Rocking to a new beat: Trio of brothers enjoy their Texan rock ‘n’ roll

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Ryan Wetley

Los Lonley Boys performs at The Barrymore Theatre.

Andrew Killgallon, Arts & Cultures editor

Surviving the plague of becoming a one hit wonder is nearly impossible. But The Los Lonely Boys has surpassed that and has been touring their homegrown sound around the world for very eager ears.

The Los Lonely Boys is a trio of brothers who were raised in a very musical family and through that they have created a music that they describe as Texan rock and roll. The mix of blues, soul, country and rock and roll on top of a Latin heart stems from a family that played everything from Elvis and The Beatles to the Lovin’ Spoonful and The Herman’s Hermits.

The Los Lonely Boys hit the airwaves in 2004 with their hit ‘Heaven’ which won them a Grammy for Best Pop Performance the following year. Despite being a hit song, it seemed very out of place during their live performance recently at The Barrymore Theatre.

Henry, Jojo and Ringo Garza opened their set with a medley of guitar riffs and drum solos that would make anyone call attention to their vast talent. The show continued with almost every song off their new album Rockpango along with some of their earlier material.

Rockpango, their ninth record, was released only a couple weeks prior to their visit to Madison and brings their influences together for a display of masterful guitar solos and bass riffs that explore the power of Jojo’s six string bass.

“Rockpango is kind of actually a word we made up.  It’s a derivative of fandango and huapango.” Henry said, “A huapango is a traditional Mexican conjunto beat and we kind of electrified it.”

At one point in the night, Henry and Jojo teamed up on one guitar playing a fourhanded guitar solo. The album goes from their title track that encourages feet stomping and mild head banging to ‘Road to Nowhere’, which is the slower cry of redemption. The twang of the country feel is strong in this soulful story of traveling town-to-town trying to find a lost love.

While their new album fills the airwaves, the three brothers from San Angelo, TX, pride themselves in their live performances, which keep them away from home quite often.

“We try to balance it out the best we can between touring and being home with the family. I say we tour as much as we can.” Henry said. “It gets tough when you’re pushing time and singing, singing, singing and playing. It’s almost like working out up there sometimes.”

Constantly touring takes it toll, as Jojo knows all to well. During the recording of Rockpango, Jojo faced issues concerning his vocal cords.

“We were in the studio doing the record. Got out on tour. I had set up an appointment for my vocal chords to get checked. It was the first date of the tour, we finished a show that night. Went the next day to Denver. He basically said ‘look, man this is what a normal vocal chord looks like and this is what yours look like. And yours looks like you have to stop singing for a while.’” Jojo said during a private performance the afternoon before the show. “We don’t really like to say it but we thought it was the big c word [cancer].”

During the private acoustic performance it was quickly discovered that it was only a strained vocal chord and the release of the record was only briefly delayed.

The trials and tribulations have become minor anecdotes to their performances and lasting experiences they have cherished while doing what they love.

“Music, man, well ya know, next to family it’s the best thing in the world. Music has been a way of life since I can remember.” Henry added. “Music to us is real important to us on so many different levels. We try to take it as far as it will go. The Sky’s the limit. That’s what our dad told us.”