News

Lucero Family Block Party 2016

  |   News

 

lucero_blockparty_layers

 

 

 

98.1 The MAX presents

THE LUCERO FAMILY BLOCK PARTY 2016

 

Featuring LUCERO

With special guests: St Paul & The Broken Bones and more to be announced.

 

April 23, 2016

OUTSIDE of Minglewood Hall

1555 Madison Ave

Memphis, TN 38104

 

We are proud to announce the annual LUCERO FAMILY BLOCK PARTY returns to the band’s hometown in Memphis, TN on April 23rd at the Minglewood Hall Outdoors! The historic Memphis music venue will be blocking off S Willett Street and surrounding areas to bring you this year’s festival. Lucero and friends are joining forces with a variety of local food, beverage, craft, and merchandise vendors to help celebrate MEMPHIS! The Picnic will open doors at 2pm with music performances starting at 4pm. A portion of all ticket sales will be donated to a local charity. Come out and celebrate the community!

 

Fanclub Presale and VIP tickets are available now through LUCERO FANCLUB SITE. The VIP BBQ eat & greet with LUCERO offers guests the chance to mingle with the band and enjoy local fare. This package includes a limited edition autographed 2016 picnic poster, special designated VIP viewing near the front stage, BBQ food and Drink, and more!

 

General admission tickets will be available to the public on Friday January 8th. You can purchase tickets to this event at Minglewood Hall’s box office or by clicking HERE. Kids under 10 get to party for free if accompanied by an adult. More

information about Minglewood Hall can be found here – Minglewood Info

LUCERO camp is committed to making this the best Family Block Party yet. We’re excited to reveal additional details throughout the weeks leading up to the event. We hope to see you in Memphis on April 23rd!

Media requests can be directed to Kim@7smgmt.com.        Tickets and information can be found at www.luceromusic.com

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Lucero Broadcasts Live on NPR’s World Cafe Friday October 30th!

  |   News

Lucero is set to broadcast live on NPR’s World Cafe! The broadcast will feature live music as well as commentary from Ben Nichols and the band members.  To listen live online, visit xpn.org and click WXPN under the “Listen Live” tab at the top of the page at 2:00 PM ET on October 30th, 2015.  The broadcast (along with past Lucero Broadcasts) will also be available in the World Cafe archives shortly after at 5:00 PM ET.  ​In addition, fans can tune into their local affiliate station at the scheduled World Cafe broadcast time for their area. Check local listings for the time and station in your city.

Online Radio Broadcast:  http://www.xpn.org/
On NPR’s World Cafe site:  http://www.npr.org/sections/world-cafe/
List of NPR Stations Across the U.S.: http://www.npr.org/stations/pdf/nprstations.pdf

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JBTV Music Television Live Broadcast 10/23

  |   News

JBTV Music Television has operated for over 30 years, won numerous awards, and featured bands like No Doubt, Green Day, Pearl Jam, and more.  Now, JBTV is giving Lucero fans an opportunity to catch an intimate live taping of Lucero’s performance in their Chicago Studio.  The live stream begins at 12:00 PM CST and ends at 12:30 PM CST. Mark your calendar!

Watch Link:  http://jbtvmusic.com/event/lucero-live/

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Lucero Streams Detroit Show Live on Yahoo!

  |   News

Lucero has Partnered with Live Nation and Yahoo! to bring you Live coverage of Lucero’s Detroit performance at St. Andrews Hall! Catch their live performance full of songs from their new album All A Man Should Do!

Coverage begins this Saturday Night, October 17th at 9:00 PM Eastern Time.

In case you can’t catch it, the show will continue to be available on Yahoo Live after the show!

WATCH LINK: https://screen.yahoo.com/live/event/lucero

Download the Yahoo Screen App on Your Phone and Watch It Mobile!

