Personnel: JoJo Garza (vocals, acoustic guitar, acoustic bass guitar); Henry Garza (vocals, acoustic guitar); Ringo Garza (vocals, drums, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Jason Buntz.
Recording information: Boulder Theatre, Boulder, CO (03/01/2010-03/02/2010); Pike Peak Theatre, Colorado Springs, CO (03/01/2010-03/02/2010).
Photographers: Amy Whalen; Bela Maranhas; Cary Daniels.
Offering a different side of their stage persona, the three brothers who are the Texas trio Los Lonely Boys compile an all-acoustic album from two shows taped in Colorado during March of 2010. The 13 songs on Keep on Giving: Acoustic Live! are taken from the band's three studio albums and previously issued live shows. Interestingly, in some ways Los Lonely Boys come off more energetically than they do on their electric dates. There is much more at stake in an acoustic setting: energy needs to be projected by musical ability rather than volume. This is displayed vocally in the seamless three-part harmonies of "Senorita," "More Than Love," and "Crazy Dream" especially. The blazing guitar/bass interplay between Henry and JoJo Garza is still extant everywhere here, but it's tighter. Since Ringo's drum kit is the same size, the pair has little choice but to push dynamically to remain out in front (check out the long instrumental intro and solo sections of "Oye Mamacita"). The sound here has an as-it-happened, raw and gritty quality -- not a board tape, but it hasn't been doctored, either. What makes this set worthwhile for those who already have the band's catalog items is the inclusion of covers. Spirited, passionate readings of material by Santana ("Evil Ways"), the Rolling Stones ("Beast of Burden"), and the Beatles ("She Came in Through the Bathroom Window") supplement the band's material especially well. The encores, "Beast of Burden" and the hit "Heaven" (of course), feature guest spots by Alejando Escovedo and Carrie Rodriguez, adding to the net value of this set for fans. ~ Thom Jurek