“Like it’s The Last One Left” – Uncle Lucius (2023) [english]

Stop and then go back to where you stopped.

It almost never happens, indeed those who stop for so long, even if it continues on parallel roads, especially in music, can no longer pick up the thread of speech.

In this 2023 there have been two striking cases of returns that, on the contrary, overturn this axiom and have done so quality that they have entered the legend by right.

I told you the story of Turnpike Troubadours who came back together after almost 4 years and did it with a great record, with a renewed and more refined sound.

Well, in the history of independent music there was another cult band that, suddenly, had dissolved in 2017 and had left a gap in the Texas music scene of which they were among the most original and beloved exponents: Uncle Lucius.

Formed in 2006, they had released 4 records that in those years had revolutionized the Austin scene: an original sound, oscillating between rock and soul, between country and blues.

The band had reached its peak with the wonderful And You Are Me of 2012 that had climbed the independent music charts and whose echo had also crossed the Ocean.

The most beautiful intense and successful song of that record, Keep The Wolves Away, an autobiographical and dramatically intense story, was just the flywheel that has recreated interest around this fantastic band.

Why? Because the producer and deus ex-machina of the most popular TV series ever in the States, Yellowstone, has included it in the soundtrack and the interest (absolutely deserved) has suddenly returned around the name of Uncle Lucius.

After some live shows that showed the world that time just didn’t seem to have passed, here we are with this beautiful Like It’s The One Left.

10 songs that seem to come from another temporal dimension in which this Texas band has continued to play together for these 5 years: are you sure they had gone their way?

The band is still formed by frontman Kevin Galloway, from the guitar of Mike Carpenter, Josh Greco and John Grossman, but the line-up was joined by the guitar of Doug Strahan and the bass of Drew Scherger.

The album is produced by the co-founder of the band and that in theory would not be a member, but it is an honorary one and that is Hal Jon Vorpahl, in fact he wrote many of the songs and plays many instruments on the record.

The album starts with the sunny and fun soul ballad Keep Singing Along and we realize that the wonderful voice of Galloway we missed.

Carpenter’s guitar embroiders an almost British sound, accompanied by keyboards that bring the song to become almost gospel.

The next Civilized Anxiety instead sweeps away the relaxed and flat atmosphere with a riff of guitar and keyboard enveloping and exciting, but it is always the voice of Kevin Galloway to guide the group to a rock song with a soul flavor, which the choirs increase in intensity.

The riff and appeal of the song are a clear tribute to the lesson given by John Fogerty and his Creedence.

The text speaks of the anxiety of an exasperated civilization.

The ballad All The Angelenos takes up in an ironic and pungent way the theme of the excessive transfer of citizens of Los Angeles to Austin and in general to Texas because of the lower cost of life and also its safety and quality.

The violin reminds us that we are right in the Lone Star State and the rhythm is to dance.

Tuscaloosa Rain’s very 70’s soul is delicious, Galloway’s voice and the masterful work of rhythm and keyboards is almost brilliant, as is the not so much veiled dedication to the great Elvis.

Wonderful the way with which this band master rock and soul, without forgetting the country flavor of Texas.

Start Holy Roller and try to hold on to the southern blues riff, the magical seventies keyboards.

A song that excited me from the first listening and then the dirty and devastating solo of Carpenter is joy to the ears, it seems to be in a southern piece of the Allman Brothers Band. Fantastic!

Another riff from the 70s groove invades the speakers with Trace My Soul and the keyboard embroiders emotions accompanying the beautiful voice of Galloway that sings us about how it is necessary to accept life as it comes, let it go and take us where it wants to take us.

Another song that won’t come out of my playlists.

After having excited, made dance and run at breakneck speed for this swing of guitars and keyboards, the album closes with Heart Over Mind, with an arrangement of strings that borders on perfection for how it enhances the always perfect singing of Kevin Galloway.

Another song that seems to be taken from a jam session with The Elvis King in “his” Las Vegas and I think a compliment like that makes you understand the greatness of this work.

A very welcome return of a band whose cult had never hinted to go out, had remained like fire to brood under the ashes and is now ready to burn again as 5 or 6 years ago when Uncle Lucius were burning down the locals of Texas and beyond.

10 pieces of exhilarating expressive beauty, exciting and played by a group of wonderful musicians, led by a frontman holding one of the most beautiful and recognizable voices of the independent circuit.

I consider their 2012 piece Keep The Wolves Away one of the most beautiful songs of all time and, believe me, this album doesn’t go far from that quality and indeed it revives its splendor.

Welcome back!

Good listening,

Claudio “Trex” Trezzani by http://www.ticinonotizie.it

(in Ticino Notizie web site you can find original italian version of this article)

Pubblicato da Trex

Sono un blogger e scrittore appassionato di musica indipendente americana. Scrivo gialli polizieschi e ho inventato il personaggio del detective texano Cody Myers.

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