 

See Lucero On Tour!
Tickets Here
http://luceromusic.com/tour/

Grab The New Album!
https://lucero.merchtable.com/

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American Songwriter Review

  |   News

A Read From American Songwriter Magazine​ About ‘All A Man Should Do’ :

“The old feral fire is still there, as much as it was when I first caught their live act in 2006. And it’s mind-blowing to consider that the original line-up is still intact.” – American Songwriter
Check Out the Article Here: http://www.americansongwriter.com/2015/10/luceros-never-ending-tour/

On Tour Now: http://luceromusic.com/tour/

Grab the Album:
https://lucero.merchtable.com/
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/all-a-man-should-do/id1002195310


 

Lucero’s Never-Ending Tour

Written by October 13th, 2015 at 9:19 am

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I caught my first Lucero show in 2006. The band played Nanci Raygun, a storied hardcore punk club in Richmond, Virginia that has since closed its doors. The show appropriately veered more toward punk than country in sound and spirit that night, and found frontman Ben Nicholsdonning his best Paul Westerberg impression. The band had released seven albums by that point since forming in ‘98 and had amassed a sizeable following in Richmond. The show felt like a good hang among friends, almost to the point that it resembled a house show. Back then, in Richmond, you could still buy PBR in a can for a dollar in the Fan district. Those were the days indeed.

Lucero launched its tour for eleventh studio album All A Man Should Do in Nashville last month. It’s a record that muzzles some of the band’s raucous tendencies and finds Nichols mining more introspective terrain as a songwriter, but without compromising that beloved balls-to-the-wall spirit. Nichols has said this is the record he wanted to make in 1989 – what is it about that year? — when he was 15 years old, but it took “25 years of mistakes” to actually get it done.

The band recorded the new record in Memphis at the famed Ardent Studios, where Memphis legends Big Star recorded all three of their albums in the early ’70s. Lucero even covers Big Star’s “I’m In Love With A Girl” – the first cover song they’ve ever committed to an album – and it features Big Star drummer Jody Stephens singing back-up. It’s a fitting tribute to a band that still reigns supreme as the spiritual godfathers of independent music in the River City. All A Man Should Do is part three of a trilogy of albums, according to the band, that began with 1372 Overton Park, the first record that featured a horn section and marked a turning point sonically.

“This is a Memphis record in the greatest sense and a perfect finish to the three-part love letter to a city that brought us up and made us what we are today,” guitarist Brian Venable said.

Lucero has never tried to reinvent the wheel, and the new album is no exception. Like the novels of Jane Austen, the songs that make up the Lucero catalog are concerned with variations on a few themes, and in their case, the themes are women, work and whiskey. (Their 2012 album was titled Women & Work, after all, a term that Nichols confessed to being very Bukowski in its nomenclature.) 

These themes still abound on All A Man Should Do, only this time they are looked at from the vantage point of one too many Sunday mornings that have come crashing down. The songs are about making peace with the life you’ve chosen, knowing full well that you can’t turn back. And their path is the long and winding road of a touring rock band, and its attendant occupational hazards, namely drinking and the difficulty of maintaining any semblance of a stable romantic relationship. Watching the show in Nashville and hearing the words to the new songs I was reminded of the Drive-By Truckers lyric, “Rock and roll means well but it can’t help telling young boys lies.”

The band is performing two sets on this tour, one acoustic and one electric, with an intermission in between and no opener, so be sure to get there on time. Much of the first set involves tracks from the new album, along with fan favorite “Texas and Tennessee,” a song off their 2013 EP of the same name that deals with a long-distance love affair but also unites the musical histories of the Volunteer and Lonestar states. Whatever regret about the night life is evinced in the songs of the opening set is non-existent in the second. This is the hard rocking portion of the show and features songs like “On My Way Downtown,” “Nights Like These,” and “Women and Work,” a high-octane number that boasts the lyric: “A honky tonk and a jack knife/ A tomahawk and an ex-wife/ Come on kid let’s drink ‘em down/ Kid don’t let it get you down.” It’s a call the crowd took to heart, as if it needed any encouraging. 

