Showing posts with label Lucero. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lucero. Show all posts

Jul 7, 2023

Favorite Albums of 2023: Mid-Year Report

 With rock and rap included. (country only list below)

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1. Lucero - Should’ve Learned by Now


2. JD Clayton - Long Way From Home


3. Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit - Weathervanes

4. William Prince - Stand in the Joy


5. Bully - Lucky for You


6. Metallica - 72 Seasons


7. Country Westerns - Forgive the City


8. Ruston Kelly - The Weakness


9. Pony Bradshaw - North Georgia Rounder


10. Drayton Farley - Twenty on High


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11. Sundy Best - Feel Good Country

12. The War & Treaty - Lover’s Game

13. Jake Worthington - s/t

14. Brit Taylor - Kentucky Blue

15. The Band of Heathens - Simple Things

16. Joy Oladukun - Proof of Life

17. Ritch Henderson - Fallacies & Four-Letter Words

18. Jess Williamson - Time Ain’t Accidental

19. Lance Roark - Better Man

20. Killer Mike - Michael

21. Meg McRee - Is It Just Me?

22. Colby Acuff - Western White Pines

23. Slaid Cleaves - Together Through the Dark

24. Brandy Clark - s/t

25. Jamie Harris - Boomerang Town


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Americana/Country only


1. Lucero - Should’ve Learned by Now

2. JD Clayton - Long Way From Home

3. William Prince - Stand in the Joy

4. Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit - Weathervanes

5. Country Westerns - Forgive the City

6. Ruston Kelly - The Weakness

7. Pony Bradshaw - North Georgia Rounder

8. Drayton Farley - Twenty on High

9. Sundy Best - Feel Good Country

10. The War & Treaty - Lover’s Game

11. Jake Worthington - s/t

12. Brit Taylor - Kentucky Blue

13. The Band of Heathens - Simple Things

14. Joy Oladukun - Proof of Life

15. Ritch Henderson - Fallacies & Four-Letter Words

16. Jess Williamson - Time Ain’t Accidental

17. Lance Roark - Better Man

18. Meg McRee - Is It Just Me?

19. Colby Acuff - Western White Pines

20. Slaid Cleaves - Together Through the Dark

21. Brandy Clark - s/t

22. Jamie Harris - Boomerang Town

23. Muscadine Bloodline - Teenage Dixie

24. Brennen Leigh - Ain’t Through Honky Tonkin’ Yet

25. The Panhandlers - Tough Country

Mar 28, 2023

Top Albums of 2023 So Far: First Quarter Report


No reviews, no comments, no links, just a list... 



1. Lucero - Should’ve Learned by Now


2. Pony Bradshaw - North Georgia Rounder


3. Drayton Farley - Twenty on High


4. Sundy Best - Feel Good Country


5. Brit Taylor - Kentucky Blue


6. Muscadine Bloodline - Teenage Dixie


7. The War & Treaty - Lover’s Game


8. JD Clayton - Long Way From Home


9. Myron Elkins - Factories, Farms & Amphetamines


10. Jamie Harris - Boomerang Town


11. The Band of Heathens - Simple Things


12. The Panhandlers - Tough Country


13. Meg McRee - Is It Just Me?


14. Channing Wilson - Dead Man


15. White Reaper - Asking for a Ride


16. Ritch Henderson - Fallacies & Four-Letter Words


17. Mason and the Gin Line - Sangre


18. Amanda Fields - What, When and Without


19. Slaid Cleaves - Together Through the Dark


20. Wolfpen Branch - Long Hill to Climb


21. Margo Price - Strays


22. Ben Chapman - Amber Sound, Vol. 1

Mar 24, 2023

Completely Biased Album Review / Lucero / Should’ve Learned By Now

A disclosure: Lucero is my favorite band. I’ve seen them live somewhere around 14 times. I make sure to always have at least one t-shirt that is new/presentable enough for casual events in life (and a couple of backups). I have considered a tattoo.

Another disclosure: I didn’t like Lucero at first. Never hated them or anything, but I just didn’t ‘get’ them. Lead singer Ben Nichols’ vocals are certainly an acquired taste, and the songs can sound a little samey from a distance. I kept trying though - and around the time of 2003’s That Much Further West, I was suddenly smitten. For good.

A final confession: I’m not so biased that I can’t find fault with the fellas. Their last album, 2021’s When You Found Me did some 70s AM radio rock experimentation that didn’t work for me, and Ben took his vocals to places I’d prefer he hadn’t gone. That said, the songs sound great live. And that’s where the magic of Lucero is truly found. 


I neglected to mention in paragraph 2 that seeing Lucero live for the first time around 2003 was the straw that broke the camel’s back (in a good way). In concert, Lucero is a force of nature. It’s not pretty - the music is a raw blend of country punk midwestern sweaty rock n’ roll. They don’t sound like anything you’d hear on any radio station, even satellite radio. But it’s a rock revival every time they play. 


