Los Lonely Boys bring Tex-Mex flair to the Hamilton in DC

Photo courtesy Los Lonely Boys.
Photo courtesy Los Lonely Boys.

WASHINGTON, May 30, 2014 – You immediately sense that there’s something aged and weathered in the air when listening to Los Lonely Boys perform, as they recently did here at the Hamilton. And no, it doesn’t have anything to do with the performers actually being old—particularly since the oldest member of the band is 35 years old.

Then again, they’ve also been an active group for nearly two decades. So perhaps in that context, it’s easier to make that earlier assumption, especially considering their style of music has existed in mainstream pop music for a considerable period of time.

Los Lonely Boys are truly a product of their environment in a number different ways. Henry, JoJo, and Ringo Garcia are the three brothers who formed the group.  The three siblings grew up in Texas before moving to Nashville where they first made their name, and those roots are still very much present in their sound.

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They incorporate several distinct styles in their music, allowing you to locate their origins as Mexican-Americans hailing from the Lone Star State, including a unique fusion of country, folk and blues that has a noticeably Texas flair to it.

Not that this is really surprising. The three brothers grew up with music around them to the point where they could be perceived as a legacy band of sorts. Their father, Ringo Garcia Sr., performed with his own brothers in the ‘70s and ‘80s in Southern Texas. So it’s not hard to draw a line of connection to their father’s band, the Falcones, considering they were practically raised to be a band.

Their history together and their history playing music – even idea that it extends beyond just them – is one of the aspects of Los Lonely Boys that became quite evident during their recent set at the Hamilton. It’s not that these brothers born to play music. But it’s clearly connected to the way they were raised, as their music feels more like an extension of who they are then anything else.

There’s hardly any banter between this band and the audience and even less so among the brothers. There isn’t much point for them to verbally communicate when their music does the legwork for them. They’re trying reach the audience through music and nothing else because this is what the brothers know and how it connects them on the most basic level.

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It becomes quite obvious as the show powers on that these brothers have been performing together their entire lives, as everything they play is the epitome of musical tightness. It’s that kind of feeling that seems to make Los Lonely Boys feel much older than they actually are. But that’s not really a commentary on their age so much as it is their experience. Their “weathered” style of playing wouldn’t work for a younger band.

It’s hard to imagine the three brothers as a band in their 20s – or teens for that matter – playing this exact same style. It’s far too eclectic and measured for a young band. But that’s kind of exactly what the Garcia brothers did with Los Lonely Boys and what they continue to do.

That, in turn, what the audience is getting on top of the expert level blues rock by way of Southern Texas style that cements the brothers Garcia’s unspoken connection on stage.

It’s so easy for the audience to lose themselves in every intricate song because, in all honesty, Los Lonely Boys lost themselves in the same music so long ago when they were listening to and watching their dad do the exact same thing with his brothers. It’s becoming a family tradition.

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  • Rita Serrano

    My favorite band. <3