Boots broke in, driving a truck across the railroad track, a fresh-cut field with a first frost on, a small town world, a Friday night, the sound of an old dirt road runnin’ through my mind, that little white church out on 109 … LOCASH sing about all that in “I Love This Life.”
You can now add to that list of things for LOCASH that has them loving life: A No. 1 song on the country charts, a second single, “I Know Somebody,” climbing the charts, making their national TV debut on the “Today Show,” and knowing their hit “I Love This Life” is officially RIAA Gold-Certified, meaning its sold more than 500,000 copies. Their new album, “The Fighters” released last month.
“It’s only been out since (June 17) and it’s already on the Top 20 at iTunes,” said Preston Brust, who along with Chris Lucas is LOCASH. “The Fighters” is their first full-length for Reviver Records and their first full-length release since 2013. “It has 11 songs that we’re really proud of and excited about.”
Brust and Lucas were co-writers on most of the songs. “There are so many great songwriters in Nashville, and with a number one song we’re getting A-material,” Lucas said. Their first number one song was “You Gonna Fly,” which Keith Urban took to the top of the country charts. They also co-wrote “Truck Yeah,” recorded by Tim McGraw.
Their co-writes have also been recorded by Joe Nichols, Lee Brice, Scotty McCreery and others.
“I Love This Life” was co-written with Chris Janson (“Buy Me a Boat”). Janson wasn’t sure it had hit potential.
“We didn’t have a record deal when we wrote that,” Brust said. “It went on hold immediately for other artists. We were fired up about that.” But when LOCASH signed with Reviver Records, the label wanted “I Love This Life” to be the first single from their album.
LOCASH will be in Frederick as the headliners for Rally in the Valley, presented by Platoon 22, on July 30 at the Frederick Fairgrounds, 797 E. Patrick St., Frederick. The music lineup also includes Shane Gamble, Vinyl Rhino, Southern Charm, JC Allstars, and Let There Be Rock (school) of Frederick. There will also be a Jeep and car show and motorcycle show. General admission is $35, $22 for veterans, $15 for ages 13 and under, with $5 for parking. Proceeds will got to funding PTS research, crisis call centers and other veteran resources. This is the first year for this family-friendly event.
For Lucas, it’s a bit like coming back home. The Baltimore native said in a June phone interview that he recalls working for a vending company and making deliveries to Fort Detrick. And LOCASH, aka Locash Cowboys, have played in the area before.
Baltimorean Lucas and Brust, who hails from Kokomo, Indiana, just north of Indianapolis, met working as DJs at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville. Despite that thing about the Colts (you know, when they left Baltimore in the middle of the night for the Indy city …) Lucas says they are on the same page on most things. That Colts thing … well, “there’s a little bad blood, but we don’t talk about it,” Lucas said.
“We’re like yin and yang. We’re exact opposites in some ways but when it comes to business, we’re on the same page,” Lucas said of the duo. “Our focus is the same thing.”
LOCASH has worked hard and through some obstacles in the past 10 years, like the death of Lucas’ father, and are garnering growing attention as Nashville songwriters as well as performers.
“It took us many years to get where we are today,” said Brust. “That’s our journey. I know guys who got a number one in their first year, and I know guys that it took three years or longer … everyone’s journey is different.” Including their own journeys.
Lucas’ “true story” is that he was pursuing a baseball career, until a knee injury benched it. Traveling with the team, he did a lot of karaoke singing at a place in Baltimore. He got an invitation to sing at a theme park, which led to an invitation to Nashville.
“I wasn’t always into music,” he said. “To me, it was always sports. I was sports driven. I love sports, but God had another plan for me.”
Sports taught him about perseverance, to never give up — good qualities to have when you’re trying to make it in the music business too, he said. “Performing on stage, it’s like hitting a home run every night!”
Brust started writing songs “when I was little and started piano lessons when I was littleler,” he said. “My mom kept telling me to move to Nashville, but I wouldn’t listen. In 2002, it clicked with me. She said to give a year in Nashville. I did what she wanted me to and it turned into all this!”
As the LoCash Cowboys, the duo made a presence at radio with such records as the feel-good anthem “Here Comes Summer” and the tender side of life with “Best Seat in the House,” a tribute to Lucas’ late father, and “Keep In Mind.”
Being part of Rally in the Valley for veterans “means a lot to our hearts and a lot from our hearts,” Brust said.
For Lucas, whose father, grandfather and great-grandfather served in the military, “anything I can do personally, or LOCASH can do, I want to do.”
For tickets or more information on this event, visit www.rallyinthevalley.com or www.platoon22.org. Platoon 22 is a locally-based nonprofit whose mission is to raise awareness about and “win the war” against veteran suicides and advocate for legislative and Veterans Administration policy changes that will ensure a mental health professional sees every veteran as part of the military out-processing and VA enrollment procedures. Platoon 22 honors the 22 veteran lives lost per day to suicide attributed to PTS. Donations can be made to Platoon 22, 10097 Tyler Place, Suite 3, Ijamsville MD 21754 or by calling 866-991-4484.
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Where did the name LOCASH originate?
Preston Brust answers this one: “Back in my hometown of Kokomo, me and bunch of my buddies sort of had this fraternity we called Low Cash.” They didn’t have a lot of money so they looked for free things to do for guys low on cash. Chris returned to his hometown with him and introduced him to his LoCash buddies and they decided “we should be the LoCash Cowboys.” They later dropped the cowboys and became just LOCASH, because that’s what most people called them anyway.
Breaking the rules from the get-go
Lucas and Brust wanted to break the “duo rule” of Nashville — one voice is the lead singer, always. Nope. They wanted to switch on and off and that’s what they did and still do today. “We tried to buck the system (back in 2002 and 2003),” Brust said, “and it feels good we’re bending that rule.”
Neither knew exactly how they wanted their Nashville careers to develop but, said Brust, “It’s always fun to have somebody with you.
Both are married and have kids — Lucas has a 5-year-old son, Caden, and a daughter born in March, Remi McKenna; Brust has a daughter, Love Lily born in January.
“You really find that’s what you live for and what it’s all about,” Lucas said. “It’s hard to realize this when you’re single that (family) is what it’s all about. My little boy is out (touring) with me right now.”
You can read Susan Guynn’s interview with LOCASH in the July 28 issue of 72Hours, inside The Frederick News-Post.