Family has always been at the center of things for Los Lonely Boys. Henry, Jojo, and Ringo Garza have been playing and touring together since they were teenagers. Three years ago, they decided to take a break to focus on their own growing families. But Summer 2022 saw them back at it again, returning to life on the road alongside The Who. The Boys have been making music together for seventeen years now, and they show no signs of slowing down or losing inspiration. Today, you’ll find them in the studio, working on their newest album.
The story of how the Garza brothers rode their bluesy “Texican rock & roll” sound from San Angelo, Texas, to worldwide fame is one of rock’s great Cinderella tales. The three young brothers formed a band, got signed to a major label, and had a hit single that propelled them to stardom. They sold 2.5 million records, won a Grammy, and received five more Grammy nominations in the span of their career.
The sons of Enrique “Ringo” Garza Sr. are a second-generation sibling band; their dad and his brothers played conjunto as the Falcones before the elder Garza formed a band with his sons. They were still teens when he moved them to Nashville, hoping to hit career paydirt. But their big break came after they returned to Texas and began playing Austin clubs in the early 2000s. One day, Willie Nelson’s nephew heard some demos. Next thing they knew, Willie showed up at a gig. Then he showcased them at Farm Aid, fronted recording time at his famed Pedernales Studio, and guested on their album.
Released in 2003 on startup label Or Records, Los Lonely Boys got picked up by Epic and re-released. Propelled by the No. 1 single, “Heaven,” it wound up selling over 2 million copies, spending 76 weeks on the Billboard Top 200 album chart, and earning them a Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group.
Their dream-come-true rise was chronicled in the documentary Los Lonely Boys: Cottonfields and Crossroads, directed by fellow San Angelo native Hector Galán. Another dream came true for the Boys when Carlos Santana invited them to guest on his 2005 album, All That I Am. They also released Live at the Fillmore that year. Their father and Willie Nelson joined them on 2006’s Sacred, and in 2007, their cover of John Lennon’s “Whatever Gets You Through the Night” became the second single from the album Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur.
Their rise to stardom was certainly something to behold. But the story of how they’ve persevered in the face of subsequent challenges is just as compelling. In 2013, they canceled 43 shows and paused work on their last album, Revelation, after Henry was seriously hurt when he fell from a stage in Los Angeles. The scare caused all three brothers to re-examine not only how they make music, but how they conduct their lives.
Once again, they affirmed that’s family. And music. For this trio, the two are inseparable. The downtime of their hiatus served their hearts and their families well, but it also served to plant new seeds of creativity. Now in the studio working on their newest record, they are finding that inspiration comes from time at home as much as from time on the road.
Now, with plans to release a new record in 2023, the Boys are entering a new era of their career. “Walking off the stage after our first performance this year, we cried together, hugged, and knew we would continue,” says Henry. “After a three-year hiatus, we are songwriting, recording, and touring together. It is a blessing to share the stage with my brothers. We lift each other musically and spiritually. We consider this Los Lonely Boys’ resurrection.”