LUCERO three night New Years Bash

LUCERO three night New Years Bash

Victoria George

Friday, December 29, 2017

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm


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This event is 21 and over

Lucero has long been admired in their hometown of Memphis, where they have hosted “The Lucero
Family Block Party” every spring for a number of years. At the 2018 Block Party they celebrated their
20th anniversary as a band, with the city’s Mayor Jim Strick
land officially declaring it “Lucero Day.”
The group found their name in a Spanish/English dictionary. “Lucero” is variously translated as
“bright star” or “morning star.” None of them can speak Spanish.
It’s been two decades since original members Ben
Nichols, Brian Venable, Roy Berry, and John C.
Stubblefield (keyboardist Rick Steff joined in 2006) started playing shows in Memphis. The band’s
first show was April 13, 1998 at a warehouse space across the street from what is now the National
Civil Right
s Museum, the infamous Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was shot. Their first
set was six songs played to about six people. On August 3, 2018, record release day for
Among the
, the band will be co
headlining Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colo
The band’s ninth studio album,
Among the Ghosts
, is their first for noted Nashville indie label Thirty
Tigers. It was recorded and co
produced with Grammy
winning engineer/producer and Memphis
native Matt Ross
Spang (Jason Isbell, Margo Price, Driv
e by Truckers) at the historic Sam Phillips
Recording Service, the studio built by the legendary producer after outgrowing his Memphis
Recording Service/Sun Studio.
Recorded primarily live as a five
Among the Ghosts
eschews the Stax
inspired horns
and Jerry
Lee Lewis
style boogie piano featured on some of the band’s past recordings for a streamlined rock &
roll sound that pays homage to their seminal influences as it seeks to push that legacy into the future.
For a band who carried the torch of the
country movement back in the 90’s and helped pave the
way for what is now called Americana, Lucero have re
discovered what inspired them in the first
place. The sound is more their own and at the same time not exactly like anything they’ve done
. This is a band settling into their craft. The 10
song disc’s title is both a tribute to the spirits
which roam the streets of their fabled city, as well as the hard road the determinedly independent
band set out on 20 years ago. The band played around 20
0 shows per year for many of those 20
With a nod to his younger brother Jeff Nichols, an acclaimed filmmaker whose movies include
Take Shelter
Midnight Special
, and
Shotgun Stories
; Nichols has written songs that are cinematic
stories, steeped in Southern gothic lore. There are nods to regional authors like Flannery
O’Connor and Faulkner, as well as newer writers like Larry Brown (
Big Bad Love
), Ron Rash
The World Made Straight
), and William Gay (
The Long Home
As the first album he’s written since his marriage and the birth of his now two
old daughter
Izzy, Nichols approached the task as a narrator rather than in first person. It’s a dark palette that
includes tales of a haunting (“Among the Ghosts”), a d
rowning (“Bottom of the Sea), a reckoning with
the devil
(“Everything has Changed”), a divorce (“Always Been You”), and a shoot
out (“Cover Me”). And that’s
just Side A. Side B is a letter from a battlefield (“To My Dearest Wife”), a crime (“Long Way Back
Home”), a straight
out rocker (“For the Lonely Ones”) and even a spooky spoken
word cameo from
actor Michael Shannon, who has appeared in every one of Nichols’ brother’s films. The song’s title
“Back to the Night” references a line from Nick Tosches’ Jerr
y Lee Lewis biography,
. In
addition, there’s a song Nichols wrote for his brother’s movie
, which appeared in the film and
on the soundtrack, re
recorded for
Among the Ghosts
with the whole band.
“You could also say there’s a rescue, a get
away, a survival story and a middle finger to Satan himself,”
laughs Nichols. “It’s all in your perspective.”
Several songs juxtapose going off to battle with a rock & roll band’s endless touring, shifting time
periods like the spirits which haunt the al
bum, the happiness of domestic bliss undercut with fears of
loss and the specter of mortality.
Among the Ghosts
simultaneously reprises the past and looks to the
future, while being firmly anchored in the present.
Musically, the band highlights range fro
m co
founding member Brian Venable’s Dire Straits
War on Drugs guitar pyrotechnics in “Bottom of the Sea” and “Cover Me” to the Springsteen vibe of
“For the Lonely Ones”, Rick Steff’s skeletal piano lines on “Always Been You”, John C’s bass lines in
“Everything Has Changed” and “Long Way Back Home”, and drummer Roy Berry’s dynamic shifts
from the powerful and brutal title track “Among the Ghosts” to the marching drive of “To My Dearest
Wife” and the subtlety of “Loving”. Throughout, Nichols’ bourbon
soaked growl has become even
more distinctive and commanding.
Among the Ghosts
offers a timeless perspective on Lucero’s distinctive sound. The lyrics could’ve
been written 200 years ago or yesterday. Representing a new South compared to the one that’s b
mythologized, Lucero have formulated their own ideas and culture which, in some cases, contradicts
what came before them (no Confederate flags), but also updates and reconsiders those traditions in a
new light.
“I think we’ve tried to remake this pla
ce that we love and cherish in our own fashion. We are very
proud of where we are from and we’ve spent the last 20 years trying to bring a bit of our version of
home to the rest of the world... It may have taken 20 years, but everything has fallen in place
where it needs to be,” acknowledges Nichols. “There were some dark days in those middle years, but
we’ve learned how to do this and survive. We still write heartbreak songs, but now, with a family at
home, it’s a whole new kind of heartbreak.”
ng the Ghosts lays out that new territory with alacrity, as Lucero shines their Morning Star,
burning just as brightly, if not more so, 20 years later. As one of the album’s song titles so aptly puts
it, “Everything Has Changed”, but one thing hasn’t... Lu
cero’s music remains more vital than ever.
Victoria George
Victoria George
"Victoria George has the enviable skill of sounding effortless at everything she does, be it country, rock or breezy pop music...this North Bay native simply knows her way around a good tune." Irish Greg- KFOG

California Country is a thing. It’s a beautiful thing, actually. It’s the gift Victoria George gives her growing legion of fans everyday, and it’s worth knowing intimately.

California Country happens when places like Northern California’s Marin County and country music meccas like Nashville collide. The result in Victoria George’s case is rather fascinating — a sound that’s part San Francisco folk, part Nashville/bluegrass twang, all heart and revelations and smarty-pants yarn-spinnin’. Gather round, Victoria beckons.

Victoria is by now a confident mid-career singer-songwriter who knows what and who she is. She comes from a family of artists and herself has a background in theater. And, well, she’s lovely. So it’s not all that surprising she commands a stage with the zeal of an Allison Krauss or Bonnie Raitt, artists who check their pretention at the door and prefer honest-to-goodness stories.

Music biz folks have indeed taken notice throughout the years. Victoria has worked in and outside of Nashville’s finest publishing houses and shared bills with the likes of Brandi Carlisle, the Doobie Brothers, Steve Earle, Delta Rae and other industry names that speak for themselves.

But she embraces her place in the lineage of folk artists primarily concerned with crafting songs to make people think and feel something meaningful. That’s the California Country way, and the Victoria George creed.
Venue Information:
Sweetwater Music Hall
19 Corte Madera Ave.
Mill Valley, CA, 94941