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Lucero on World Cafe | July 5, 2012

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Lucero — bright star in Spanish — has been creating quality punk-inflected country since the late '90s. Hailing from Memphis, frontman Ben Nichols gives the act a gruff Southern twang with both his voice and his guitar. Since the release of 2001's eponymous debut, Lucero has recorded five more studio albums and plays an impressive 200 shows a year in the U.S. and Canada.

Lucero's new album Women & Work was released this March to much praise. This is the group's second record to include a horn section — an addition that allows the band to fully flush out its sound. As a further exploration of its members' Memphis roots, Lucero enlisted a women's gospel choir for the track "Go Easy," adding a soulful feel.

On today's episode of World Cafe, Nichols discusses Lucero's new relationship with ATO Records and how the band has finally found a supportive, music-friendly home after 13 years on the road. Nichols also plays new songs and talks about his stint on an MTV series, $5 Cover, which portrays the lives of struggling Memphis musicians. (link)

Playlist

(( )) for interlude music

HOUR 1

The Alabama Shakes "Hang Loose" Boys & Girls
Raphael Saadiq "100 Yard Dash" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Craig Finn "Honolulu Blues" Clear Heart Full Eyes
Bob Dylan "Highway 61 Revisited" Highway 61 Revisited
Rockpile "Teacher, Teacher" Seconds of Pleasure
Hacienda "Savage" Shakedown
((Lucero "I Can't Stand To Leave You" Recorded Live for the World Cafe))
Lucero "Who You Waiting On" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Lucero "I Can't Stand to Leave You" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Lucero "On My Way Downtown" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Lucero "Women & Work" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
((Lucero "On My Way Downtown" Recorded Live for the World Cafe))
Beach House "Lazuli" Bloom
Rufus Wainwright "Across the Universe" I Am Sam Soundtrack
Rufus Wainwright "Out of the Game" Out of the Game

HOUR 2

Middle Brother "Portland" Middle Brother
The Tallest Man On Earth "1904" There is No Leaving Now
Elliot Smith "Waltz #2" XO
Glen Hansard "Love Don't Leave Me Waiting" Rhythm & Repose
Butterfly Boucher "Another White Dash" Flutterby
Coldplay "Every Teardrop is a Waterfall" Mylo Xyloto
((Choir of Young Believers "Hollow Talk" This is For the Whites in Your Eyes))
Langhorne Slim & the Law "The Way We Move" The Way We Move
The Rolling Stones "Live With Me" Let it Bleed
Tedeschi Trucks Band "Come See About Me" Revelator
King Tuff "Bad Thing" King Tuff
John Hiatt "Thank You Girl" Bring the Family
((Glossary "Bend with the Breeze" Feral Fire))
Bobby Womack "Nothing Can Save You" The Bravest Man in the Universe
Allen Toussaint "Night People" The Allen Toussaint Collection
Dr. John "Big Shot" Locked Down
((The Revelations "Heavy Metal" Deep Soul))