Lucero is an alt-country/punk rock band from Memphis, TN. Formed in 1998, the six-piece has built its reputation on writing sing-along songs about small town life and love, putting a modern edge on classic Americana subjects. The members may look like tattooed tough guys, but they write resonant songs that tug the heartstrings of even the most hardened rock fan.
Lead singer Ben Nichols’ signature whiskey-soaked voice is arguably one of the most recognizable in rock and roll today. The band is rounded out by original members Roy Berry (drums), John C. Stubblefield (bass) and Brian Venable (guitar). Recent additions Rick Steff (piano, organ, accordion) and Todd Beene (pedal steel) contribute to the fuller sound of Lucero’s recent records.
Since 2001, Lucero has played between 150 and 200 shows a year in North America. The band has released seven full-length albums and two DVDs. The latest album, 2009’s “1372 Overton Park,” was the first Lucero record to feature a horn section, and the horns also occasionally accompany the band on the road.
Lucero has shared the stage with Social Distortion, North Mississippi Allstars and Drive-By Truckers, among others. Nichols also co-starred in season one of MTV’s “$5 Cover,” a quasi-fictionalized series about the Memphis music scene.
Lucero doesn’t have fans as much as diehards who come to every show and scream the words to every song. And that’s just the way it should be.
"In case there was ever any doubt, country music is always better when played by genuine Southerners."-Rolling Stone "Full of shabby glory."-Paste
Lucero's sixth studio album and major label debut, 1372 Overton Park, is out on Universal/Republic Records. Produced by Ted Hutt (The Gaslight Anthem) and featuring horn arrangements by legendary Memphis session player Jim Spake (Al Green, John Hiatt, Solomon Burke, Cat Power), the record marks a decided turn toward the Memphis soul sound that has long informed the band's records from afar. 1372 Overton Park follows the band's 2006 release, Rebels, Rogues & Sworn Brothers, hailed by Pitchfork as "the best showcase for the band's taut dynamic yet." The new album's name comes from the address of the Memphis loft in which all four band members lived, practiced and even recorded portions of their 2003 release That Much Further West (the history of the space itself is even more colorful-in the `70s, 1372 Overton Park was a karate dojo where local resident Elvis Presley, among others, took lessons). Over recent years band members have gradually moved out leaving lead singer and guitarist Ben Nichols the sole resident of the space until word finally came down that the building would be sold and demolished. Almost as if marking the end of an era not only for the building but for the band as well, this record turns the page and signals a strong move toward the Memphis soul sound that has long served as an influence for the group. Nichols explains, "When [saxophonist] Jim Spake put that first horn track down, we began thinking of the record as having a certain sound. We heard pieces of Memphis history being played over our songs and it floored us and we just went with it."
While 1372 Overton Park serves as a love letter to Memphis and its musical heritage, the band has far from abandoned the country/rock/punk influences that they've become known for over their previous five records and countless tour dates in front of rabid fans. "I think the fact that we don't claim a genre is very important to what Lucero is," according to Nichols. "There are too many rules in punk rock. Too many rules in country music. We're hard headed and