You can't throw a rock in Memphis without hitting some arcane bit of music history. For instance, when the members of Lucero, the city's hometown sons, rented a warehouse to live and rehearse in while not on the road, they discovered that it was once a gym where Elvis Presley took karate lessons. Likewise, it's hard to listen to Lucero's music without stumbling over vestiges of the quartet's own roots: Uncle Tupelo, Gram Parsons, Bruce Springsteen. Ever since its handmade, attic-recorded debut in 1999, the group has hardly shied away from its genealogy -- but there's more to Lucero than drawls and y'alls. The act's latest disc, 2003's That Much Further West, asserts its fierce punk and Southern-rock lineages even in the midst of mournful washes of acoustic balladry and the country-scoured rasp of frontman Ben Nichols. As usual, when it swings through Colorado, Lucero will play a marathon string of shows along the Front Range -- any of which should be enough to evoke the soulful native twang of Tennessee.
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