Los Lonely Boys
Los Lonely Boys
T.J. Simon's #17 album for 2003
First Appeared at The Music Box, January 2004, Volume 11, #1
Written by John Metzger
Throughout his career, Willie Nelson has lent his support to artists both young and old in whom he has believed, and his latest project is Los Lonely Boys, a trio from Texas that features the Garza brothers ó guitarist Henry, bass player Jojo, and drummer Ringo. The groupís self-titled debut was recorded at Nelsonís Pedernales studio; he performs on the albumís final track (La Contestaciůn); and he tapped the band not only to open several of his shows this past summer, but also to perform in prominent spots at his annual 4th of July Picnic and Farm Aid events. With Nelsonís star once again shining quite brightly, it isnít surprising that the group is benefiting tremendously, and the media has started to latch onto its debut at a near frenzied pace.
There was a time when a band would toil regionally for awhile ó writing songs and perfecting its style ó before it received such widespread, national acclaim. With the advent of digital technology, however, the whole cycle now moves so fast that artists get thrust into the spotlight long before they are ready, and this very well may be what is happening to Los Lonely Boys. At this very early stage of its career, the group is probably a bit better at performing a concert than recording an album, and one simply must fear that the hype is going to bury the ensemble before it even can get its feet wet.
For the record, Los Lonely Boysí initial release is full of energy, and many of its songs seem tailor-made for outdoor arenas and festivals. There are moments when the band is quite successful, most notably on the funky groove of Senorita and the ebulliently infectious Heaven. For the most part, however, its recipe is fairly formulaic: Take the Tex-Mex soul and roots-rock of Los Lobos, sprinkle it with Stevie Ray Vaughanís driving blues, add some percolating percussion courtesy of Santana, and, perhaps, pepper it with a dash of the Allman Brothers Bandís southern-fried boogie. The result is an uneven album that sometimes sinks under the weight of a few too many sappy ballads. Itís also a bit rough around the edges, lacking in the type of cohesive vision and focus that was once customary for a major, mainstream debut. Even worse, the groupís lyrics are very run-of-the-mill, and at times, they threaten to turn insipidly sugar-sweet. Itís a shame, really, because there is an awful lot to like about Los Lonely Boys, which certainly is one of 2003ís most promising young bands. One just hopes that the group matures quickly so that it doesnít fade away before it has the time to live up to its promise.
47th Annual Grammy Award Winner:
Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal
Los Lonely Boys is available
from Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here!
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2003 The Music Box