By Nicki Escudero
By Amy Silverman
By Brian Palmer
By Chris Parker
By Troy Farah
By Lauren Wise
By Lauren Wise
"It doesn't bother me," Zubia says of the label. "The Tempe sound is a mix of folk, country, rock, and pop, and that's what we do. The funny thing is that, now, there are musicians that I know that weren't around for all that, and they don't equate our sound with a Tempe sound. They just equate it as Los Guys."
After all those years playing in town, Zubia has connections, and the disc also boasts a little help from his friends, including Gin Blossom Jesse Valenzuela (vocals on "Apology"), Valley pedal steel whiz John Rickard on the Merle Haggard-inspired "Ain't Been Here," and Tempe singer/songwriter Shelby James, who lends some smoking Sonny Boy Williamson-esque harp work to the rousing Lawrence Zubia-penned honky-tonker "Whiskey."
Zubia credits his singer/guitarist father Raul, a professional mariachi musician, for a steering him toward the singer/songwriter direction that has encapsulated his career, from his teenage years playing in bands with his brother to his work with The Pistoleros and Los Guys.
"Growing up, I learned to appreciate songs, as opposed to like, having a shredder for a dad, because Mexican music is very melodic and it's about the song and the lyrics," Zubia says. "And, of course, he listened to Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, [and] Merle Haggard, so there were a lot of country influences too."
His bowl of menudo finished ("I think I hurt myself," Zubia laughs), he reiterates how much he appreciates being in a band with PC, Rovnak, Smith, and Beach, states that Los Guys will probably never have an official band meeting or rehearsal, and cautions that he won't suddenly add blistering guitar solos and leather pants to his act.
"This music isn't for anybody who's looking for experimental music," Zubia says, wiping his glistening, menudo-torched forehead one last time, "but if you're into a melody, a story, a song? That's what we do."