Los Lonely Boys Reviewed

Los Lonely Boys Reviewed

Los Lonely Boys

(Or Music) There are more angles to Los Lonely Boys than a many-sided die: a brother act, a family band backing their father, a Latin rock trio from San Angelo, harmony-laden Tex-Mex soul. Yet if the real gamble is whether their classic grooves will sell, bet heavily in favor of Los Lonely Boys. Brothers Henry, Jojo, and Ringo Garza have their collective finger on the pulse of a throbbing, Texas undersound that's so vibrant, so immediate and accessible, it recalls Doug Sahm's assimilation of all things Lone Star. To suggest their music is still somewhat derivative is not to dismiss them but rather to acknowledge their panoply of influences. Neither "Señorita" or "Onda" hide their Santana-isms, while "Dime Mi Amor" is more traditionally Spanish, but it's the group's irresistible Spanglish that carries all 13 tracks, especially the ballads ("More Than Love," "The Answer"). "Real Emotions," undulating rhythm via a soul groove, marks the Boys' distinct sound; it's easy to imagine the song on the soundtrack of the next Robert Rodriguez movie, preferably with the camera trained on Salma Hayek's hips. And where there's soul, there's blues: "Crazy Dream" opens with Henry's SRV-fueled lead and "Heaven" brims with more soulful harmony. Much will be made of Willie Nelson's appearance on "La Contestación," but in the end, Los Lonely Boys play to win, and everybody loves a winner.

***.5

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