Friday, March 11, 2011

Post Red40...

Shuffling through my iTunes collection this evening, I found myself digging deeper into the catalogue of my favorite band of all time. In 1999, myself and a friend of mine ventured into the big city of Chicago from our humble hometown of Plano, IL to go see the North Mississippi Allstars. Printed on our ticket as an opener was the name Lucero. Now, at the time, I didn't know if this was single name solo performer or a band. I was just super pumped to see NMAS and really couldn't give a crap about the opener.

 But as it would unfold, we planned WAY too much travel time into Chicago and arrived far ahead of showtime. I'll spare you the hubbub. Long story short; you know the moment as it commonly plays out in movies where the girl of a given character's dreams walks into a room and everything goes slow motion? Let's just say the musical equivalent of that happened that evening at the Vic in Chicago when Lucero took stage. Those guys played their hearts out and connected with every thread of what I stood for in my life up to that moment. I remember leaving the NMAS show early and spotting them in a coffee shop on the corner. I walked in, shook all their hands and asked if they had a website. They were more than happy to rap or a couple minutes. I remember, at that time, I was jocking junior college credits at a school 45 minutes through cornfields from my hometown. I moved into a basement apartment after my mother 'persuaded' me into making her an empty nester by convincing me to graduate high school a half year early. After that show, I ordered their CD through their Madjack Records label website. I was working crazy hours at a railroad-fed lumber warehouse and balancing my studies at the same time. I remember the evening I came home from work to find the CD in the mail. I threw it into my player and took a head-first digger into the couch/bed and had a listen until I drifted off to sleep. 

The sounds that came from the speakers mellowed me like nothing else I'd heard before. Punk attitude conveyed by way of  melodic twang-filled, heart-felt lyrics. I've been fond of these guy's projectsever since. Anyhow, to make an already long story even shorter, have a listen to these guys. Lead man, Ben Nichols, is in my opinion, one of the most under appreciated American artists out there right now. His band prior to Lucero, Red40 put out one hell of an album as well. Check out some of Ben and the Band's works below...

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