Los Lonely Boys' Texican rock headlines Columbia’s Summerfest

The Texas natives keep family at the center of their music.

By Pierce Courchaine | June 24, 2010

Tags: Music

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Most bands would call it a day when they discovered their bass player and occasional singer had lesions on his vocal cords. For brothers Henry (guitar), Jojo (bass) and Ringo Garza (drums) of the Texas-based rock band Los Lonely Boys, it was just a minor set back.

The band canceled roughly three weeks of its summer tour then continued on its travels across the country, which includes a free concert June 30 at Columbia’s Summerfest. Guitarist and singer Henry Garza said even canceling the dates in those first three weeks wasn’t preferable, but it was necessary.

“When it comes to your brother, family comes first,” Garza said. “It wasn’t a hard decision.”

Garza said Jojo recovered from his ailment and is singing again during shows.

Los Lonely Boys hail from San Angelo, Texas, a city of about 100,000 located three hours northwest of San Antonio. Their music is a fusion between blues, rock and Tejano or, as the band calls it: Texican.

“People like to put labels on music all over the world,” Garza said. “We figured we’re going to have to label it so we might as well label it Texican rock and roll. It’s kind like a musical burrito, and we’re the tortilla.”

That tortilla, Garza said, is filled with all of the band’s musical influences, from their father to Stevie Ray Vaughan to The Beatles. But the word “Texican” isn’t as original as the band initially thought.

“Texican is just basically a Mexican from Texas,” Garza said. “The word’s been around for a long time. We thought we made it up but once we started doing research we learned it was made up a long time.”

Although the band is proud of its Mexican heritage and doesn’t hesitate to sing the occasional song in Spanish, Garza said the last thing the brothers want to do is flaunt their background.

“You should always be proud where you come from, we are,” Garza said. “We don’t want to capitalize on it all the time. Our skin and our language speak for itself.”

The band plans to release an acoustic album sometime before the end of year and its latest studio album will see a release date sometime early next year. Garza was hush on the details surrounding the next album, but it will be released on the band’s own label for the first time since leaving Epic Records.

“Any chance you get to walk without somebody rolling you in a baby carriage, you get a lot more freedom and a lot more say in what you do,” Garza said.

As far as tackling writing songs, Garza said everyone chips in and no song is written in the same way.

“They come out whenever they want, you can’t put a formula on it,” Garza said. “You got to let it flow. There’s no real right way to record a song.”

After all the success Los Lonely Boys have had, Garza remains deeply loyal to his fans and his family.

“It’s been a blessing playing with my brothers and recording,” Garza said. He then paused for a moment, as if to think of anything to disprove what he had just said.

“It’s got a couple walls in there, like any natural human beings, but I wouldn’t say it’s anything out of the ordinary.”

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