Here’s the JUNE DearBen Nichols FACEBOOK Giveaway, y’all, featuring Lucero, of course, as well as the lovely songwriting talents of Caleb Caudle, who’s new record just came out today! 

FROM CALEB CAUDLE:
- An autographed copy of his new record, Paint Another Layer On My Heart. (Listen to “How’d You Learn” here: http://bit.ly/1ru4DPl)
- Autographed poster
- Button

FROM LUCERO:
- Autographed (by the whole band!) Lucero handbill
- Hat
- Stickers

TO ENTER, YOU *MUST* DO THESE FOUR THINGS (I WILL CHECK!):
- SHARE this ORIGINAL post
- LIKE Lucero’s Page: http://on.fb.me/1lMLMOC
- LIKE Caleb Caudle’s Page: http://on.fb.me/UFigQV
- FRIEND DearBen Nichols: http://on.fb.me/1qu7w2F

BONUS ENTRIES:
- FOLLOW Caleb Caudle on Twitter: http://bit.ly/1iBIcaO
- FOLLOW Lucero on Twitter: http://bit.ly/1itq7Ms

RULES AND STUFF:
Contest runs from now till 9 a.m. EST Tues., July 1st, 2014. You may SHARE this ORIGINAL post as many times as you want. A random winner will be chosen and contacted on 7/1/14 via Facebook Private Message, so be sure to log in that day to see if you’ve won! You will have 24 hours from the time I message you to respond with your name and mailing address. Otherwise, I will choose and contact a new winner.

GOOD LUCK, Y’ALL!

Lucero In Retrospect (2014).

Thanks for the submission, Tom Manson! :)

A Broadview for Fans of the Best Band Around

I’ve been listening to Lucero for only about 18 months now, so my start as a fan was after 8 LPs were released. Arriving late is like coming down the stairs on Christmas morning to find more presents than you could possibly get your arms around. You stumble updon a deep pool of music to wade through, sort out and fall in love with. Initially, you don’t follow albums as much as you find tracks that lead you in different directions, and certainly in no particular order. You’re playing catch-up.

The falling in love part is the easy — the songs are instantly relatable and familiar even though you’ve never really heard this sound before. You’re already in before you can digest and make sense of it. What may be harder to come by is perspective on and context to a massive library of great music.

The words you always hear about Lucero are “progression” and “evolution,” but too often they seem like code for ‘added a horn section.’ Anybody can put a Women & Work song next to an Attic Tapes song and realize that something happened. That was my first show in a nutshell.

I had only heard the Self-Titled album when I decided that I needed to see these guys live, and they just happened to be coming through Providence, RI on the Women & Work tour. So I went to check them out and I sure was confused when I heard Downtown and Women & Work. They obviously played a couple that I knew, and some others that sounded like what I came for, but I left there a bit not sure what to think. Of course that was just the start of my journey.

What I came to appreciate more and more is that there is a real progression in the music that is much deeper than just adding horns, and when you pay attention you can see it happening. It’s a progression of real people in real life, finding their way through the same types of experiences you’ve had, and growing better and better at their craft with each release.

Each album is fantastic in its own right. However, they naturally group into pairs that walk through the different phases of growth both in experience and in music.

Attic Tapes and Lucero (Self-Titled):
These are slow, dark songs that represent an accumulation of experiences in a young person’s life. The writing is brilliant and the themes repeat themselves throughout all of the albums, but here they feel like new experiences played over a no frills style. For most of these, you get the two guitars, bass and drums along with a violin that pulls back and forth like a razorblade across the measured rainy-day sounds. Think of songs like Into Your Eyes, Dangerous Thing, Wasted, So Long Tonight, and the masterpiece, No Roses No More. You’re young, running around and having fun; highs and lows; trying to avoid being tied down.

Tennessee and That Much Further West:
On the very first note off Tennessee, which is Sweet Little Thing, you can feel that we’ve taken a step up in quality — both as musicians and in the topics. Musically the songs feel more full and rounded than before. There’s a bit more responsibility creeping into the lyrics. You begin to hear more about the life on the road and the challenge of trying to chase your calling, but being human and dealing with the things that have been left behind and the things you may be screwing up right now. Think of songs like The Last Song, When You’re Gone, Across the River, and Coming Home. The band is feeling torn between these obligations, but hopeful and moving forward. You also have songs like Darby’s Song and When You Decided to Leave which are coming to terms with love and responsibility; things which might seem out of place in the last couple albums.

