CD review: Lucero 'Women & Work'

CD review: Lucero ‘Women & Work'
BY GENE TRIPLETT Entertainment Editor Published: April 6, 2012


Lucero ‘Women & Work' (ATO)

Memphis-based beer-soaked bohemian band Lucero has evolved from a rowdy country-punk four-piece to a full-steam Southern-soul sextet on their party-starting eighth album, “Women & Work.”

It's true the band's fans love to show their appreciation by dousing these musicians with draft, but Ben Nichols and company have soaked up a lot more than suds in their hometown's musical environment, such as the styles spawned by Sun and Stax and their past associations with the late Alex Chilton and revered Southern-fried rock producer Jim Dickinson.

All of these influences result in such tunes as the rollicking, brass-emblazoned title cut, with sandpaper-voiced Nichols starting to sound a lot like a young Leon Russell circa Joe Cocker and Mad Dogs & Englishmen. Guest horn aces Jim Spake (Solomon Burke, Ray Charles) and Scott Thompson (Al Green, Cat Power) bring the R&B heat to this tune and “On My Way Downtown,” the album opener that builds from an amiable country-rock guitar riff to a rousing twang-and-soul anthem to barroom romance.

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