It’s exceedingly rare to encounter music these days that actually has something to say beyond the tropes of love and partying, at least to these ears. So I found the new release from the Texas band Uncle Lucius so refreshing, beginning the album with “The Light” thus:
No longer motivated by fear or bread/ I once was a fighter and a miser/Now I’m a lover with a level head…
It is not out there/ It is in here/ Where’s the light?
They call themselves “Southern rock for the thinking man”, and that’s a pretty fair description. I mean, next up is “Age of Reason”, which against a Drive By Truckers-style honky-tonk they come out with You may call it high treason/But I’m still calling for/The age of reason. A little Thomas Paine with your boogie, why not?
And boogie they do, lest you are scared off from the questioning philosophy, Uncle Lucius creates a relaxed, soulful stew with elements of The Band, DBT and with guest fiddler Eleanor Whitmore on “Taking In The View”, reminding you a bit of Jason Isbell ala Southeastern. Produced by long-time Ray Wylie Hubbard running mate George Reiff, The Light simmers like few bands outside of Texas can pull off. “The End of 118” is a barn-burner, and “Nothing To Save” slows it a down a bit with some tasty slide guitar from Michael Carpenter.
Yes, Uncle Lucius might be a rare breed in today’s musical stew, with thoughtful lyrics coupled with a dynamite groove, but that only raises the bar for all the other “party till ya puke” rehashes. The Light is a welcome offering amid the noise. Try it…you might be astounded.