Among the Ghosts
Lucero has long been admired in their hometown of Memphis, where they have hosted “The Lucero
Family Block Party” every spring for a number of years. At the 2018 Block Party they celebrated their
20th anniversary as a band, with the city’s Mayor Jim Strickland officially declaring it “Lucero Day.”
The group found their name in a Spanish/English dictionary. “Lucero” is variously translated as
“bright star” or “morning star.” None of them can speak Spanish.
It’s been two decades since original members Ben Nichols, Brian Venable, Roy Berry, and John C.
Stubblefield (keyboardist Rick Steff joined in 2006) started playing shows in Memphis. The band’s
first show was April 13, 1998 at a warehouse space across the street from what is now the National
Civil Rights Museum, the infamous Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was shot. Their first
set was six songs played to about six people.