Today is a wonderful day in world. There is a definite taste of fall in the air, the weekend is almost here and Ben Nichols solo cd was made available today.

For those who don’t know, Ben is the lead singer of fave, Lucero. His solo album, The Last Pale Light In The West, is based on the novel Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy and features Ben on guitars and vocals, Rick Steff on accordion and piano and Todd Beene on pedal steel and electric guitars.

While Ben’s actual solo cd isn’t getting released until sometime next year you can get a special Lucero web store EP over on and get instant access to DRM free mp3’s of it for download plus you’ll get the physical cd mailed to you on October 10. Or, like me, you can order the CD/T-Shirt combo. Hell, while you’re over there I suggest you buy every cd they have that you don’t.

That sounds great Autopsy, but what does the album sound like?
Glad you asked, it sounds like it could have been the acoustic out-takes of Rebels, Rogues & Sworn Brothers but with non-typical Lucero subject matter. It’s a great snack while we wait for the next Lucero album. My only complaint is that it’s way too short at 7 tracks but that still doesn’t keep me from putting this bitch on the Essential Listening list.

ALSO, FOR THE TAMPA/ST. PETE READERS: You can see Ben live next Tuesday (9/30) with Tim Barry, Chuck Ragan and Austin Lucas on the Revival tour at The Orpheum. Should be a good time and I hope to see some of y’all. If you see me holler, we can share a whiskey drink.

Ben Nichols – Toadvine

Lucero’s Official Site, Lucero on myspace, Buy The Last Pale Light In The West

P.S.: I’ve never read this book. Is it good? Should I give it a read? Anyone wanna mail me their well read copy?


  1. I just picked up a fresh copy of the book while out for lunch…headed home now to start reading…Ben’s CD is such a sweet surprise to kick into fall…plus I get to see the Revival Tour tomorrow night as it rolls through Charleston SC.

  2. I’ve read, by last count, probably nineteen gajillion books in my life and can probably count on one hand the number i’ve put down to never pick up again. Blood Meridian is one of those books. I LOVE Cormac McCarthy but I have a real aversion to violence and Blood Meridian is the most violent book i’ve ever read. I made it maybe half way thru and while I loved it I could not take the violence. If violence doesnt bother you its a great book. I gave mine away years ago.

  3. Cormac McCarthy is the literary equivalent to a lot of the music you play on here. Read Blood Meridian. Then start going through everything else he has written.

  4. The book and Cormac McCarthy is fantastic…definitely worth a reed-I’d send you my copy, but it is well worn from reading and re-reading with tons of notes in the margins etc etc…go get it, he deserves your support and I think you’ll really dig him.

  5. If I had to suggest a starting order for the McCarthy books I’ve read, it would be:

    All the Pretty Horses
    The Road
    The Crossing
    Blood Meridian
    Cities of the Plain

    This isn’t to say that them ranked by excellence, but for access, I think that’s the way to go. Damn good books. I’d read one or two.

  6. The weird thing is that I was talking with my girlfriend about how much I wish I could write like Cormac McCarthy and started gong through No Country For Old Men again today. I love Lucero, and I am so excited to hear this. Blood Meridian is amazing, I highly recommend it, and if you enjoyed the movie No Country For Old Men, the book will tear you to shreds. Enojoy

  7. This album is fantastic. Perfect for fall. The subject matter, the harsh vocals, the haunting steel pedal and accordion…it all combines to make a fairly creepy listen. Someone else said this too, but Lucero is kind of a musical version of Cormac McCarthy’s novels. The novel is beautifully violent and horrifying. You have to strap in and want to read it, because it’s gruesome, dense, and difficult. McCarthy writes some of the most gorgeous sentences ever constructed in the English language, in my opinion, though and Blood Meridian is worth every ounce of effort you put into reading it, as are his other novels. Read Blood Meridian now for fall and in winter, read the Road, which is the coldest, saddest, most unrelentingly gray book I’ve ever read.

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