Nobody’s Darlings and Rebels, Rogues & Sworn Brothers:
Nothing quite gets your attention like a punch in the face and that’s what you get here. If Tennessee and That Much Further West are pleasing sounds and showing signs of wisdom that comes with maturity, then Nobody’s Darlings and Rebels/Rogues are the counterpunch to that. These albums are musically more confident that the last ones, but the songs have a hard edge and are rebelling against growing up a bit. Anjalee, Watch It Burn, California, Last Night in Town. You can also hear the competing worlds tugging even harder in different directions. Grow up or stay young, and stay young is winning for now. When you’re deep into Rebels, you feel almost as if they are sliding towards a disaster. Take the messages in What Else Would You Have Me Be (You were fine with me being a screw up when we met, so what’s the problem now?), 1979 (years so fast it’s all the same), Sing Me No Hymns (sounds like a conversation at an intervention), and It’s on the Way Back Home (one of two choices – mine is to drink in a different town nearly every night). Signs poke through that hint at the future you have to accept – these are a much more prominent use of piano and organ and the addition of Rick Steff. Still, you get the sense that this can’t possibly end well.

1372 Overton Park and Women & Work.
The break between Rebels/Rogues and Overton Park is the longest between albums to that point, and for me it is about a death and a rebirth. The musical build-up to start Overton Park sounds like you’re picking yourself off the ground, gaining your feet and finding your stride – the song is Smoke. 1372 is downright melodic even when it’s hard, and Women & Work feels like you’ve reached a comfortable clarity. All the pieces are in place — the original 4 plus Rick, the pedal steel, and the horns. The music is unapologetically beautiful. Think of the sounds and messages in Hey Darlin’ Do You Gamble, Goodbye Again, Sometimes, Go Easy, It May Be Too Late, When I Was Young. In many ways, these songs are on the other end of the spectrum from the guy in No Roses No More. The boy with the most metal heart of all in Across the River became the man in Darken My Door.

Putting these into context doesn’t make me appreciate any of them less, but it helps to understand how the kids who gave us My Best Girl could possibly have come up with Go Easy.
So where do we go from here? Will it be a collection of softer love songs to pair with the Texas & Tennessee EP? Maybe it will be some sort of post-passion guilt ridden decline or a disastrous, flaming car crash end to a relationship? There’s no way to know, as it can’t be written before it has been experienced.

The one thing that we do know is that it will be authentic – the real deal. And I can’t wait to hear it.

About the author: Tom is a Lucero fan and the founder of The “REAL Lucero” Fan Group, an unofficial group of crazy fans. https://www.facebook.com/groups/lucero.memphis/

Accompanying Playlist:

Gone to the Sea
No Roses No More
When You’re Gone
Across the River
Watch It Burn
Sing Me No Hymns
Smoke
Go Easy
Breathless Love

Thanks for the submission, Darianne!
I first started listening to Lucero when I was 13. I lived with my father and we would stay up all night listening to them and learning their songs on guitar. A year later my father passed away unexpectedly and I leaned on their music to help me cope (Still do, actually). Especially ‘Darby’s Song’. I went to see their concert back in February for my 18th birthday. After Lucero played, I went to leave and ran into Ben Nichols. I was so happy and excited, but wanted to cry at the same time. It meant so much to me to see them perform and to meet him. I only spoke to him for a moment to get a picture and an autograph, but it was a special moment for me and made me miss my dad so much. I definitely will not forget that night. 

Thanks for the submission, Darianne!

I first started listening to Lucero when I was 13. I lived with my father and we would stay up all night listening to them and learning their songs on guitar. A year later my father passed away unexpectedly and I leaned on their music to help me cope (Still do, actually). Especially ‘Darby’s Song’. I went to see their concert back in February for my 18th birthday. After Lucero played, I went to leave and ran into Ben Nichols. I was so happy and excited, but wanted to cry at the same time. It meant so much to me to see them perform and to meet him. I only spoke to him for a moment to get a picture and an autograph, but it was a special moment for me and made me miss my dad so much. I definitely will not forget that night. 

Here it is, y’all! The DearBen Nichols 3rd Anniversary FACEBOOK Giveaway featuring Lucero and Big Shoals!

FROM BIG SHOALS (www.bigshoals.bandcamp.com):
- An autographed copy of their new record, Still Go On, on CD (Watch the video of “Skipping Stones” here: http://bit.ly/1evaF06)
- Sticker

FROM LUCERO (www.luceromusic.com)
- Autographed (by the whole band!) Lucero handbill
- Hat
- Stickers

ALSO FEATURING SURPRISE ITEMS FROM:
Ajax Diner Book Club
Country Fried Rock
Ninebullets Radio
Nine Bullets AND/OR
W.B. Walker’s Old Soul Radio Show !

