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Hotstar


10:14 AM Friday, 1/23/09 |   |

As the saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same, especially in the music business. Just ask country-rock duo LoCash Cowboys, who’ve found there’s no substitute for good, old-fashioned hard work.

Although Chris Lucas and Preston Brust come from different backgrounds and different time zones, both found their way to Nashville.

Lucas grew up in Baltimore playing football and listening to ’80s rock and R&B, singing whenever he got the opportunity and eventually teaching hip-hop dance. Brust hails from Kokomo, Ind., where he spent Sunday mornings singing in his father’s church.

“We were an a capella church,” Brust told Pollstar. “You had to learn how to sing all four parts or you weren’t allowed to sing.”

A love of country music united them when they met in 2002 at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon, where Lucas spent six years DJing and teaching dance.

“We hit it off and we were like brothers,” Lucas told Pollstar. “We were like, ‘Do you sing?’ ‘Yeah, do you sing?’ ‘Yeah. Why don’t we try something together?’”

The first order of business was putting together a band.

“We used to go out and watch the different bands play in all the different venues,” Brust said. “We were biding our time and hand-picking the drummer or the guitar player.

“Then when it was time to pull the trigger, we invited all those guys to go do a show. We didn’t even have the money for a rehearsal at the time – we went straight to a concert.

“There was a lot of pressure that first gig, but there was also kind of a loose feel to it. That’s one of the things that LoCash is known for – just going out and having a good time. And trying new things on stage, because we read our audiences every night. We don’t really have a set list. We just go out and make it fun every single night.”

It wasn’t long before LoCash Cowboys’ genre-bending blend of country, rock and hip-hop won over Buddy Lee Attractions’ Tony Conway, who was introduced to them by mutual friend Kitty Moon Emery.

“I actually met them at her office,” Conway told Pollstar. “They were telling me that they were a duo and I asked them to sing a couple of songs a capella for me. I saw something that I hadn’t seen very often.”

Conway signed them on the spot and went to work crafting a career for the band built upon touring – lots and lots of touring – which is just fine with Lucas and Brust.

“We’ve always believed in that, even six years ago,” Lucas explained. “Artists are gonna make their money from touring. They’re gonna get their fans from touring. Radio is very important also, but we’ve always been the touring guys. And Buddy Lee has been great for that.”

The duo started small, playing anywhere they could, often two or more shows a night. Now the touring has worked its way to a fever pitch.

“They’ve been doing more than 200 dates a year for the last two years,” Conway said. “That was part of the master plan, to hone the live show and to develop a grassroots fan base.”

Speaking of fans, Lucas and Brust also discovered that guidance sometimes comes from an unexpected source, like Pollstar’s Gary Smith.

“Gary pulled us aside one night in Nashville about four years ago,” Brust explained. “Chris and I were really eager and so impatient. You know how it is in the early days. You just really, really want to get your music heard and you want to be seen on TV and you want your video out.

“Gary said, ‘You guys have got something really special,’ and we said, ‘Man we’ve gotta hurry though because another Chris and Preston are going to come to town and we’re gonna sit back and watch another duo take what we want.’

“He said, ‘Let me tell you guys. There’s never going to be another Chris and Preston. You guys have something so special and so unique that when the moment comes, it’s gonna be perfect.’ I’ve always held those words Gary shared with us close.”

Although the LoCash Cowboys have been slowly building steam among country fans the past few years, everyone involved believes that’s about to change.

“At first the country music realm was kind of nervous about us, because we are kind of crazy,” Lucas explained. “We’re kind of like Mötley Crüe meets Garth Brooks. It’s a different kind of country. We’re like some new kind of rebels.

“I think the rest of the world is ready with people like Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban going after a younger crowd. I think now is perfect timing.”

The band recently brought tour manager Ed Workley on board to help take things to the next level because, as Lucas explained, “You can only wing it for so long. You have to stop and say, ‘OK, we’ve gotta put someone very professional in this position.’”


Thanks to all of that hard work, the LoCash touring calendar is beginning to load up for 2009, with shows on the books through December.

The duo is also sure to get a boost from country, bluegrass and alternative rock shindig BamaJam, which has picked LoCash to be the face of the festival and is sponsoring their tour this year.

No matter what happens, Lucas and Brust won’t be discouraged.

“No one can really take away what Chris and I have created to this point. There’s nothing that can stop that. So the next level will just be icing on the cake.”


Comments

  1. CheerCat35 wrote:

    09:22 AM, Mar 18, 2009

    These guys ROCK THE HOUSE!  I've seen them 4 times already (and that was just last year alone).  You have to see these guys in concert to really understand just how AWESOME they are!  They have such energy on stage that it makes other concerts seem like a waste of money.  A LoCash concert is like a big party, with everyone dancing and singing along!  I can't wait until next month when they come back my way!

  2. BIGJACK wrote:

    05:27 AM, Feb 10, 2009

    LoCash Cowboy's comin' to town.....  Get On The Train.....

