Lucero to Celebrate 20 Years with New Album “Among The Ghosts”
If it weren’t for songwriter Ben Nichols and Memphis-based Lucero, we may not be experiencing the Renaissance of songwriting we’re seeing breaking out across stages coast to coast from country and Americana artists, and carried to the rafters by songwriters such as Jason Isbell. Some of today’s big-named songwriters may be currently touching the edges of the mainstream, but Lucero was the prototype—one of the first to breed earnestness with the Southern experience in songs for the modern era.
Now celebrating 20 years hacking away at blending country, punk, soul, blues, and R&B smothered in Memphis gravy, the band is readying the release of their latest studio album, Among The Ghosts on August 3rd via Thirty Tigers. Co-produced and engineered by Grammy Award winner Matt Ross-Spang known for his work with Jason Isbell and the Drive-By Truckers, it features 9 new songs and a re-recording written by Ben Nichols, and was recorded at Sam Phillips Recording Service in Memphis.
This is the first record from Lucero since Ben Nichols got married and had a now 2-year-old daughter, Izzy. Among The Ghosts is said to have a distinct Southern flavor, but with the edge Lucero is known for.
“I think we’ve tried to remake this place that we love and cherish in our own fashion,” says Nichols. “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 right where it needs to be. 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.”
Among The Ghosts was recorded mostly live as a five piece, with the principle lineup of Lucero at the moment consisting of founding members Ben Nichols and guitarist Brian Venable, with Roy Berry on drums, John C. Stubblefield on bass, and Rick Steff on keyboards.
Lucero has released a dozen or so albums since 2000, getting their big shot on a major label back in 2009 when they signed with Universal Republic, and later recording multiple releases for ATO Records. They’ve hit the road as hard as anybody over the last 20 years, and have garnered a loyal fan base of not just listeners, but fellow artists, making them one of the most influential bands out there.
Among The Ghosts includes the lead single “For The Lonely Ones” you can hear below, and a re-recording of “Loving,” previously-recorded by Ben Nichols for the movie Loving done by Ben’s brother, Jeff Nichols.
Unofficial Track List appears to be:
- “Among the Ghosts”
- “Bottom of the Sea”
- “Everything Has Changed”
- “Always Been You”
- “Cover Me”
- “To My Dearest Wife”
- “Long Way Back Home”
- “For The Lonely Ones”
- “Back to the Night”
- “Loving” (re-recorded w/ full band)
May 11, 2018 @ 8:33 pm
Lucero has been my favorite band for the better part of a decade and are the band responsible for bringing me back into the country (and country adjacent) fold when I was a teenager. I grew up listening to country, but abandoned it around the time I started junior high, when guys like Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, and Sugarland were hitmakers. I started listening to a lot of punk and indie rock instead which eventually led me to alt. Country bands like Lucero who in turn eventually led me back to traditional country.
May 11, 2018 @ 10:07 pm
Similar story here except I never was into country much as a kid. Got into whatever the punk scene was in my high school days (2001-2004). Dropkick Murphys were one of my favorites. Went to see them several years back and Lucero opened for them. I had heard of Lucero but was not impressed by what I had heard. They blew me away live. I couldn’t believe dudes that were that old and played more of a country style could rock like that. I had just gotten into Isbell a little at that point, and him and Lucero really opened the doors to all kinds of music that I listen to now.
Psyched for this release and the next time they come through.
May 14, 2018 @ 7:51 am
Generally speaking same story here, in addition to Lucero DBT had a similar / major influence on the direction my taste in music has evolved, which I’m appreciative as fuck for!!
Also great to see any band your into celebrate 20 years together, pretty sure that’s like a century in band-years lol thanks for making great music yall and SCM for bringing it / helping bring it to peoples attention
May 12, 2018 @ 1:44 am
“We still write heartbreak songs, but now, with a family at home, it’s a whole new kind of heartbreak.”
Jeez. He ain’t kidding. Ben Nichols has been breaking my heart and putting it back together for years now and I can’t freaking wait to hear how the boys do it this time around. Whenever I hear the line in the Ashley Mcbryde song about hearing a song from a band that saves you, I immediately think of Lucero. They save me, in ways big and small, every single day.
So excited for this. I’ve heard several of these songs live and they’re stellar. (If you’ve not seen them live, to say you’re missing out is an understatement. I always liked their music but I fell under their spell after seeing them in concert. Favorite concerts I’ve ever been to.)
I miss Stevie Gaines
May 12, 2018 @ 6:29 am
“Well I’m leaving town I-40 west bound” Great Band!!!
May 12, 2018 @ 6:54 am
Must admit, not really familiar with their work. Any recommendations on earlier albums? Really like the posted song.
May 12, 2018 @ 7:57 am
I’d start with their self-titled debut. And then “Tennessee” which is incredible. My personal favorite from start to finish is “Nobody’s Darlings,” but you really can’t go wrong with any of them. Happy listening! 🙂
May 12, 2018 @ 8:20 am
May 12, 2018 @ 10:04 am
Check out Bens solo album, Last Pale Light in the West. It’s stripped down and only 7 songs, but it’s great. The songs are based of the book Blood Meridian. The above suggestion is a great start as well as Women At Work, shows off their current sound.
May 13, 2018 @ 8:26 am
Thanks, Whiskey! Not sure how I’ve missed these guys…
May 14, 2018 @ 5:15 am
Tennessee is a masterpiece.
May 15, 2018 @ 5:19 am
May 14, 2018 @ 9:21 am
Live From Atlanta is good start to finish, check that out….
May 15, 2018 @ 5:20 am
May 20, 2018 @ 5:00 pm
Tennessee, and Rebels, Rouges, Sworn Brothers are my favorite albums
May 12, 2018 @ 9:59 am
This is great news, always looking forward to new Lucero material. One of the best bands I’ve seen live and Ben is a great songwriter.
May 12, 2018 @ 1:48 pm
They put out a double live record a few years back that to me is the ultimate Lucero document. All their best songs in front of a raucous Atlanta audience. It’s on Spotify I believe. Aside from that, my favorite of theirs is probably Women & Work from a few years back.
May 14, 2018 @ 7:53 am
Wearing my women & work hat right now, got it when they toured behind that album
May 12, 2018 @ 1:46 pm
Cool! Can’t wait! (BTW, Trigger, it’s Ben Nichols, not Joe as you have in Paragaraph 5 😉
May 12, 2018 @ 1:49 pm
Got my Nichols singers crossed.
North Woods Country
May 12, 2018 @ 3:55 pm
Lucero will hurt you, heal you, then give you hope. One of the best bands on the planet
May 13, 2018 @ 10:58 am
Just phenomenal news
May 14, 2018 @ 12:35 am
When I heard of this band, a year or two ago, I thought “cool name”.
May I just confirm, it’s pronounced like “loo-chair-oh”……(e.g., rhyming with “sombrero”)…..correct?
In any case, I’ll seek out more tracks – their approach is broad in terms of styles and I have not quite got on the bandwagon with them (yet). Thanks Trigger.
May 14, 2018 @ 5:11 am
It’s pronounced like “loose arrow” with an emphasis on the “loo”.
May 14, 2018 @ 7:54 am
‘Putting the loo back in loose arrow’ since 1988
May 15, 2018 @ 7:30 pm
Thanks. I was close…..well, sort of. Cheers 🙂
May 14, 2018 @ 5:18 am
Been a fan since someone recommended Tennessee to me many years ago. Ben Nichols has a unique vocal style. They’re great live too. There area couple of DVD’s out there worth the watch about life on the road.
“The War” off of Nobody’s Darlings still gives me chills every time I hear it.