One would think that Nick Lowe songs wouldn’t work without Lowe’s consummate lyrics.

One’s thinking would be wrong. As Grammy-nominated, instrumental Los Straitjackets prove on their latest album, “What So Funny About Peace, Love, and Los Straitjackets.”

“We’re pretty excited about it,” Eddie Angel (co-founder/guitarist) said. “It feels good to have it out. I think it is a really good record.”

Los Straitjacket is no stranger to Lowe. The band played as his backing band at Yep Roc Records' 15th-anniversary party in 2013. The collaboration proved so successful that Lowe has featured the band on his Holiday Revue tours since 2014.

For Los Straitjackets, the decision to release an album of Lowe covers seemed like the natural next step.

“The band has been together for 20 years, and this is our 16th album, so recording comes pretty naturally to us,” Angel said. “It is not a gut-wrenching ordeal or something. It is pretty organic. You just hope that you come up with an approach that puts a new spin on the songs that are fun and interesting for people to listen to.

“I think after having worked with him so many times. I don’t even know who had the idea, but we all thought it was a good idea. We are always looking for a new angle, a new way to present the band. We are big fans of his. Nick has written so many great songs.”

While Angel has been a long-time admirer of Lowe’s songs, he discovered something new in the process of reworking the material of the album.


“What I discovered was what great melodies Nick Lowe writes. Sometimes that is overlooked because the lyrics are so strong that you don’t realize he wrote such good melodies.”

While the band has played Lowe’s songs numerous times before, Angel admits the band took a decidedly fresh approach to the songs selected for the album.

“It is a very collaborative thing. Everybody would chip in and have a different idea for a different song. Danny (Amis), our original guitar player who lives in Mexico City, he doesn’t tour with us anymore, but he records with us. He had some cool ideas that were totally out of left field that we would not have thought of that I thought were pretty cool.

“Greg (Townson), our new guitar player, he is a big Nick Lowe fan. He was familiar with Nick’s whole catalog. He had some ideas for doing some songs that we might not have thought of. It was a real collaborative thing. Everyone contributed ideas. We wanted to have a balance of his newer stuff and older stuff. There were some that we knew were chestnuts that had to be in there. We just tried to balance it out.”

While the band approached translating the songs with fresh ears, they decided to have a set of reliable, trustworthy ears behind the producer’s console.

“Nick’s producer Neil Brockbank produced (the album) for us. We got to be friendly with Neil because when we do the tours, he is on the tours with us doing sound. I think he brings an air of authenticity to the recording. ”

Brockbank is not the only long-time collaborator/connection featured on the album.

“We did the recording in Los Angeles. They took it back to London. Geraint Watkins (Lowe’s keyboardist) did some overdubs. Geraint is a fabulous keyboardist.

Angel and band added, even more, authenticity to “What So Funny About Peace, Love, and Los Straitjackets.”

“Nick’s 12-year-old son, Roy, played some percussion (on the album). It is all in the family.”