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 Rolies 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 fathers 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 Billboards album chart with their 2006 follow-up, Sacred. Currently, theyre 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, Im a Man, Santanas Evil Ways, The Doors Roadhouse Blues, Tony Joe Whites Polk Salad Annie, and The Beatles She Came in Through the Bathroom Window.
Its kinda crazy, were like the Mexican Beatles, says Henry Garza in their bio. People always ask us what kind of style we play. I tell em its a cross between Stevie Ray meets Santana, Jimi Hendrix meets Richie Valens, or the Beatles meet Ronnie Milsap.
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 hes 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 Michigans 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 Harpers smooth vocals and Down Under attitude and you and your mates are sure to be rockin.
Check out next weeks Express for info on 1964: The Tribute, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Randy Houser and Think Floyd.
-- by Robert Downes