While still riding high from their Mane Stage debut at the Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio last month, Preston Brust and Chris Lucas of LoCash said they’re ready to get rowdy again with Southern California country music fans.
They’ll be performing as part of the second annual Old Town Music Festival at Temecula Stampede June 11-12. The two-day fest will feature sets by Nelly, Colt Ford, Tyler Rich and more on June 11 and Jamey Johnson, LoCash, Uncle Kracker and others on June 12.
It will be difficult to top their Stagecoach set, which included an appearance by The Beach Boys’ Mike Love, Bruce Johnston and members of their touring band to perform LoCash’s latest single, “Beach Boys.” The surprise four-song run also included The Beach Boys’ “Kokomo,” “Fun, Fun, Fun,” and LoCash’s breakout hit, “I Love This Life.” Brust says they’re still energized by that moment and continue to put that energy into their live shows.
Brust and Lucas grew up loving the music of the Beach Boys. During the darker days of the 2020 COVID-19 lockdowns, they wanted to put something sunnier out into the universe and began playing around with samples of “I Get Around” in the recording studio.
“Their harmonies are absolutely amazing and the positivity that the Beach Boys bring, that’s what LoCash is about,” Lucas said during a recent phone interview. “Even with our slow songs, we’re still positive. We’ll make you smile no matter what and all the Beach Boys’ songs do that too. When a Beach Boys song comes on, you just don’t turn that off.”
They wrote “Beach Boys,” but couldn’t release it without permission from group since it leaned so heavily into its signature sound. So, they sent it over to their team and waited.
Finally, they got word back from Brian Wilson & Co.
“They loved it,” Lucas said. They loved it so much, Love and Johnston lent their vocals to the single, which is now a hit on country radio. It was already a dream come true to record the song with a couple of their heroes, but the guys said it was a bit of an out-of-body experience to actually perform with them live.
“I mean, we knew that everyone was gonna love it,” Brust said of the collaboration at Stagecoach. “It’s the Beach Boys, so that was a given, but to turn around and watch them actually walk out on stage was surreal for us. It felt like the crowd levitated for four songs and hearing everybody get taken back by ‘Kokomo’ and ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’ and singing our song together as well. It was one of those moment that you earmark. This is gonna be one of those moments that when we’re old men someday, we’ll look back on this and say ‘That really happened and it was awesome.”
Near the end of our phone chat, Brust said he had a surprise and handed the phone to someone else.
It was Bruce Johnston.
He’s been busy touring with the Beach Boys to celebrate the band’s 60th anniversary, but he made some time to hang out with Burst that afternoon. He joked that LoCash’s checks had cleared, so he’d be able to speak to me, but sincerely noted that the guys were “the real deal.” He added that he was excited when he was asked to record the song and join LoCash at Stagecoach.
“It was unbelievable, singing into the dust,” Johnston said of his Stagecoach debut. “The wind was blowing right at us. I was shocked, but it was fantastic.”
Johnston also said he’s hoping the song garners a best country duo/group performance nomination at the Grammy Awards next year.
“Now I’m a country star,” he said with a laugh and a spirited “Yee-haw.”
After its successful inaugural event with Billy Ray Cyrus, Chris Janson, The Band Perry, Tyler Farr last year, the Old Town Music Festival has expanded in 2022. Temecula Stampede owner Brandie Newman said that she and her crew put together the original fest in just two months and were nervous about it going off without a hitch with all of the logistics of putting together a festival event, plus banking on the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions.
“We felt like it went very smoothly and we have some minor changes this year,” she said during a recent phone interview. “We’ve expanded the VIP area, added some more bars and last year the city gave us half of the parking lot to use, but this year they granted us the entire parking lot, so we’ve doubled our space.”
This time, both stages will be located outside to prevent any sort of lull between acts. Fans can still duck inside the air-conditioned venue to cool off, grab a drink or some food, take line dance lessons, check out the DJs and jump on the mechanical bull.
The guys from LoCash said they’ll be saving their best dance moves for the stage and they’re staying far away from the mechanical bull.
“I think we still have injuries from our days riding mechanical bulls,” Brust said with a laugh. “When you start out in country music, you’re playing honky-tonks and there’s always a mechanical bull. We’d always have too many beers and we’d get on it and somebody would get hurt. You never know when to let go. You think you have one more spin or buck in you and the next thing you know, your arm is dislocated. So I don’t think you’ll see us back on that.”
Old Town Music Festival
With: Nelly, Jamey Johnson, Colt Ford, Locash, Tyler Rich, Uncle Kracker and more.
When: Noon-10 p.m. June 11 and Noon-8 p.m. June 12
Where: Temecula Stampede, 28721 Old Town Front Street, Temecula
Tickets: $89 one-day general admission; $159 two-day general admission; $169 one-day VIP; $289 two-day VIP. All passes are available at oldtownmusicfestival.com.