When you consider how many shows Lucero has played in its time, and it’s not uncommon for the band to play 250 shows a year, you might forgive them if they seem a bit enervated from a decade and a half on the road. But amazingly, the old feral fire is still there, as much as it was when I first caught their live act in 2006. And it’s mind-blowing to consider that the original line-up is still intact. Of what other band of their longevity can that be said? 

The crowd at Cannery Ballroom in Nashville was characteristically a sea of plaid-flannel, and heavily male. In fact, it would take seeing 1,000 Morrissey shows to match the level of testosterone present that night. “I dare anyone to try and not drink whiskey at a Lucero show,” my friend Tom said early into the second set. One look around the room and you saw he was right.


 

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Lucero featured on NPR Music!

  |   News

Today as been a huge day! We have announced our new album, “All A Man Should Do”, due out Sep 18th and a full fall headlining tour! To boot, we have have been featured on NPR Music for the release of our single: “Went Looking For Warren Zevon’s Los Angeles”!

Check out the feature from NPR! http://www.npr.org/2015/06/15/414594902/song-premiere-lucero-went-looking-for-warren-zevons-los-angeles

Pre-order today and get a free download of the track – http://smarturl.it/luceromerchtable


 

Sometimes it takes a lot of freeway rambling to wind up back where you started. Ben Nichols and his bandmates in Lucero have been touring the indie rock circuit since 1998, when the band was just a bunch of Replacements-loving kids getting out of Memphis and seeking like minds. Since that time, Lucero has found its groove within the soul-sopped history of its native Memphis while evolving alongside other bands like The Hold Steady and the Drive By Truckers — regional mainstays whose evocative portraits of thorny daily life challenge preconceptions and seek deep home truths.

Lucero’s new album, All A Man Should Do, comes out Sept. 18.

Jamie Holdom/Courtesy of the artist

“Went Looking For Warren Zevon’s Los Angeles” is the first song from Lucero’s new album All A Man Should Do, coming September 18 on ATO Records. It’s a meditation on missed off-ramps. Singer and songwriter Ben Nichols honors his spiritual mentor Warren Zevon — and another, Paul Westerberg, whose talk-ballad style clearly served as inspiration — with scenes from an urban pilgrimage gone poooft, set to a gentle driving beat. The band, working for the third time with producer Ted Hutt at Memphis’s legendary Ardent Studios, rolls out subtle keyboard lines and guitar chord progressions as wistful as a grey Tennessee summer day. All A Man Should Do was partially inspired by Big Star — Jody Stephens, the sole surviving original member of that Memphis group, even sings on one song, a cover of “I’m In Love With A Girl” — but unlike that legend time almost forgot, Lucero has lasted long enough to grow fully into itself, and there’s a peacefulness about this track that’s both inspiring and reassuring.

Nichols’s statement of purpose for All A Man Should Do is grown-man talk: “I was 15 years old in 1989. This record sounds like the record I wanted to make when I was 15. It just took 25 years of mistakes to get it done.” Lucero’s still wrecking rooms worldwide — the band has just announced a tour supporting the new album, starting in Nashville Oct. 1 — but Nichols and his longtime compadres have also become masters of sitting back and sharing hard-earned stories. Whether Lucero’s raving or ruminating, what the band offers illuminates the road.

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Salon Review With Thoughts from Ben

  |   News

http://www.salon.com/2015/09/22/lucero_loves_crowded_house_how_the_masters_of_whiskey_drinking_southern_rocking_bar_room_punk_made_their_delicate_sophisticated_new_album/

Lucero’s songwriting is distinguished by its physical and emotional restlessness—the sense that the protagonists of their songs never quite feel at home or have the answers they’re looking for, whether they’re wrestling with gruff heartache or dealing with life’s other prickly roadblocks. Still, there’s always been something redemptive about the Memphis band’s music, perhaps because the group has never stopped evolving. In recent years, Lucero has incorporated soulful horns and ruminative piano into their whiskey-driven punk and biting twang-folk.

