Los Lonely Boys

The three brothers who compose Texas group Los Lonely Boys grew up playing bars before they could legally drink, so it makes sense that they play with both the aw-shucks enthusiasm of dive dwellers and the professional capacity of lifelong musicians. Shticky stage show is such a blast that the hokiness passes almost unnoticed.

With:
Band: Henry Garza, JoJo Garza, Ringo Garza Jr.

The three brothers who compose Texas group Los Lonely Boys grew up playing bars before they could legally drink, so it makes sense that they play with both the aw-shucks enthusiasm of dive dwellers and the professional capacity of lifelong musicians. Songs from band’s self-titled Or Music debut don’t break any new ground — there’s a little bit of Stevie Ray Vaughan here, a touch of Chuck Berry there, a dollop of Santana everywhere — but the shticky stage show is such a blast that the hokiness passes almost unnoticed.

That’s mostly thanks to Henry Garza, a guitar whiz who can blast into single-note shreddery, subtle sophistication or chordal harmony at the slightest hint of a dynamic shift.

During the main set, he alternated between blurred-finger ragers and slight, fluid solos; for the encore he played one-handed, behind his head and — in a dizzying combo of arms, fingers, and dexterity — splitting lead and rhythm duties with brother JoJo on one guitar.

It’s that kind of showmanship that can only be mined after years of playing the same boring songs to half-drunks bored with the same boring songs, and Los Lonely Boys deserves to be commended for both perseverance and talent. The songs may sometimes suffer, but when you’re watching musicians this tight, it’s all right when the songs come in second.

Los Lonely Boys

Troubadour, Los Angeles; 450 capacity; $12

Production: Presented inhouse. Reviewed May 4, 2004.

Cast: Band: Henry Garza, JoJo Garza, Ringo Garza Jr.

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