If bands were drinks you could order at the bar, then Lonesome Wonderers would be a familiar whiskey from an unfamiliar bottle. An adventurous order that ultimately sends you off to another lifetime you’d almost forgotten you’d lived at all.
Texas Gen X’ers Chris Bradley and Guy Huggins, inspired by legendary music from the 70’s & 80’s, write songs of experience with a strong rock flavor, aged with hints of blues, classic country, and soul. After partnering up with Dallas vocalist Nyssa Garcia a couple of years into their collaboration, their burgeoning sound was balanced with an element most critical for the songs to land:
The result is a blended taste of both masculine and feminine energies and sensibilities – one that balances the high notes of the hopeful romantic with the lower tones of emotive melancholy.
At the core of their writing is acoustic guitars and voices in harmony. Every Lonesome Wonderers song could well have been written around a campfire while enjoying the company of friends sharing that familiar whiskey.
It’s from the simple elegance of tasteful guitar and vocal arrangements that other instrumental parts get introduced, giving the recorded version of each song a complete sound, accentuating the vision of the story being told; as if each pour is enhanced with strong notes of Hammond organ, mandolin & electric guitar.
Lonesome Wonderers is launching into the Texas music scene with their debut album, “Salesmen and Their Smiles”, which contains ten tracks produced by Derek Hames (The Statesboro Revue, National Park Radio, The Teague Brothers) via Edgewater Music Group. In addition to the vocal and instrumental work from Bradley, Huggins, Garcia, and Hames, the record features performances from notable Texas session musicians like drummer Isaias Gil (Macy Gray, David Lee Roth, Black Flag), bassist Mark Riddell (Mike Stinson, Leon III, Sam Morrow), and guitarist/lead engineer John Shelton (Charlie and The Regrets, Jess & The Bandits, Rozy).
They don’t like to wallow too much in nostalgia, but the first track, “Better Off as Strangers”, is an exception. They set out to create an 80’s style rock song with driving guitars and wailing vocals. Three chords and the truth, that kind of thing. The tune is about being careful with other peoples’ hearts, and forgiveness when that doesn’t happen. But ultimately, it’s about remembering the good old days without being trapped in them.
Other A-side highlights include “Hot Mess,” a song written as funky soul that wound up taking a hard right turn into “By Your Side” Black Crowes rock ‘n’ roll, the riddle of the modern shopping mall as told in “Friend of a Friend,” and two tunes that thread together the same story of an exciting, yet scandalous love affair that ends in bitter tears in “Sweet Kyla Brown” and “Cold November Night.”
The “B” side leads off with “Curves Can Kill,” starting with an instrumental of the unofficial anthem of the City of New Orleans. It’s a straight-up double-entendre – the character Jimmy is undone by both the curves of the women he meets, and by a curve in the road outside of Metairie. The story of a young artist getting cut down just as he or she reaches stardom – think Jim Croce, Selena, Ritchie Valens.
The tragedy of Curves gives way to the joy of “Stephanie”; a platonic love song between friends – something practically unheard of these days. The band winds the listener through the dreamy road hypnosis anthem “Heading West,” stopping off at Austin’s Driskill Hotel for a drink and a party in “Keep Your Love Alive,” and ultimately leaves us with a touching journey through the seasons of life with the poignant “Come With The Dawn.”
The biggest thing to know about Lonesome Wonderers, though, is this. They’re just getting started! “Salesmen and Their Smiles” is album one, born from songs written early on in the songwriting collaboration between Bradley and Huggins. They latched on with Edgewater Music Group for production and project management and are being distributed by The Orchard, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. And they’re gearing up for a busy bevy of shows in various cities throughout Texas and surrounding states.
These guys have stories to tell, and many voices through which to tell them. They hope you’ll order a pour from that unfamiliar bottle and sip on these songs as they take you to times and places you know you’ve been before, but long to go again.
See you somewhere down the line…
Salesmen & Their Smiles
All songs written by Chris Bradley and Guy Huggins
Produced by Derek Hames
Recorded and Mixed by John Shelton
Digital Editing by Derek Hames, Konstantin Korotaev, and John Shelton
Mastered by John Moran
Recorded and Mixed at Edgewater Studios (Sugar Land, TX)
Lonesome Wonderers are:
Lead Vocals / Lead Guitar / Rhythm Guitar / Classical Guitar / Background Vocals
Lead Vocals / Lead Guitar / Rhythm Guitar / Acoustic Guitar / Background Vocals / Cabasa
Lead Vocals / Background Vocals
Hammond Organ / Mandolin / Rhythm Guitar / Acoustic Guitar / Cajon
Sony / The Orchard