Long-time fans might be even more surprised by the band’s latest album, “All A Man Should Do,” which is by far the moodiest—and most genre-agnostic—release of their career. The grimy soul of “Can’t You Hear Them Howl” gives way to the piano-and-organ-burnished “I Woke Up In New Orleans” and bawdy, sax-featuring “Young Outlaws,” before ending with the uplifting, us-against-the-world anthem “My Girl & Me In ’93.” Still, “All A Man Should Do” might be Lucero’s best record yet, precisely because it is so poignant, meticulous and even sophisticated.

The band plans to explore the various dimensions of their sound on a fall tour where they’ll be doing an acoustic and electric set each night. “That’ll kind of give us the opportunity to show both sides of the band and hopefully that’ll make it easier to fit in some of more delicate, quieter stuff,” says frontman Ben Nichols. “We’ll see. It’ll be kind of an experiment, but I’m hoping that it works.” Prior to the start of the tour and the release of “All A Man Should Do,” Nichols talked to Salon about the record’s unexpected musical inspirations, collaborating with Big Star’s Jody Stephens and finding the light within a period of emotional darkness.

This is the third record in a row you guys have made at Ardent Studios with Ted Hutt. There’s definitely a different feel on this record, however, than on your other previous two records.

Yeah, it is different in a few ways. When we started working with Ted a number of years ago, we started on a record called “1372 Overton Park.” When we were working on that record, we had just added a horn section, and not too long before that we had added a keyboard player, a really great piano and B3 player named Rick Steff. And so when we started working with Ted, we had all these new instrumental elements in the band, and we were really pushing and seeing how far we could go with these new sounds. And so we made some very Memphis-influenced records with almost, you know, Stax, R&B horn parts, and these big rock ‘n’ roll B3 parts and actually kinda Sun Studios boogie-woogie piano parts. All of this stuff was kinda new to us, and new to the band, and it was our first time working with Ted, so we had a lot of fun just pushing everything in that direction and seeing what came out.

Then with “Women & Work”, the second record we did at Ardent with Ted, we refined it a little bit. It was a little more cohesive of an effort, but it was in the same kind of direction and the same kind of Memphis-influence style. And so having done those two records, we really enjoyed working with Ted and we’ve got a good working relationship with him. He gets very involved in the songs right from the beginning of the process, from the writing process all the way through to the end, and I’ve just really enjoyed working with him.

So we knew we wanted to do a third record, and Ardent is just so convenient for us and such a classy studio, we saw no reason not to do a third one there. But [musically] we wanted to go in a slightly different direction. We’ve kinda been going the same direction for two records, and on this one, I don’t know, it just seemed like it was time to take the elements that we’ve come to know better and see what else we could do with them. With this record, we actually toned everything down a little bit and made a more understated record with other influences… I played acoustic guitar on the whole thing, which kind of automatically gives it a quieter feel and kind of a softer touch, and so then as we wrote the songs, they kind of dictated the direction. Song after song, it just kinda seemed to lend itself to this lighter touch that maybe was a little more nuanced than the last two records. I was really pleased with the way it came out.

I tend to really love moody music, and this is exactly what it is.

There’s definitely a dark side to the record, and then there’s kind of a lighter side. It’s actually almost literally side A of the record is dark, and you flip it over and side B is lighter. And that kind of parallels what I was going through personally—just relationships and general attitude to the world. [I was in] kind of a darker place a couple years ago, and then as we were writing the record, I came into a better place personally. I think that shows through on the writing of the record, actually. But I’m a big fan of moody, darker songs and, yeah, I think we definitely hit the nail on the head there with some of the stuff.

The first half of the record in particular, there’s a lot of searching and like being in other places and trying to figure out what’s right—and then it all seems like all roads lead back to Memphis. What is that old saying—everywhere you go, there you are?

