When the shimmering guitar riffs and instantly catchy melodies of the Los Lonely Boys' hit single "Heaven" chased the song up the Billboard Top 40 charts in 2004, a literal world of possibilities opened up to the trio of brothers from San Angelo, Texas.
With the major label backing of Epic Records, the obvious choice would have been to bolt from their modest hometown in search of brighter lights. Wisely, though, they stayed true to the relatable down-to-earth spirit that had gained them so much attention in the first place and remained home in San Angelo. Their rootsy blend of southern blues, country rock, and Tejano music (a sound they simply call "Texican Rock'n'Roll") wouldn't have felt as natural coming from any other setting.
"A lot of people would have taken off to L.A. or New York or maybe even the other side of the world," explains Jojo Garza (bass, vocals). "But we're just regular cats who love where we come from. This place means a lot to us. We want to raise our kids here and hopefully they'll have the same kind of values as we did."
After entrenching themselves in the local community (drummer Ringo Garza has even made a habit of substitute teaching at his kids' school), they've felt the love from the city right back. Just last month, San Angelo honored them by proclaiming April 11, 2015 "Los Lonely Boys Homecoming Day." In turn, the organic sense of family and community they interact with every day has steeped into their music—resulting in the kind of feel-good southern music you'd expect to hear wafting through small neighborhoods and summertime backyard barbecues.
"Our influences come from our children, wives, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, cousins, and extended friends and family," adds Jojo. "We're influenced by everyday things: love, life, and appreciation."
Through 20 years of relentless touring, multiple recording contracts, and eight studio albums, the Garza brothers have managed to hold onto the infectious positive attitude that breathed so much life into their early recordings. Unlike many bands in similar phases of their careers, the Los Lonely Boys still love performing the song that got them famous ("Heaven") night after night—and seem genuinely excited that they get to keep making music every day.
"I get excited by opening my eyes every single morning and being able to say, 'Ahh, I'm here still. I get to try harder again today,'" Jojo reflects.
Their longevity can largely be attributed to a bond unlike any other: brotherhood. Following in the footsteps of their father—who was in a band called The Falcones with his brothers years ago—music and family has always gone hand in hand. They have a tough time imagining life any other way.
"We've always been close. It's just another one of those extensions of who we are as a family," says JoJo. "That's why we're able to stay together. We're not the kind of cats who focus on who's the leader or any of that kind of stuff. We're a unit and together we're going to keep doing this until God says otherwise."
Los Lonely Boys
7 pm, Thursday, May 7
Tower Theatre, 835 NW Wall St.