Nostalgia is always a pleasurable feeling to have, especially in the bright summertime. Last week, some musical memories reappeared with the captivating performance of the “Texican-rock” trio, Los Lonely Boys. The brothers, Henry, JoJo and Ringo Garza, are known for their hits Heaven and Onda within their impressive discography. In true professionalism, they brought that continued musical spirit to City Winery for a reminder of their lasting talent. They have never left and are still a force to be reckoned with on stage in 2017.
City Winery was still holding on to their classic wine bar flair. Upon entering, the conversation and chatter took over the space and food was being devoured all around. Of course, the restaurant lounge was packed and drinks were never far away from thirsty patrons. Hanging by the front of the stage, folks mingled and the anticipation was full for the music to come. Despite the fact that the seniority of the crowd was unusual, the popularity of the main event was apparent across the floor. The lights dimmed for the opening act of the night, Lisa Morales, with copious cheers to follow. It was accordion and acoustic guitar centric folk leading to a calm embrace. Lisa set a deep breath before the blues-rock to come from the headliners. Her performance was slick and filled with soul from English to Spanish all around. Her music was a cultural blending of exotic passion. As she finished, smiles and added applause permeated the stage.
Preparing for the main act, the roadies worked quickly to set up. They were even touching up a few last minute things as the brothers entered the stage with a boisterous applause from City Winery. All three men seemed happy and excited. They shouted greetings to everyone and promptly set the exhilarating tone for the night. Los Lonely Boys’ energy was addicting and was shared with all from the inception. After a brief introduction and a grateful appreciation for being back in New York City, the musicians began to work their magic. JoJo’s deep bass riffs initiated the musical motor to a mesh of discordant noise. With a final stretch behind the drum set, Ringo pounded onwards as Henry lead the way further in on his guitar. His wild signature wails entered the fray and were staples of the evening. Besides the obvious instrumentation skills, the harmonies between all three of them elevated their music to new heights. Listeners recognized that Los Lonely Boys sound with ease. “Texican-rock” was alive and well. The southern feel took hold and never dissipated.
Ringo’s drums vibrated through the lounge and the JoJo’s thumps shook the tables. Every bit of this music was cool and suave with a punch. From the cool, a hurricane of thrills usually followed. They were a majestic trio of often perfect unison. Echoed soul popped up here and there and a whiplash of rock smacked listeners across the face. Henry proudly wore his trademark sunglasses as always. Impressively, JoJo was usually on lead vocals to shake things up. Each man on the guitar and bass had their hands and fingers flicking across the neck of their instruments in a blur. Their music paired well with the intensity among all three. No bit of that energy ever diminished. Their enthusiastic focus was appealing and invigorating to say the least. Vocals were always shared down the line. At times their music took a turn to a genre of emboldened anthems and spiritual chants. The only wish some listeners had were the possibilities of an endless jamming session from the trio. Even though they were held within a specific schedule, one could imagine the improvisation that could evolve from their already solid tunes.
Towards the end of the night, the sync and flow was as strong as ever. Shouts among the men and even from the audience were clear and resonated back with power. They were all wicked fast. Henry, JoJo and Ringo had speed to marvel at that matched their equally explosive instrumentation from start to finish. With each twinkle and flutter of notes, there was the lingering thought of, “what can’t these men do?” Between their harmonic transitions and the solo bits tucked in for good measure, they brought music back into the fold for more memories to grow.