TO ENTER, YOU *MUST* DO THESE THREE THINGS (I WILL CHECK!):
- SHARE this post
- LIKE Lucero’s Page: www.facebook.com/Lucero
- LIKE Big Shoals’ Page: www.facebook.com/BigShoals

BONUS ENTRIES:
- FOLLOW Big Shoals on Twitter: www.twitter.com/bigshoalsband
- FOLLOW Lucero on Twitter: www.twitter.com/luceromusic
- LIKE *any* one or all of the Pages from the “SURPRISE ITEMS” category
- FRIEND or FOLLOW DearBen Nichols

RULES AND STUFF:
Contest runs from now till 9 a.m. EST Tues., April 22nd, 2014. You may SHARE this post as many times as you want. A random winner will be chosen and contacted on 4/22/14 via Facebook Private Message, so be sure to log in that day to see if you’ve won! You will have 24 hours from the time I message you to respond with your name and address. Otherwise, I will choose and contact a new winner.

GOOD LUCK, Y’ALL!

emptybottlesandbrokensouls:

Empty Bottles And Broken Souls is the new FYACB. The name was holding back the direction I’m headed in. I’m still the guy who does all the posts and music quality will NEVER be compromised. So give us a follow at:
http://emptybottlesandbrokensouls.tumblr.com/
Much love and hope you all make the jump!
http://emptybottlesandbrokensouls.tumblr.com/

Head’s up, folks!

emptybottlesandbrokensouls:

Empty Bottles And Broken Souls is the new FYACB. The name was holding back the direction I’m headed in. I’m still the guy who does all the posts and music quality will NEVER be compromised. So give us a follow at:

http://emptybottlesandbrokensouls.tumblr.com/

Much love and hope you all make the jump!

http://emptybottlesandbrokensouls.tumblr.com/

Head’s up, folks!

DBN needs a Volunteer* Assistant (NOT a Contributor, just to clarify). If you’re reliable, work well independently (with minimal supervision), and have an in-depth familiarity with Tumblr (at which www.dearbennichols.com is hosted), hit me, Michelle Evans (in case there’s any confusion, lol), up at dearbennichols@gmail.com expressing interest and with any questions. Please don’t comment or message me here. I haz enoughs to do here. lolAlso, and most importantly, MUST LOVE Lucero!!!*I don’t get paid, either. Sorry. 

DBN needs a Volunteer* Assistant (NOT a Contributor, just to clarify). If you’re reliable, work well independently (with minimal supervision), and have an in-depth familiarity with Tumblr (at which www.dearbennichols.com is hosted), hit me, Michelle Evans (in case there’s any confusion, lol), up at dearbennichols@gmail.com expressing interest and with any questions. Please don’t comment or message me here. I haz enoughs to do here. lol

Also, and most importantly, MUST LOVE Lucero!!!

*I don’t get paid, either. Sorry. 

An Open Letter to Ben and Lucero from Ashley:

Dear Lucero / Ben,

I spent almost 7 years in the Army, and your music helped me get through all the bullshit especially in Iraq and Korea. From the bottom of my soul Thank you for making music because yours has kept me alive. There were times I felt completely empty, but then I found your music and I actually felt happiness listening to Lucero. I don’t care if I sound like a cliche. It is what it is. THANK YOU.

fuckyeahaltcountryboys:

If you are listening to this kind of music and are okay with it, this post is not for you. 
Actually, yes it is.
It may not feel that way, but you need to hear it. This guy, and the likes of him, are the musical equivalent of a mullet. If you listen to shit like this, then in my mind, you have a mullet. A hideous mullet. One you are probably proud of. Hell, maybe you even have a special wooden brush you carry in your back pocket to get that fat wave in the sides of it. Maybe you even named your mullet? Who knows? As a friend, it’s my civic duty to tell you to lose that mullet. It’s a bad look. You know who likes mullets? Other people with mullets. Same applies here y’all.
Anyway, substance. Mr. Bryan and his commercial cohorts lack substance. Maybe they donate their time and contribute to local organizations. In which case, I applaud them. Musically? No way. You can’t convince me otherwise. They have nothing of substance to their music. They are as deep as a skeeter’s peter in a whale’s vagina. These people are polluting our airwaves and are being force fed to you by a suit. A suit who only cares about selling cheese to a misinformed people. Misinformed? Yeah, a bit. How many of you are aware that there is real music with substance? With soul, hurt, anger, joy, storytelling power out there? I’d venture to say not many, if this guy, and the likes, are your “go-to” musicians.
To anyone who knows better, this does not apply to you. Also, I love you all for being able to seek out quality and not settle. 
When people are getting rich singing about cheese-dick-bubblegum-shit with no substance, enough already. You deserve better. Your mind deserves better. Your soul deserves better. Real musicians deserve better. This is not country music. This is pop music with a fiddle and steel guitar, maybe a banjo and mandolin. And it is barely music. It’s about as country, as Lil’ Wayne is to real hip-hop. Not at all. Lyricists with no lyrics. All fluff, no nut, plain and simple. 
Make 2014 the year this shit stops. Give yourself something better. Seek out places to get real music. Stop buying this shit because you think it’s the only thing there is. It isn’t. I promise you that. There are musicians who have voices that deserve to be heard out there. Musicians who write their own music. Who share real things that in turn make you feel real shit inside of you. If this hurts your feelings, it’s what I believe and I’m not sorry for saying it. It needs to be said. More people need to say it. Seek out good music. Don’t dig my blog? I’ll recommend some other great people who have blogs. But FYACB, they don’t play good music on my local station! Guess what? They don’t on mine either! There are great podcasts and internet radio streams out there. Send me a message, I’ll respond back and point you to them.
Let’s have meaning and not be hollow. And for the love of whatever you love, not another fucking truck song. Please.
Please reblog this too!

