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Arts & Culture

Los Lonely Boys Set To Play Gardens By Moonlight

Gabriella McSwain
Jo-Jo, Henry and Ringo Garza

There are two Ringos coming to town soon--Ringo Starr to the Tobin, but there’s another Ringo coming to the Botanical Center. Ringo Garza is also a drummer—but for Los Lonely Boys. I caught up recently with Ringo’s bass-playing brother Jo-Jo.

Los Lonely Boys' breakout first hit was called 'Heaven' and it went to number one, propelling the freshman album from the band to double platinum. The 'Lonelies'  are three Garza brothers—Ringo on drums, Henry on Guitar, and Jo-Jo on Bass.

“Man, we’re just excited to get out there and keep doing it," he said. "And really, even more excited that people keep coming to check it out and listen to the new record and support what we do, man.”

Their new album’s called 'Revelation,' continuing in an off-and-on tradition of religiously-named albums like 'Sacred' and 'Forgiven.' Jo-Jo says that's not by accident.

"We really really believe and feel that every bit of music that we have acquired or written over time was given to us by a higher power, which is God," said Garza. "We’re no saints by any means, but we definitely try to live a life that is in a positive light. And we try to spread that message to people."

They call their style of music 'Texican Rock-n-roll.' They were raised on a wide variety of sounds.

"We were really influenced by our father and what he was into. And it varied like a wide variety of music from like the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson and Ronnie Milsap and Hank Williams Senior and Junior," he said. "Stevie Ray Vaughn and Santana, the list could go on and on and on."

He says they weren't big fans of 80s music.

"We were happy when the movie 'La Bamba' came out and Los Lobos made the sound track to that movie. There was a few artists that help us get through the 80s I think."  

I made the observation that he's been able to rub shoulders with folks like Los Lobos. That clearly meant a lot to him.

“Yeah, man, we have! It’s hard to explain in words what it feels like," he said. "You actually look to your left or your right and there’s Willie Nelson standing there, or Ronnie Milsap sitting there, playing piano, or Carlos Santana or Los Lobos are standing there."

He paused, seeming to relish in a memory.

"You know, you look over and see Paul McCartney trying to sing a song with you that he’s never heard before. Those are things that are very amazing to us and we feel very thankful, and very blessed that we get to share even a moment with any of them."

I told him that I tend to judge rock-n-roll bands  by how well they pull off acoustic versions of their songs. "You guys don’t have any problem with that," I said. He laughed.

"Well man, it’s all usually written on a guitar. That’s where you really see the true character of a band in what they’re really able to do," he said. "That they’re not just covered up by something that can make everybody sound good, with a computer. We’re able to break it down to the bones and blood and all that stuff."

Los Lonely Boys are coming to San Antonio on Saturday, October 11th when they play the Botanical Center’s 'Garden by Moonlight' series.

"Any time we get down to San Antonio it’s a good time," he said. "We’ve got a lot of friends and family around the area too."

We’ve more on Los Lonely Boys here.

Acoustic 'Heaven':  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCP2TJ0TTsU