Right. And there’s definitely a lost element, I guess, to the first half of the record—a waywardness to it, a searching for the light, [with] the light being whatever’s just less self-destructive. And yeah, I guess there’s definitely some self-destructive elements floating through those first five songs, and pulling yourself out of that could be one of the themes of the record. Pulling yourself through that and maybe healthier space. I don’t know, nothing’s too literal. There’s not exactly a theme to the record. It’s not like a concept record. The songs kind of came about naturally, and we grouped them as we saw fit, but I think it works out and it has a nice kind of symmetry to it.

The single “Went Looking For Warren Zevon’s Los Angeles” is such an evocative song. It’s almost like a daydream, like one of those Hollywood flashbacks of the era that doesn’t exist.
Totally. All of the places the song mentions, most of them don’t have anything to do with Warren Zevon. They’re places that I saw, and places that I went when I was there. That was part of the darker time. I was dating a girl out there and spent a lot of time in L.A., and Los Angeles has a certain romantic appeal to me. I’ve always liked the west, and the idea of the west and that kind of seedy, you know, Los Angeles that, like you said, isn’t really there anymore even. And so yeah, I kind of soaked that up and it all ended up in that Warren Zevon song. And of course, I’ve always been a big Zevon fan, and I literally drove around looking for some of these places. And I was like, “Ooh, yeah, that’ll work in a song.” So yeah, it came out pretty good. I ended up liking that song a lot.

Were there any other particular writing or musical influences or inspirations that you can really pinpoint that really influenced you personally?

I had a quote somewhere else before talking about this record: This was a record I would’ve loved to have made when I was in my first bands when I was 15 years old, which would’ve been, you know, 1989, around that time. And I was listening to stuff like the Smiths, the Church’s “Under The Milky Way,” the Police and Crowded House. I’d have loved to have made a record like this way back then, but I just wasn’t quite capable of it. And now I can, and so I was able to tap into some of those influences.

Those have that real… like I was saying, a lighter touch, kind of a softer approach. But it’s still really catchy and kinda moody songs. And all those bands were really good at that, and so actually I would listen to a whole lot of that stuff when we were working on this album. And yeah, Lucero’s known for kind of Southern rock, whiskey drinking, bar room songs, but this one’s a little more… I don’t know, I don’t wanna say delicate, but it has more of a certain restraint to it that some of those late ’80s bands might’ve had.

I happen to be a massive Crowded House fan.

Oh, me too! That “Something So Strong” record is one of my favorites, oh yeah. I still listen to it all the time. [Laughs.] For all the punk rock and country music that we listen to, my guitar player and I have a bunch of other influences, and we both agree on Crowded House. And you mention that to some people, and they have no idea what you’re talking about and it’s not what they expect would influence a Lucero record, but it was actually a pretty big influence.

You guys also have Big Star’s Jody Stephens on the album on a cover of Big Star’s “I’m In Love With A Girl.” Do you guys just know each other from being around Memphis?

Jody works at Ardent, and so we’ve known him just from being around and recording there. We were there again for a third record, and Jody was there, and he’s always super supportive and just a really sweet guy. And we were discussing that we’d never recorded a cover song for a record, for an album. In fact, live, we rarely play covers. I have a tough enough time remembering my own songs [Laughs], much less someone else’s, so we don’t do a whole lot of covers, but we’re like, “Man, we’re at Ardent, we’ve got Jody here—what about a Big Star song?”

 

It was kind of a last minute decision, and we ended up picking “I’m In Love With A Girl,” which on a Big Star record is just… I think it’s just Alex Chilton and an acoustic guitar. It’s a very simple song. And so we took it and lengthened it a little bit, and rearranged it a little bit and came up with a keyboard line for it and a drum pattern—kinda made it our own. But then we were really, really lucky that Jody was performing with…I think it’s Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer from the Posies. They were playing with Alex and Jody as Big Star, and then Alex passed away, of course, but those Posies guys were in town to do a Big Star show with Jody, and they happened to be in town while we were recording. So we actually got them to come into the studio and actually do Big Star-style harmonies on our Big Star cover with a guy from Big Star in Ardent. [Laughs.] It just doesn’t get much cooler than that. We were like little kids, just you’re all giddy, jumping around the studio watching them sing these harmonies. It was definitely a cool experience.

