There is plenty to be sour about in the world here in 2022. But damn if it is hard to not be thankful for this year if your center of gravity is music from Texas and Oklahoma. Of course the Turnpike Troubadours officially reunited this year, and even reached the level of popularity we always knew they deserved. We thought we’d heard the last note from one of the members of Texas country royalty, Charlie Robison, who announced in 2018 he was having to retire due to vocal surgery. Now he’s made his return to the stage as well.
Now Uncle Lucius is also giving us good news. We thought they’d played their final show in 2018 at Gruene Hall, with frontman Kevin Galloway pursuing a solo career. But they’ve just announced that almost five years to the day that they took their final bow on the legendary Gruene Hall stage, they will be officially reuniting at Gruene on March 18th, 2023. And it sounds like that’s just the beginning.
“The tide has transferred and the forces have realigned,” the band announced on Monday, December 5th. “Uncle Lucius is once again making music. After a five year hiatus, the band will be bringing their methods of soul, joy, and thunder to select stages across the country. All we’ve got is now.”
For over 12 years, Uncle Lucius was Texas music’s resident jam band, adding that necessary bit of groove, soul, and looseness to make the scene that much more diverse and infectious. They embodied the spirit of Austin, TX where they were based. The band was started by Kevin Galloway, who moved from east Texas as a former banker. He was joined by Mike Carpenter from Houston on guitar, Josh Greco of San Antonio on drums, Jonny “Keys” Grossman from Lexington, Kentucky, and Nigel Frye from Tulsa, who was later replaced by Johann Valles on bass.
Uncle Lucius released four albums, starting with 2006’s Something They Ain’t, and ending with 2015’s The Light. Along the way, the song “Keep The Wolves Away” from their 2012 album And You Are Me became an anthem for many, exploding in popularity especially during the pandemic. The video for the song now has over 115 million views, and it has been Certified Platinum as a single by the RIAA.
“Keep The Wolves Away” recalls the story of Kevin Galloway’s dad, who was severely injured in a chemical accident on a tanker ship in the Galveston Bay, and how henceforth, the family struggled to make ends meet. In the song, the “wolves” are an allusion to all the things that pursue us, from hunger, to bill collectors, to things inside of us such as depression and sorrow, to carnal desires like addiction.
Kevin Galloway has subsequently released a couple of solo albums, including Secondhand Starlight earlier this year. But whether it’s the wild popularity of “Keep The Wolves Away” or just wanting to get the ol’ band back together, Uncle Lucius is a going concern once again, and don’t be surprised if we hear about new music from them soon as well.
Tickets for the Gruene Hall show go on sale Friday Dec 9th at 10am Central.