I think my fellow Lucero fans will appreciate this post!

fuckyeahaltcountryboys:

If you are listening to this kind of music and are okay with it, this post is not for you. 

Actually, yes it is.

It may not feel that way, but you need to hear it. This guy, and the likes of him, are the musical equivalent of a mullet. If you listen to shit like this, then in my mind, you have a mullet. A hideous mullet. One you are probably proud of. Hell, maybe you even have a special wooden brush you carry in your back pocket to get that fat wave in the sides of it. Maybe you even named your mullet? Who knows? As a friend, it’s my civic duty to tell you to lose that mullet. It’s a bad look. You know who likes mullets? Other people with mullets. Same applies here y’all.

Anyway, substance. Mr. Bryan and his commercial cohorts lack substance. Maybe they donate their time and contribute to local organizations. In which case, I applaud them. Musically? No way. You can’t convince me otherwise. They have nothing of substance to their music. They are as deep as a skeeter’s peter in a whale’s vagina. These people are polluting our airwaves and are being force fed to you by a suit. A suit who only cares about selling cheese to a misinformed people. Misinformed? Yeah, a bit. How many of you are aware that there is real music with substance? With soul, hurt, anger, joy, storytelling power out there? I’d venture to say not many, if this guy, and the likes, are your “go-to” musicians.

To anyone who knows better, this does not apply to you. Also, I love you all for being able to seek out quality and not settle. 

When people are getting rich singing about cheese-dick-bubblegum-shit with no substance, enough already. You deserve better. Your mind deserves better. Your soul deserves better. Real musicians deserve better. This is not country music. This is pop music with a fiddle and steel guitar, maybe a banjo and mandolin. And it is barely music. It’s about as country, as Lil’ Wayne is to real hip-hop. Not at all. Lyricists with no lyrics. All fluff, no nut, plain and simple. 

Make 2014 the year this shit stops. Give yourself something better. Seek out places to get real music. Stop buying this shit because you think it’s the only thing there is. It isn’t. I promise you that. There are musicians who have voices that deserve to be heard out there. Musicians who write their own music. Who share real things that in turn make you feel real shit inside of you. If this hurts your feelings, it’s what I believe and I’m not sorry for saying it. It needs to be said. More people need to say it. Seek out good music. Don’t dig my blog? I’ll recommend some other great people who have blogs. But FYACB, they don’t play good music on my local station! Guess what? They don’t on mine either! There are great podcasts and internet radio streams out there. Send me a message, I’ll respond back and point you to them.

Let’s have meaning and not be hollow. And for the love of whatever you love, not another fucking truck song. Please.

Please reblog this too!

I think my fellow Lucero fans will appreciate this post!

Do y’all know about the Lucero/Matt Woods giveaway over at the DBN Facebook?

Here’s what you can win:

FROM MATT WOODS (www.therealmattwoods.com):
- “Deadman’s Blues” 7” EP (Video: http://bit.ly/1gW7jR3)
- His last record, Manifesto, on CD
- Sticker and pin

FROM LUCERO (www.luceromusic.com):
- Autographed (by the whole band!) “denim vest” tour poster (actual pic of item above)
- Tote bag designed by Bryn Perrott (who designed the Texas & Tennessee EP cover) 
- A sticker and a hat
- One surprise item from Lucero Ground Central!

TO ENTER, YOU *MUST* DO THESE THREE THINGS (I WILL CHECK!):
- SHARE this post
- LIKE Lucero's Page 
- LIKE Matt Woods' Page 

BONUS ENTRIES:
- FOLLOW Matt Woods on Twitter: www.twitter.com/realmattwoods
- FOLLOW Lucero on Twitter: www.twitter.com/luceromusic
- LIKE Bryn Perrott's Page 
- FRIEND or FOLLOW DearBen Nichols 

RULES AND STUFF:
Contest runs from now till 9 a.m. EST Fri., Jan. 17th, 2014. You may SHARE this post as many times as you want. A random winner will be chosen and contacted on 1/17/14 via Facebook Private Message, so be sure to log in that day to see if you’ve won! You will have 24 hours from the time I message you to respond with your name and address. Otherwise, I will choose and contact a new winner.

GOOD LUCK, Y’ALL!