We’ve never had anything like that on a Lucero record before, and so I think that kind of fits in actually with [the direction of the current record]. The last two records that we did in Memphis at Ardent were more kind of Sun Studios and maybe Stax Studios influenced, whereas this record is more of a…it’s our late ’80s, alternative record. And so it’s more of a Big Star influence. They’re from the south and they’re from Memphis, but they don’t sound like Johnny Cash or Otis Redding necessarily. They sound like Big Star. And so yeah, this is kind of our nod to that—the other side of Memphis music.

You guys have been a band for so long, it must be nice to have the freedom to do something like that.

Yeah, that’s kind of always been the main thing with Lucero. We started off playing punk rock shows and we were playing really soft, quiet, pretty songs. The only shows we knew and the only places we knew to play were punk rock shows. “No rules” was one of our mantras, so I like having the freedom to play as fast and as loud as I want to, or as slow and as pretty as I want to, and not be trapped in any one genre.

You still want it to sound like Lucero and you hope that it still sounds like the same guys, but being able to experiment a little bit and stretch the boundaries a little bit and not being tied down to one sound—yeah, it is really nice. I think we may have paid the price for that a little bit, just because we’re hard to identify. We’re hard to, I don’t know, stick into a category. And I think we might’ve gotten a little further, a little quicker—business might be a little bit better—if we were more easily categorized. But it’s been a whole lot of fun just being able to do whatever the hell we want to do.

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Lucero Gives Hommage to Big Star On Upcoming Album Release

  |   General, News, Video

Lucero pays tribute to influential band, Big Star! ‘I’m in Love With a Girl’, featured on their forthcoming album ‘All A Man Should Do’, is the first ever cover song to be included on a Lucero album, and features vocals from members of Big Star (including original member Jody Stephens) with an added Lucero southern twist!

Check out this The Wall Street Journal exclusive!!‪#‎LuceroAllAManShouldDo


 

 

Sometimes it takes a lot of freeway rambling to wind up back where you started. Ben Nichols and his bandmates in Lucero have been touring the indie rock circuit since 1998, when the band was just a bunch of Replacements-loving kids getting out of Memphis and seeking like minds. Since that time, Lucero has found its groove within the soul-sopped history of its native Memphis while evolving alongside other bands like The Hold Steady and the Drive By Truckers — regional mainstays whose evocative portraits of thorny daily life challenge preconceptions and seek deep home truths.

Lucero’s new album, All A Man Should Do, comes out Sept. 18.

Jamie Holdom/Courtesy of the artist

“Went Looking For Warren Zevon’s Los Angeles” is the first song from Lucero’s new album All A Man Should Do, coming September 18 on ATO Records. It’s a meditation on missed off-ramps. Singer and songwriter Ben Nichols honors his spiritual mentor Warren Zevon — and another, Paul Westerberg, whose talk-ballad style clearly served as inspiration — with scenes from an urban pilgrimage gone poooft, set to a gentle driving beat. The band, working for the third time with producer Ted Hutt at Memphis’s legendary Ardent Studios, rolls out subtle keyboard lines and guitar chord progressions as wistful as a grey Tennessee summer day. All A Man Should Do was partially inspired by Big Star — Jody Stephens, the sole surviving original member of that Memphis group, even sings on one song, a cover of “I’m In Love With A Girl” — but unlike that legend time almost forgot, Lucero has lasted long enough to grow fully into itself, and there’s a peacefulness about this track that’s both inspiring and reassuring.

