Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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Tex-Mex spirit of Los Lonely Boyskicks off National Cherry Festival

Robert Downes - June 28th, 2010
Tex-Mex spirit of Los Lonely Boys kicks off National Cherry Festival
The three-man power-pop of Los Lonely Boys will light up the crowd this Saturday, July 3 as the opening act on the Bayfront Stage at the National Cherry Festival.
Los Lonely Boys is the vanguard of a week of music that includes the return of several old favorites as well as some new faces. That lineup includes:
• Sunday, July 4: Gregg Rolie’s tribute to Santana (see related article).
• Monday, July 5: “Heroes’ Salute” with the NMC Community Band, featuring patriotic music to fit the 4th.
• Tuesday, July 6: Tommy Castro blues with Harper and The Midwest Kind
• Wednesday, July 7: 1964 - The Tribute, bringing back the popular Beatles tribute.
• Thursday, July 8: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy - a high-energy swing dance band from Southern California.
• Friday, July 9: Randy Houser country rock.
• Saturday, July 10: Think Floyd -the Pink Floyd tribute accompanied by fireworks.

Los Lonely Boys
The Texas trio of guitarist Henry Garza and his brothers, bass player Jojo and drummer Ringo bring three-part harmonies and the power-pop energy of Mexico to their music, alternating between originals from their three albums and their own take on a number of cover songs.
Originally from a small town in West Texas, the Boys started performing with their father, Ringo Garza, Sr., as children. Music was a family tradition for the Garzas: The Boys’ father performed with his seven brothers in a conjunto group called The Falcons, mixing country music with Spanglish sounds.
When their father’s band broke up, his sons started backing him, taking their act on the road to Nashville, where they performed off and on through the ‘90s, playing a mix of country, Tex-Mex and classic rock. When things went flat in Nashville, the family moved back to Texas and the brothers organized Los Lonely Boys.
The band had a multi-platinum hit with their 2003 debut album, “Los Lonely Boys,” and went on to hit the No. 2 spot on Billboard’s album chart with their 2006 follow-up, “Sacred.” Currently, they’re promoting their third album, “Forgiven.”
Expect a wide mix from the Boys. In addition to originals, such as their Grammy-winning hit, “Heaven,” they play a number of classic rock chestnuts, including the Spencer Davis/Stevie Winwood hit, “I’m a Man,” Santana’s “Evil Ways,” The Doors’ “Roadhouse Blues,” Tony Joe White’s “Polk Salad Annie,” and The Beatles’ “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window.”
“It’s kinda crazy, we’re like the Mexican Beatles,” says Henry Garza in their bio. “People always ask us what kind of style we play. I tell ‘em it’s a cross between Stevie Ray meets Santana, Jimi Hendrix meets Richie Valens, or the Beatles meet Ronnie Milsap.”

Tommy Castro
Straight outta’ San Jose, California comes Tommy Castro, who got his start performing in the San Francisco Bay area in the 1970s and has since hammered out a reputation for a searing stage show that samples everything from Southern rock to Chicago blues and the Memphis sound.
Castro leads the next generation of top-flight electric blues performers on the heels of B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy and Bo Diddley, all of whom he’s been associated with, sharing stages or as a guest recording artist.
With 12 albums to his credit, Castro has a reputation for a hybrid style that mixes many influences and genres. As the saying goes, expect the unexpected.

Harper and The Midwest Kind
One of Michigan’s most notable performers, Harper is an expat from western Australia who toured the U.S. throughout the ‘90s before taking the plunge and moving to Jackson, MI several years ago.
An ace on the harmonica as well as the digeridoo, Harper brings a blues-rock sound to the stage, often with socially-conscious lyrics that speak to issues such as justice and personal freedom. Top it off with Harper’s smooth vocals and Down Under attitude and you and your mates are sure to be rockin’.

Check out next week’s Express for info on 1964: The Tribute, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Randy Houser and Think Floyd.

-- by Robert Downes
 
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