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IT'S LOS LONELY AT THE TOP.

Byline: Fred Shuster Music Writer

Los Lonely Boys never were lonely.

From the beginning, the Texican trio of brothers always had each other -- and their musical dad. Now, they have a busy touring schedule and mounting pile of cash to keep them company, too.

Like other family bands, such as the Everly Brothers, the Beach Boys, the Black Crowes and Hanson, the Garza brothers -- Henry on guitar, Jojo on bass, and Ringo on drums -- boast natural vocal harmonies that help form a distinctive style.

``We don't have to think about it too much,'' said Jojo, 26. ``With us, the songs just happen. We get together, and the music just comes to us. It's always been that way.''

Using simple melodies, pleasing harmonies and bluesy guitar solos, the Garzas, singing in Spanish and English, have churned out two albums' worth of catchy rockers and ballads. Cheered on by Carlos Santana, the self-titled debut sold more than 2 million copies, while the single ``Heaven'' earned a Grammy. The latest, ``Sacred,'' driven by the rock 'n' blues-drenched guitar of Henry Garza, debuted at No. 2 on the albums chart last month.

``We got our harmonies from listening to our dad's brothers' band,'' Jojo said. ``We learned by listening -- we never took lessons or anything. We practiced and played through our whole childhood.''

Tightly packed blues jams like the soul-drenched rocker ``My Way,'' and sun-drenched ballads such as ``Home'' are on the menu tonight when Los Lonely Boys arrive on stage at the Greek Theatre.

``We like recording, but our main thing is playing live,'' Jojo said. ``That's where it really matters. Touching people and bringing everyone together is what we want to do best.''

Those who miss the current tour can catch Los Lonely Boys in ``Live at the Fillmore,'' a concert special airing throughout the month on PBS stations.

It's all pretty heady for a band of brothers that started life as their father's backing band in dusty San Angelo, Texas. Jojo says the group's early exposure to Tex-Mex, country, blues, and rock pioneers like Richie Valens, Chuck Berry and Fats Domino, along with the Beatles, helped Los Lonely Boys cement its sound.

``We listened to my dad more than the radio,'' he said. ``He was always into rock and country and Tex-Mex. We learned from him at home at first, then he would let us come to gigs and watch him, then when we got older he let us come up and sing a song with him.''

To return the favor, the new album track ``Outlaws'' reunites the brothers with their father, Ringo Garza Sr., who trades vocals with Willie Nelson.

``That was heartfelt, man,'' Jojo says. ``It was a very special thing that happened that day. When he first met Willie, he said it was like meeting Yoda.''

Fred Shuster, (818) 713-3676

fred.shuster(at)dailynews.com

LOS LONELY BOYS

Where: Greek Theatre, 2700 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles.

When: 7:30 tonight.

Tickets: $45. (213) 480-3232.

ticketmaster.com.

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Photo:

Brothers Jojo, left, Henry and Ringo Garza of Los Lonely Boys got started as their father's backing band.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 18, 2006
Words:521
Previous Article:SOUND CHECK.
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