  3. Colbysmom wrote:

    12:09 PM, Feb 06, 2009

    I was also at the show last night in Enterprise, I took my son to see them again and those guys are the best.....They treat my little 5 yr old like he is family and part of the band....He's so funny he dresses like them from the Bandana,Chains and holes cut in his pants......I had read some comments from when the pictures of my son were up on a local website and one comment was "What kind of parent would take their small child to participate in such events with people that dress like that."  Well I guess me,but what's really funny is they were at the concert as well and if they didn't see how these guys are then I don't know what is wrong with them.....It's not the appearence of someone it's what's inside and these guys all have hearts of gold....and I agree they don't let it all go to their heads they fit right in with all of us Rednecks down here in Alabama.......I strongly encourage everyone to go to their website and check them out....Buy a CD and just listen to them......As they would say" They have mad skills"  They don't just come out and do a show......They are there for all the fans and they do a fantastic job.........

  4. banana_splat1969 wrote:

    11:57 AM, Feb 06, 2009

    I had never seen LoCash live before last night. They played for Homecoming @ my school (EOCC) in Enterprise. I have to say they are not ony amazing musicians, but amazing people as well. They are just so down to earth. A lot of musicians think they are above us "average folks", but not them. They treat their fans like they're close friends. They're not too good to get out there WITH the fans and have a good time. They're good, normal, everyday people & they ROCK onstage. They gained a new fan last night!

  5. Colbysmom wrote:

    08:49 AM, Feb 05, 2009

    I first saw these guys a few years back at Country Goes Huntin down in Dothan Alabama.....since then they have been back around here numerous times......Last time I saw them was in October....I took my 5 yr old son to see them for a b-day suprise well he really got a good b-day present Chris & Preston pulled him up on stage he sang "Boom Boom" with them and to top it all off....Preston walks out with a guitar that he had made half american flag other half camo....and gave it to him.....My son loves these guys....you don't find too many people that have a big heart and I can say these guys do....They are actually having another concert tonite in Enterprise and we will be there...But this moring I called into the radio station just to really thank them and they are so sweet and the kindest guys you will ever meet...Not to mention if you haven't seen them They absolutely rock the house.....and to all the people who bash them I mean come on for real......They are just  two down home boys makin their livin and doin a really good job in my opinion of doing it and not letting everything go to their heads....They stick to their roots and keep it simple to the point which is.......LoCash....Ya don't need alot of cash to have a hell of a good time!!!!!

  6. locashchick wrote:

    06:08 PM, Jan 30, 2009

    Everyone needs to see LoCash live. They have such energy and seriouslly amazing!!  Both Preston and Chris are  of the greatest guys who can MOVE!!! If you haven't experience the Booty Bang...get your booty to a LoCash show!!

  7. KrazyKara wrote:

    07:47 PM, Jan 29, 2009

    I have known these guys since 2004 and I have been completely hooked since the first show I went to! I never thought that one group could be so different at each concert they put on! But that's LoCash! These guys feed off their crowd and since every crowd is different.....this makes every show different!  But I agree with krhodes (and everyone else) you HAVE to see them in concert to get the whole LoCash experience!

  8. Banjogirl wrote:

    03:19 PM, Jan 29, 2009

    A LoCash show is one of those magic moments in life that you will never forget.  Chris and Preston can entertain a crowd of any age with their singing and dancing, it doesn't matter if you are 3 or 103.  After experiencing a live show, you will find yourself planning a road trip on your next LoCash adventure.  All Aboard the LoCash Train!!!  This duo ROCKS!

  9. NYGTO wrote:

    02:37 PM, Jan 28, 2009

    Well said Musikman! It amazes me what a rut some people are in musically. I listened to some songs on the LoCash Myspace page and these guys sound fun. I imagine a live show would be a blast.

  10. muzikman wrote:

    12:37 PM, Jan 28, 2009

    Hey - whether you love or hate their music, this artist represents just another direction of the growth/evolution of country music.  It is really, honestly OK to be a fan of the most "grassroots" artists (like Hank Sr / Patsy Cline / the "man in black" / etc) AND still enjoy new material too.  Contrary to popular belief, it is not a betrayal to these artists to enjoy (or to tolerate) the new ones too -- it is a compliment.  If you don't embrace change / evolution / growth / etc, there is only one other option.  When we stop growing, we die!  ...as does this art.  Ask yourself where you will be in your life when you draw the line and declare that all the music you grew up with is REAL MUSIC, and all this new crap is just that: crap.  THAT is when you will have crossed the line that you never saw coming: you are now YOUR PARENT! :-)  

    Enjoy it all.  Thankfully, the songs that we love will ALWAYS be there, so no worries...

  11. grabill fan wrote:

    05:38 PM, Jan 27, 2009

    LoCash is the BEST  just saw  our100th LoCash  concert ..they are full of energy, can sing any type song and are great guys  we love them! ! ! !

  12. ambarent wrote:

    03:48 PM, Jan 27, 2009

    You definately have to experience LoCash.  I was HOOKED in about 5 minutes the first time I saw them.  These guys have so much energy and can sing EVERYTHING!!!  A better show is hard to find!!