Nichols’s statement of purpose for All A Man Should Do is grown-man talk: “I was 15 years old in 1989. This record sounds like the record I wanted to make when I was 15. It just took 25 years of mistakes to get it done.” Lucero’s still wrecking rooms worldwide — the band has just announced a tour supporting the new album, starting in Nashville Oct. 1 — but Nichols and his longtime compadres have also become masters of sitting back and sharing hard-earned stories. Whether Lucero’s raving or ruminating, what the band offers illuminates the road.

Check Out The Video Here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7m7HgpxmMk

Lucero – I'm In Love With A Girl (Official Audio)

Grab the album here: http://smarturl.it/luceromerchtable
iTunes: http://smarturl.it/Lucero_iTunes

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Village Voice: “RAW, REVEALING GUT-PUNCH FOR BEN NICHOLS”

  |   News
“I think at that point in my life I just needed a punch in the gut and that’s how some of these songs ended up on our record.”Ben Nichols

Ben Nichols and his band Lucero have been touring for twenty-plus years, but the jaunt they just embarked on has the frontman feeling a bit shaky.

The heartbreaking Memphis country punks have just hit the road behind their eleventh long player, All A Man Should Do, and it’s the album’s more “nuanced” vibe that has Nichols a bit worried for how crowds are going to react. For the first time in his career Nichols played strictly

acoustic guitar on the record, so for a band known for drunken, ass-kicking live experiences, it makes sense he take heed.

“When you’re playing loud and fast, it’s a little easier to pull through anything because you can get drunk and turn it up,” the raspy-voiced frontman says, calling in from his Memphis home. “I don’t get too nervous before a tour anymore, but I’m feeling anxiety with this one. It feels a bit like going back to where we started from musically, which is scary but also exciting.”

All A Man Should Do is the third album in a row the band has recorded at “old school” Memphis studio Ardent Studios. Lucero’s previous two albums focused more on a horn- and keyboard-heavy Memphis sound, so with the new one they were looking for a bit of a different sonic direction. The songs Nichols had been writing at that point in his life dictated more of a somber — or “nuanced,” as he puts it — approach.

“There are a couple songs that could have been on the last two records, but in the recording process we were molding songs into the appropriate vibe we were going for,” he says.

So, there was a sonic consciousness in the studio, but like most good art, many of the new songs were born from a rocky relationship. For Nichols it was a doomed one with a woman out in Los Angeles, far from Memphis and his roots.

“I had been in a relationship with a woman in L.A. and, yeah, unfortunately that did not work out. A lot of the more heart-wrenching stuff and the record’s sound comes from that,” he says about his time out west. Some of this seeps into “Went Looking For Warren Zevon’s Los Angeles,” as Nichols says he was revisiting the late great singer-songwriter’s music, grabbing a margarita at a California hotel Zevon might have mentioned and maybe a few more drinks to cap those evenings off.

These nights were the catalyst for the album’s more soul-baring moments, where he says his writing skewed a little more personal than usual. The music dictated that, but he needed to write that way on an emotional level, too.

“With a song like ‘I Woke Up In New Orleans’ it’s a little less subtle than I’d prefer. It’s got some lines in it that are pushing what I’d like to share, but I felt like I had to take a chance with it,” he says. “I think at that point in my life I just needed a punch in the gut and that’s how some of these songs ended up on our record.”

Those gut-punches and moving on from the rough relationship have been positive for Nichols, he says, as well in aiding his “Does this guy gargle with gravel?” vocals.

“The voice has been just fine lately,” he says. “That relationship is over so I’m not staying up in bars drinking and smoking myself to death quite as much [laughs]. I’m thinking I’ll be ready to go for these shows.”

The voice is good for the upcoming tour, but Nichols these doubts about the new tunes and revealing a bit more of the heart on his sleeve than he’s accustomed to remain. In the end, the band’s loyal fan base is giving him some respite as he believes they’ll ultimately be accepting of Lucero’s new wrinkles.

“Older fans will be in the mood to hear that earlier, quieter Lucero, and I think the new fans will be down as well,” he says. “I have faith people will be open to hearing both sides of us. Whatever happens, it’s going to be different but fun!”

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