Casual Victim Pile

Hometown SXSW showcasing sampler

Casual Victim Pile

Uncle Lucius

SXSW showcase: Thursday, March 18, Valhalla, 12mid

What strikes you first about the members of Uncle Lucius is their look. With unruly hair on their heads and faces, they could be mountain men stepping offstage after opening for the Allman Brothers or Lynyrd Skynyrd. That is, after all, the sort of music the local quartet makes. Its second album, 2009's Pick Your Head Up, garnered critical praise, and the band's whipsaw live shows have earned it an ever-growing audience. Better still, theirs isn't genre recycling. They're Southern rock done right – blues, country, and gospel moonshine to burn your belly.

The name comes from a friend's grandfather, an old Southern gentleman, naturally, but Uncle Lucius began as the Kevin Galloway Band, the singer's name. It wasn't until drummer Josh Greco joined up, just before the recording of Pick Your Head Up, that things began to coalesce.

"We all come from a different backgrounds," explains bassist Hal Vorpahl, "but we all grew up here in Texas, so Southern music is in our veins. We all grew up being in rock bands. I grew up listening to a lot of jazz. [Guitarist] Mike [Carpenter] knows everything there is to know about the Allman Brothers and classic rock. We all learn from each other."

This year finds Uncle Lucius breaking new ground. They were recently included on a compilation CD put out by the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau celebrating local acts, and, as SXSW begins, they'll be returning from 19 days on the road with Leon Russell. There's also a live disc set for release later this year with some new songs included to appease their new fans.

"It's nice to see people out there that you don't even know," Galloway maintains. "They heard you on the radio, and they've come to a couple of shows, now they're new friends. We see them as our big community. They're likin' what we're likin'."

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