Lucero @ Velvet Jones ~ August 22, 2013

Nights Like These

It might be obvious by now that I really enjoy my gritty rocks shows. Give me a gruffy man with a gruffy voice and a guitar and I am mesmerized. Now give me a showcase of gruffy men… and I am transcended to a dark southern bar crying alone into my whiskey.

Velvet Jones created a showcase to do just that. The lineup hosted Santa Barbara’s own Brian Kinsella (of the Kinsella Brothers) and Donald Spence (of Versus the World), along with veteran Tennessee rockers Lucero. The gruff factor here can get no larger.

And the local gruffians love these visits from the south. For Donald Spence, it was good to see his buddies.  “I have history with the Lucero guys so it’s always nice to catch up, but other than that I'm a huge fan of their band. You add that on top of playing a home town show where you have a room full of faces you know and love... The night couldn't get much better.” Donald adds, “Until Dave Hause jumps on stage and sings a song with you.” Messing up the lyrics to the cover of Alkaline Trio’s “Radio” (I added that! Had to be said).  

If you have never been to a Lucero show, you might not understand the “mentality,” if you will, required to create an authentic gritty southern sound. We are talking deep soulful lyrics delivered in a raspy rock worn voice, southern influenced punk cords, twangy steel guitar riffs, and whiskey – lots of whiskey.

Ok, I can’t say that the whiskey directly influences the sound
of the music – but c’mon, it influences the mentality for sure. At least in this crowd it did. The dance floor was full of fans swaying and singing along with the band, sloshing beers and hugging each other. It was as if the sad songs brought everyone closer together.   

Lucero was exactly what you want from a southern rock band. They are real. No pomp or circumstance. Gritty, sweaty, and rough around the edges. And sure, I might not have actually cried alone into my whiskey that night, but I did have drinks with my friends and danced to some good southern soul.