New Lucero Album En Route

Don’t forget that frontman Ben Nichols is a
BLURT contributor, either!


By Blurt Staff


BLURT faves Lucero’s
sixth studio album and major label debut, 1372 Overton Park, is due October 6 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
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…god damn if we don’t do
things the way we want to do them.”

Playing between 150-200 live shows a year, Lucero has come to be known as much
for their hard-touring work ethic as for their critically acclaimed records. In
addition to his work with the band, lead singer Ben Nichols also released a
solo record in early 2009 and co-stars in MTV’s $5 Cover, a series about
the Memphis
music scene. Nichols also contributes to a recurring BLURT feature called The Bully
Pulpit – just do a search for his name on the site and you’ll find his words of





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