By Noe Gutierrez
“Give a little more
Take a little less
The truth’s gonna find you if you don’t confess
Fight a little harder
Dig a little deeper
Can anybody hear what I’m saying?”
-Taken from the song “Give A Little More” off the Los Lonely Boys most recent album Revelation
Los Lonely Boys have been giving a whole lot of themselves since they banded on April 10, 1997. The Grammy award winning band includes brothers Henry (guitar, vocals), Jo Jo (bass, vocals) and Ringo (drums, vocals). Los Lonely Boys are in the midst of their Spring 2016 tour and will find themselves back in the Coachella Valley on Friday, April 1 at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, sharing the stage with East L.A. legends Los Lobos. Coachella Valley Weekly spoke with Jo Jo Garza this past week via phone as the band was preparing for a show in Minnesota.
Originally from Snyder, Texas the boys moved to San Angelo at an early age where they established familial roots. They then continued on to Lubbock, Texas, the hometown of Buddy Holly. Garza recalls, “We lived in Lubbock a couple of years. It was a significant place for us. We’ve been around Lubbock all our lives.” Influenced by prominent Tex-Mex musicians like Little Joe, Los Lonely Boys have established themselves as a powerhouse trio in the rock and blues communities. “We’re not purposely trying to do anything that hasn’t been done, but in a way we are. We’re not classifying ourselves as gospel or as rock or pop or anything. The message that we’re trying to share has to do with what everyone wants in life; the good thing.” Garza, at 33 years old, has a solid grasp on the meaning of his life. “There’s something greater than a signature, greater than an album. We’re Chicanos who grew up on the streets coming up hard and having respect for our Lord Jesus Christ and putting him first. It’s crazy to visit all these locations that most of us didn’t even know about growing up. It’s a true blessing to get up and share what our outlook is and perspectives on love and life. We share about society, things that are going on in the world while avoid being political. Some of the songs pop out of thin air. Some of the messaging in the lyrics are to gain an understanding of what our true purpose is.”
That true purpose has transformed in recent years. Garza and his brothers have had to delve deep to maintain their faith through the loss of their mother in 2015 and the significant injuries sustained by Henry while falling off a stage in early 2013.
“Our faith is applied every day and in everything that happens to us. We’re the kind of believers who will give our testimony to those who want to know. Our faith has pulled us out of every single thing, both good and bad. When you start understanding the truth you don’t really look at things as good and bad. You look at it as what the truth is and that there is a bigger plan for all of us. On this tour everyone has been gracious and said they’ve missed over the last year since we’ve been gone dealing with the loss of our mom.” They found comfort in music and their musical family.
The Garza brothers have a long-standing relationship with Los Lobos. “Those guys are our heroes. We will always open the show for them. It’s about love, respect and the passion and joy for the music. Those guys are a big influence and inspiration. It’s crazy that we can stand there and perform with them and crack jokes. It’s something we never imagined, at least not on this scale.” You may find each of the bands’ members joining each other on stage during their respective sets.
Los Lonely Boys are booked through October and enjoy the tour cycle, especially when California is on the horizon. “Every time we come to California there’s a big response. It’s truly a second home for us. California has been really good to us. Turn outs are always great.”
Their most recent album, Revelation, has been out for over a year now. It’s melodic and incorporates the acoustic guitar along with Henry’s signature Fender Strat guitar sound beautifully. Jo Jo left us with this. “Revelation is something that you don’t just realize on your own, it is revealed to you.”