Lucero at the Charleston Pour House

Betsey Geier

Photograph: Dan Ball, provided. 

Memphis-based rock-and-roll band Lucero will perform at the Pour House on September 25 in support of their recently released album Among The Ghosts. It’s a gritty album with classic rock vibes and literary-inspired songs steeped in southern gothic lore. 

When frontman Ben Nichols writes the songs, he focuses on the complex storytelling, but it’s the music that comes first. 

“Music always comes first. The melody comes first. I usually know how the lyrics are going to lay in there before I know what the lyrics are,” Nichols said. 

His band will bring their influences and ideas, and then the music is set. 

“Usually the music is there all put together and then I spend months and months and months trying to put words to it, trying to find something worth talking about.,” Nichols said. 

While Nichols is a fan of everything on the album, he notes that “To My Dearest Wife” rings true for the band. 

“It never mentions the civil war, but it is from a civil war soldier’s perspective writing a letter home to his wife telling her to kiss the babies for him. It’s something we’ve been playing every night. It’s a nice song because of the storytelling of the songwriting, but it also sums up a lot of us in the band. We aren’t on a battlefield, but we still leave home a lot, and our young ones,” Nichols said. 

Among The Ghosts was filmed in the band’s hometown of Memphis, TN at the Sam Phillips Recording Studio with a “good, young produced named Matt Ross.” 

“Since we were in our hometown and Sam Philips was right there and Matt was with us, we could record on our own time,” Nichols said. 

Lucero was able to record for a few days, and then go on tour, return and record for a few days, and tour again throughout the recording process. 

“It gave us plenty of time to let the songs find out what the wanted to be,” Nichols said. 

Also, Nichols noted that one of the coolest things that the band has done is make a music video, “really more of a short film,” with his brother and filmmaker Jeff Nichols. 

Actor Michael Shannon and two other actors are featured in the film for the song “Long Way Back Home.” 

“But if you are a fan of Michael Shannon, or my brother, or just want to see a really cool film, it’s worth checking out. I’m really proud of it. Just the work that my brother did and the actors did is really impressive and I’m really proud of it,” Nichols said. 

Lucero will be at the Pour House on September 25 for a rock and roll show. But, if you’re looking for something a little sadder and a little slower, Lucero has that too. 

“I like playing the smaller venues. I like playing more intimate shows. I like playing bars. It should be pretty up close and personal, but hopefully a fun night. Plenty of rock and roll songs, but plenty of slow songs as well. We’ve got our share of sad drinking songs,” Nichols said.