It was well before any of the three Garza brothers was born, but the magical music year of 1969 still contained "a lot of music we learned over the years and really influenced us," according to Los Lonely Boys bassist JoJo Garza.
So the Texas trio is paying "tribute" to the year with "1969," a five-song EP that's due out Oct. 13 and will be the first release on its own Lonely Tone label, after five years with Epic that included 2004's double-platinum "Los Lonely Boys."
"We had a good run with [Epic], man, we had some success together, but it was just time to move on, really," the middle Garza brother tells Billboard.com. "What band doesn't think about or dream about having their own label, y'know? Now we're really gonna be able to do it the way we want. This is our deal, and people will be able to hear that sound and that vibe and...the independence on what we do."
Garza says the group would like Lonely Tone -- which is part of Austin-based Playing in Traffic Records -- to house other acts, but "right now we're focusing all the energy that we can on us."
Los Lonely Boys chose the songs for "1969" from a long list of possibilities, favoring artists or particular songs that meant something to them. "Quite a few of those songs we played in our sets before all this (success) happened to us," Garza explains.
"Well All Right" -- produced by Andy Johns, who engineered the entire EP -- is something of a perfect storm, written by a fellow Texan (Buddy Holly), covered in 1969 by Blind Faith and later by good friend and musical mentor Santana, whose "Evil Ways" the trio also covers. They chose the Doors' "Roadhouse Blues" over "Touch Me" because they had played the former for many years.
The Beatles' "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window" and Tony Joe White's "Polk Salad Annie" were favorites of the Garza brothers' father. "We've been hearing ['Polk Salad Annie'] for years," JoJo says. "When it came time to talking about songs, that came up. Henry [Garza] said, 'Remember that song 'Polk Salad Annie?' 'Yeah! That's a fun song, man. Let's do that one.' It's just a cool tune. I don't know if anybody's re-done that song, ever."
Los Lonely Boys will be playing the "1969" covers during their Acoustic Brotherhood Tour with Alejandro Escovedo and Hacienda, which starts Oct. 5-6 in Alexandria, Va. Garza says the group has "ideas up the wazoo" for its next album, which it hopes to start recording later this year for release in 2010.