By STEVE HEISLER
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at 1:50 p.m.
Los Lonely Boys
With Zac Brown Band. 8 p.m. Oct. 23 at Jannus Landing, 16 Second St. N., St. Petersburg. $27.50 advance, $30 day of show. (727) 896-2276; www.jannuslandingconcerts.com.
Los Lonely Boys displayed the potential of raucous raw energy and skilled musical chops with their eponymous multiplatinum 2003 debut CD and sing-along crowd favorites like “Senorita” and “Heaven.” Now veterans of the road, the band of brothers Garza has expanded its musical curriculum vitae with “Forgiven,” a collection that hit stores July 1 and has galvanized the Los Lonely fan base. First single “Staying With Me” and the emotionally wrenching “Love Don’t Care About Me” are captured with an incendiary feel by producer Steve Jordan. Jordan orchestrated the CD during three weeks of soundstage recordings. “He was such a down-to-earth person and the type who didn’t force anything upon you,” bassist JoJo Garza said as he took a break during a motorcycle ride from Austin to his home in San Angelo. “He just lets you play, especially if you know how to play.”
That little-interference approach worked and JoJo realized he and brothers Henry (guitar) and Ringo (drums) were strengthening an already-solid bond.
“Everything was open and I knew we were growing again and I noticed how we had grown as musicians and people,” he said. “To come together again, it’s really cool to see what your brothers are capable of all over again.”
The brothers’ onstage chemistry, interplay and effusive guitar chops result in fans as enthused as the band, Garza said. That relationship is captured as well in a documentary DVD, “Cottonfields and Crossroads,” that traces the band’s roots.
“When we’re onstage, we feed off the energy of the crowd,” JoJo Garza said. “If the crowd’s into it, it’s an off-the-charts show. Most of the time, we have a real responsive crowd.”
Following their stop in St. Petersburg, Los Lonely Boys play three more Florida dates before winding up the month in San Antonio, Houston and Dallas.
That’s close to where their musical journey commenced, following in the footsteps of their father, Enrique. His band The Falcones played Texas’ conjunto circuit in the 1970s and ’80s. He served as a creative inspiration that hits JoJo at the oddest of moments.
As the band celebrates the release this week of its first holiday disc, “Christmas Spirit” — a project Los Lonely Boys had envisioned four years ago — the stimulus to create may strike at any time.
“Sometimes I’ll be in the shower and hear a melody just from the running water,” Jojo said. “A lot of times, sounds come from dreams and just listening every day. You hear someone whistling from a far distance and go ‘Wow, I heard a new tune.’ ”