The crowds are almost as fun to watch as the band. There are dads on their getaway weekend with the boys, there are college punks, there are rockabilly couples complete with a rockabilly baby, there are couples, families, normies, and weirdos. And they all know every word. There are drunks swaying to the beat. There are puffs of vape that you know ain’t nicotine. There’s dancing and screaming at the tops of lungs. And I’ve NEVER seen a fight at a Lucero show. Even if you never come around to liking the band on tape, catch a show some time - you’ll thank me.


Six paragraphs in, we finally get to discussing the new album. Should’ve Learned by Now is Lucero’s best album since Rebels, Rogues & Sworn Brothers. There, I said it. Supposedly this record is a collection of songs not picked for When You Found Me and Among the Ghosts, but it feels like a truer representation of the band than either of those (and I loved Ghosts). It also may be the most accessible thing they’ve ever put out.


“One Last FU” opens the set with the raucousness you expect from Lucero (They are half raucous / half utter sadness), and it’s a sign of things to come. Should’ve Learned By Now leans into the rowdy times and barrooms more than recent releases, and this song covers both. 


Next up is “Macon if We Make It,” which is surely among the band’s catchiest songs ever. The tune is pure dopamine. They don’t play around with building anticipation - here’s your kickass verse, here’s your hooky chorus, here’s your ripping guitars. No teasing, just a slab of rock n’ roll greatness. I can’t wait to hear this one live. 



“She Leads Me” is about as close to pure country music as Lucero will ever get. It’s a hopeful song about love being a restorative journey and destination. It’s a simple song, but the pretty piano accompaniment and the gentle harmonies of the chorus make it a real winner. 


Even my least favorite song upon first listen, “Raining for Weeks” (the only real emotional downer of the album) has revealed itself to be subtly captivating. There’s not a bad song to be found here.


There’s a clear theme of hope, home, and rescue on this album, which is a thousand miles from the sorrow and self-medication of early releases. It’s the hallmark of a great band that they can mature naturally without losing an iota of what makes them special. Lucero never changed for anybody but themselves.


Should’ve Learned By Now is a standout in a career of standouts. Give it a listen. 



Mar 2, 2023

Wrasslin' Country Reaction Gifs #68

Me looking over the Billboard country chart

Wanna go see Pony Bradshaw?

When your friend passed out 3/4 into a Lucero concert but he's ready to restart the party

When you find out your cousin is really
into Upchurch and Katie Noel

Trying to read the badly spelled, grammatically incorrect Facebook replies every time I post something about Morgan Wallen

Pop country singer trying to go outlaw

When the band comes out for an encore even though you knew they were going to

When you take over the party's DJing halfway through a Luke Bryan song

Me when normally reserved country artists talk shit about other artists online

Feb 17, 2022

Who TF is Clancy Jones and Where Did He Come From? 

By Robert Dean


Clancy Jones is the real deal. I mean, yes, he’s got the requisite cool tattoos everywhere, the faded denim shirt that looks like it’s been through the war. Jones looks like he knows how to scrap after a few Jamesons, but, don’t like the fa├žade fool you – the dude lives in the middle of Nowhere, Oklahoma working on a ranch doing man shit like moving cattle, and in his spare time writes incredible songs that dance in the shadows of artists like JD McPherson, Leon Bridges, Turnpike Troubadours, and Lucero. 


On his debut record, Found My Way, Jones taps into themes of heartbreak, travel the forgotten American roads, and obviously – figuring out who he is one scar at a time. And the results were worth whatever hell Jones managed to dance through. 


“Blacktop Bound” sounds like any sold-out Saturday night at Austin’s famed Continental Club. The drive, the beat, and the funk are all in the mix, ready for a spilled beer and secretly exchanged numbers, away from prying eyes. 



The songs on Found My Way are dripping with massive organs, dirty guitar tones, a long moan into the void. Jones delivers a must listen to anyone deep into Americana and who likes looking for trouble. The slower country-tinged tunes are excellent. They speak the language of someone who’s wound up in one too many dive bars alone for one wrong reason or another. Still, it’s the foot stompers like the previously mentioned “Blacktop Bound” or “Mexican Gold” is where Jones truly shines, proving he could play with the big dogs who love good timin’ and getting into trouble. If you see Jones’ name on the marquee of your local dance hall in the coming months or years, don’t be surprised. Just roll a joint, put on your shitkickers and get out there and party your ass off. That’s  what his music thrives on – the pulsing beat of “fuck just say no, let’s all say hell yes.”


Found My Way is out May 13th.


Apr 22, 2021

Sons of Anarchy Country Reaction Gifs

10 seconds into a Dan + Shay song

If you haven't listened to Morgan Wade

When you catch yourself enjoying the new Thomas Rhett song a little bit

If you're gonna dance to modern country...

FGL may be drifting apart, but that means there are two of them on country radio now

What's Carrie Underwood's new album about?

Eric Church, when he first came out

When your friend finally 'gets' Lucero

If you 'know' Sam Hunt fits the definition of country music

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