- Friday, July 18, 2014 @ 5:00pm on the Main Stage
The LoCash Cowboysʼ time has come.
Finally, the promise shown in their phenomenal live shows comes to fruition
on their first powerhouse indie album, LoCash Cowboys. What else would you
expect from the duo that co-wrote Keith Urbanʼs number one “You Gonna Fly,”
and “Truck Yeah,” a smash for Tim McGraw?
“As much as Iʼd like to call this Fifty Shades of LoCash, the Album,” jokes
Chris Lucas, cowboy-hat-wearing half of the team, “itʼs true. Weʼve captured
everything LoCash is about on this album. Itʼs all killer, no filler. With our label,
Average Joes Entertainment, itʼs the right fit at the right time.”
So much so that acclaimed Nashville hit maker Jeffrey Steele (“What Hurts
The Most,” “My Town”) came on board to produce and co-write a number of the
tracks. Says the songwriting and performing duo, “He taught us everything about
songwriting. Heʼs our mentor and our big brother.” In fact, Steele calls himself the
third LoCash Cowboy.
“Country music really boils down to the power of the song,” sums up the
eloquent Preston Brust. “We wanted to broaden our listeners, to reach the older
crowd, the younger crowd, and the middle crowd. And we really tried to pick
songs that were the best songs we could find to define LoCash. Hopefully we
achieve that in this album.”
Though the high energy, roof-raising spirit of LoCashʼs live shows (and over
10 million YouTube views) tends to brand them as a party band, LoCash
Cowboys, as the new album proves, are super-focused musicians and
songwriters. Here, they showcase their light-hearted, fun-loving edge (“Little Miss
Crazy Hot,” the redneck anthems “Hey, Hey, Hey” and “C.O.U.N.T.R.Y”), as well
as their emotional side (“I Hope,” “Best Seat in the House,” Chrisʼs tribute to his
late father, and “Keep in Mind,” a parentʼs loving farewell to a child venturing into
They also offer a tip of the hat to the helmsman of the highways in
“Independent Trucker,” featuring the legendary George Jones.
“He sounds amazing on it,” says Preston. “He had me come into the
vocal booth with him. I was really nervous to be in there with him while he was
recording. But we were just cutting up, and I could tell that he really wanted to
achieve a good vocal, because he was into the music, he really likes us, and he
wanted to help.” It was a red-letter day for everyone, Chris remembers. “Iʼd never
seen Jeffrey Steele act like a ten-year old boy before, but when George Jones
walked into the studio, Jeff was a ten-year old kid.”
LoCash (the named is derived from a group of Prestonʼs high school
friends) got their launch in the summer of 2002, when Chris, a high school all-star
football player from Baltimore, Maryland, worked as the entertainment director at
Nashvilleʼs Wildhorse Saloon. Preston, a Kokomo, Indiana, preacherʼs son who
wrote his first song at age eleven on his paper route, had just arrived in town.
Chris offered him a job filling in for him as a DJ.
One night they were goofing around on the mic, not even singing, when
their electrifying banter caught everyone by surprise. It made Chris think about
how Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin—idols of his grandfather—could hold an
audience in the palms of their hands, and make them part of the show.
“Itʼs something that came naturally to me and Preston. Itʼs really all
about the crowd, about making them feel their lives are changing. That first day
on the mike, we were both thinking, ʻGosh, weʼve got something here, dude.ʼ I
said, ʻI hope you sing.ʼ And Preston was like, ʻI do, do you?ʼ And thatʼs the way it
Yet their musical backgrounds were as different as heaven and hell.
Preston, whose great uncle Albert E. Brumley wrote the gospel classic “Iʼll Fly
Away,” grew up steeped in the blood of the lamb, sneaking into the closet to
listen to the only three secular records in the house–Eddie Rabbitʼs “I Love a
Rainy Night,” Willie Nelsonʼs “Angels Flying Too Close to the Ground,” and the
Oak Ridge Boysʼ “Bobbie Sue.”
In contrast, Chris grew up with his ear glued to Motley Crue, Quiet Riot, and
Whitesnake. “I was definitely a head banger, man. I loved ʻ80s rock and glamour
rock, and later R & B. Then Garth Brooks changed my life. I watched his show,
and I said, ʻI want to do this.ʼ”
What made LoCash unique from the beginning is their harmony blend.
When Chris sings lead, Preston provides the low harmony, and when Preston
sings lead, Chris sings high harmony, bringing variety, freshness, and a new
edge to the duo sound.
Yet for years, they sat in the Wildhorse DJ booth, dreaming and wishing,
watching big name artists take the stage. But soon record labels began
recognizing just how much of the total package they, too, had–great vocals,
world-class dance moves, a unique look, and charisma to burn, along with a
wealth of experience and a work ethic that impressed everyone who dealt with
In 2008, they headlined the Redman/Maxim Roadhouse Tour, and in the
first time theyʼd come back to the club, they sold out the Wildhorse.
As if in a scene out of a movie, the two reveled in the excitement and
the girls crushing up next to the stage. Then right in the middle of a Jeffrey Steele
song, a man with crazy hair and tattoos on his fingers fought his way to the front
row and waved Preston down. Just as Preston thought, “Who is this guy? Weʼre
gonna need security,” he recognized the wild man as Steele himself.
“We made eye contact,” Preston remembers, “and he said, ʻI get it! I
hear it! I see it!ʼ And he just started laughing like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He
said, ʻCall me. All you need is the songs.ʼ And he fell backwards into the crowd
and disappeared.” Though it took three months to get Steeleʼs phone number,
the search was worth it. They met at his house to discuss their future.
“Boys, if you want to make an album thatʼs really different and takes
risks,” Steele told them, “put your hands in on three. If you donʼt, Iʼm not your
“Three seconds later,” says Preston, “we were a team.”
It was the break they needed, after years of near success, losing it all, and
living off of mac and cheese, tuna fish, and tortured dreams. In 2003, for
example, when a record label deal went south, they hooked a U-haul to Prestonʼs
Jeep Grand Cherokee and hit the road, playing three-hour shows at clubs all
across the country for five hundred dollars a night. They never broke even, but
garnered tons of fan support and sold such an impressive number of homemade
CDs that they knew their time would come.
“We leaned on each other, man,” says Chris. “And itʼs like a healing
process to be on stage, to see people smile and laugh and cry. To know weʼre
making an impact on people really, truly kept us going.”
However, their darkest year arrived in 2011 with numerous professional
setbacks, the death of band member Ryan “Troop” Jones, and the passing of
Chrisʼs dad, the inspiration for LoCashʼs new song “Best Seat in the House.”
As Preston recalls, “It was like, ʻWhat is going on in our lives? Not one good
thing has happened to us this year. You start thinking some kind of energy is
against us.ʼ Then all of a sudden you get a phone call, and a voice says, ʻThis is
Keith Urban. Iʼm releasing your song, “You Gonna Fly,” as my next single.ʼ Talk
about a light at the end of the tunnel! Thatʼs when it started to change.”
And change it has, both personally and professionally. Chris is now married
with a young son, Caden. (Preston is still single, “but looking.”) And the duo,
which formerly wrote and recorded the theme song for from Tanya Tuckerʼs
reality show “Tuckerville,” is in negotiation for a television show of their own.
Though the show will likely emphasis the entertainment side of LoCashʼs
effusive personality, Chris never loses sight of one thing: “Weʼre very serious
musicians. This is our career. There is no Plan B. This is our life.”
LoCash Cowboys will be performing at Country Jam on Friday July 18th, 2014