning musical talents.
Rockpango is a spirit and sound coined by Los Lonely Boys that takes
the next step from fandango (a beat of loving celebration) and then
huapango (another infectious Latin rhythm that gets the fiesta
cooking) to a full-scale Tex-Mex American roots rock party galore.
Bursting out of the gate with the simmering and slinky “American Idle”
that scans today’s tough economic times, and wrapping up 10 tracks
later with the fierce and fiery assertion that love is the answer on
“Believe,” Los Lonely Boys look at the big picture around us with the
concerns and continuing faith that come with well-grounded adulthood.
Their ever-expanding musical vision fills the set with new facets that
further reveal the group’s already notable artistic diversity. “16
Monkeys” is a delightfully funky slice of infectious neo-bohemian wit
and wordplay, while orchestration by the Tosca String Quartet adds
classic rock-pop sophistication on the achingly beautiful “Road To
Nowhere” and the Beatle-esque gem “Smile.” And they fuse deep blues
with a hip-hop twist on “Porn Star,” which includes a razor-sharp rap
at the tail end by Kush, one of their Texas extended family relations.
They soar on “Fly Away,” rip it up to percolating Latin beats on “Love
In My Veins” and “Baby Girl,” and reassert their mastery of the
classic music that influences them as demonstrated on their recent
1969 EP. They deliver ‘60s style blues-rockers on the rousing title
tune and powerfully loping “Change The World” — two more slices of
their spot-on social commentary and consciousness.
The trademark Los Lonely Boys genetic vocal blend is deeper, richer,
more fluent and confident than ever. The rhythms are utterly
irresistible as well as flush with smart syncopation and muscular
drive, abetted on some tracks by tour percussionist Carmelo “Melo”
Torres. The brothers’ songwriting skills stamp indelibility on every
winning number. And Henry Garza goes even beyond what Guitar World
hails as being a “guitarist with chops out his ass who doesn't care
about chops [and] just opens up and plays.” Joined by veteran Austin
player Riley Osbourn on keyboards, Los Lonely Boys deliver and more on
“I’m super proud of it,” says JoJo Garza, bassist and middle brother
in the triumvirate. “It’s just progress, maturation and growth.
Growing up, being older, seeing the world we’re living in. It’s also
touching base with home.”
Los Lonely Boys tale to date is already the stuff legends are made of:
Playing behind their father as kids in cantinas and honky-tonks.
Moving to Nashville in their teens to try to win a record deal.
Returning to their native Texas, where the brothers made their bones
on the club scene as a live act. Releasing their self-titled debut,
which goes double platinum, and penning a #1 radio hit in “Heaven.”
Two more stellar studio albums followed: Sacred (2006) and Forgiven
(2008). In 2009, they cut 1969, an EP that leaps back four decades to
reveal how the group’s roots extend well past their birthdates on
songs by The Beatles, Santana, The Doors, Buddy Holly and Tony Joe
White. 2010 brought about the release of Keep On Giving: Acoustic
Live! a snapshot of their recent acoustic tour.
So after all that, what’s left but to meet the new decade with the
great leap forward, upward, outward and onward of Rockpango? “It was
just time to grow and change,” explains JoJo. “But not change too
much. It’s kind of like a tree. A tree doesn’t actually change much as
it grows. It gets taller, grows more branches, gets thicker and
“I think it’s one of our best if not our best,” he adds. “We took the
ball and I think we scored a touchdown.”
And after eight years of championship seasons, Rockpango paves the way
for Los Lonely Boys to enter the rock’n’roll pantheon of legendary
musical artists while also remaining true to themselves. “We’re still
Lonely Boys,” JoJo insists, chuckling in agreement that they are also
now Los Lonely Men who have truly come of age on their latest. “We’re
still family, we’re still three brothers, we’re still doing what the
good Lord has blessed us with, and that’s singing and playing for
people who really want to listen.”
“I’m living the American dream / Fo’ sho’ / I’m worth more dead Because baby, I owe.”
Thom Chacon could well be the subject for one of his own evocative songs. On his self-titled sophomore album on the Pie label, the Durango, CO, singer-songwriter takes on the “American Dream” in no uncertain terms. Recorded at producer Perry Margouleff’s famed Pie Studios in Glen Cove, N.Y., with Bob Dylan’s rhythm section of drummer George Recile and bassist Tony Garnier, Thom Chacon offers a series of compelling narratives that focus on the forgotten members of society.
Born in Southern California, but raised in Sacramento, Chacon is the son of a Hispanic father, a newscaster who became a public relations executive, and a Lebanese mother, a kindergarten teacher, with five sisters (he was the second youngest). He first showed an interest in music at a young age, offering as proof a tape recording of him singing “Rhinestone Cowboy” as a three-year-old. Thom listened to story-tellers like Glen Campbell, Jim Croce, the Beatles of Rubber Soul and Smokey Robinson on his parents’ record player before picking up a guitar in fourth grade. He wrote his first song at age 16. “It wasn’t very good, but in all these years, I’ve never stopped. It’s something I have to do.”
Seeing Kris Kristofferson wear a harp rack inspired him to don one as well. “If you’re a solo artist, it’s your second band mate,” he says, before adding, “for me, it’s less about my voice and guitar-playing then it is the words and melody, which is why I modeled myself after what he was doing.”
Moving to Los Angeles in his early 20s, Thom originally sought fame and fortune in the L.A. music scene, then quickly realized he needed something more authentic. He took a job on a horse ranch in the foothills of Los Angeles, learning how to ride and take care of the horses.
Eventually, Thom decided to move to Durango, Colorado, seeking more of life’s outdoor adventures, and to concentrate on his songwriting. Thom became a part time fly-fishing guide, and when not on tour, takes people on horseback into the mountains of Colorado and New Mexico for extended camping and fly-fishing expeditions.
The cinematic nature of Thom’s songs comes not only from spending time as a true outdoorsman, but also from a love of movies and vintage television westerns, with a special affection for the films of John Ford, and John Wayne, a favorite of his mom.
Thom’s narrative style is influenced by Kris Kristofferson, Steve Earle and Townes Van Zandt, among others. He also draws influence from his colorful family history. His second cousin, Bobby Chacon was two-time boxing featherweight champion. “Bobby taught me no matter how hard it gets, you’ve go to get up off the mat and keeping fighting.” His grandfather was deputy sheriff in Silver City, New Mexico and part of the posse sent to capture Billy the Kid!
Thom has gone on to tour around the world, opening for artists as diverse as Los Lonely Boys and Jason Mraz, playing shows in Thailand and India, and even one memorable gig on July 4, 2004 at Folsom Prison, shortly after the death of another of his idols, Johnny Cash. “That was a life-changing experience for me,” he says.
With his current music reflecting a good dose of lifetime experiences, along with the hard-earned wisdom of a man who’s paid his dues both on the land and the water, Thom Chacon is now being touted by the press as “an Americana original” and “one of the most important songwriters of our time.”
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