Lucero – All A Man Should Do

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The Lucero star continues to shine bright on their tenth studio album All A Man Should Do,  following the success of 2009’s 1372 Overton Park and 2012’s Women and Work the album was once again recorded at Memphis’ Ardent Studios with producer Ted Hutt (Old Crow Medicine Show, Flogging Molly) handling production duties again, though this time around the band’s sound has shifted, mellowed a little and soaked up some more of that legendary Memphis soul.

Ben Nichols’ writing has never being better and that reflects in the bands confidence with the song arrangements and the feel of the album “…we felt comfortable enough to take some chances with a palette of new tones that sound understated yet powerful, bringing life to the stories behind the lyrics without overshadowing them…“, though there’s a decent helping of sadness, regret and the rootlessness of band life the polestar on this album is more about home and positive matters of the heart – fittingly it features a cover from the legendary Memphis band Big Star, who’s sole surviving founder member Jody Stephens adds backing vocals to Lucero’s version of I’m in Love with a Girl, the first cover to appear on a Lucero studio release also features later day Big Star members Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow.

Nicols and the band find time to honour another legend with the excellent Went Looking for Warren Zevon’s Los Angeles one of the album’s many highlights alongside the more ‘Lucero’ sounding Can’t You Hear Them Howl, though personally my favourite tracks are the ‘quieter’ ones the pick of which is I Woke Up In New Orleans – though this should not draw away from the fact this album is very much the sum of it’s parts and the band’s best-to-date in my opinion – highly recommended.

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