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The Sound

Los Lonely Boys

3/6/2019

‘Texican’ rock music like a flowing river

Photo by Piper Ferguson

When the Los Lonely Boys play at Wooly’s on March 12, their goal isn’t to have a sold-out show. They simply wish to express themselves through their music.

“Our goal is to do our best today, at the moment,” says Jojo Garza, vocalist and bass guitarist. “There’s no guarantee about tomorrow. We recognize all moments are precious.”

Jojo spoke from his Texas home about he and his brothers’ return to Iowa for a concert. The singing trio includes his siblings, Henry, guitar, and Ringo, drummer. As kids, they performed with their dad, Enrique, “Ringo Sr.,” and his band. After breaking away from their dad’s band 14 years ago, they’ve recorded a dozen albums. Their hit No. 1 single, “Heaven” sold two million copies and earned them a Grammy for best pop performance by a duo or group. 

Los Lonely Boys plays a bluesy “Texican” rock. Jojo stresses they don’t fit into a certain genre, their music has evolved through the years.

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“Our music is like the seasons,” he says. “We’re always changing — like when the leaves fall or the grass turns green. It’s like that with any song. We definitely have an evolution in our sound over the years. We’re always the student and never the teacher. We’re a flowing river. Stagnation is not in our repertoire.”

The group sings some songs in Spanish, but Jojo says it is about the music.

“We can be chameleon-like, but we’ve removed ourselves from being locked into a genre from the get go,” he says.

Jojo adds that their brotherly bond outweighs any sibling rivalry.

“We’ve been together all our lives,” he says. “Our mom and dad raised us to love and respect each other. We’re all on the same path musically.”

When the group won their Grammy, Jojo says they were pleased.

“I don’t want to say proud, but definitely pleased,” he says. “We were raised to play music just for the love of music, but we’ve turned it into a business. It’s our way of flipping burgers or laying tile. It’s a business.”

The Grammy marked a high point in their career. Especially sweet was feeling the recognition of their peers.

“It’s fantastic to be recognized, but our purpose is to show our ability that’s been given above,” he says.

The group is constantly writing songs and hopes to record an album soon.

“Albums aren’t like they used to be,” he explains. “It used to be vinyl, cassettes, CDs. Now everything changes and moves as fast as the download rate.”

Although the band has a social media presence, they prefer face-to-face contact.

“Most of our interactions are live through our music,” says Jojo. “Personal meetings and talking with people are considered special moments and it’s our way to share ourselves.”

Jojo says they will continue to work hard, which is just like everyone else in their line of work. They are excited to perform in Des Moines.

“We’ll be throwing in songs from back in the day, and we’ll throw in a few new ones,” says Jojo. “We’ll be coming together for all of the people, and hopefully everyone will have a good time.” ♦ 

Los Lonely Boys perform at Wooly’s on March 12. Tickets cost $25 in advance; $30 day of show.

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