Lucero had their start in Memphis, TN and played for the first time in early 1998. Since 2001, they have played between 150 and 200 shows a year across the United States and Canada and have been called "one of the hardest working bands of the last 10 years—on tour significantly more days than they are not."
The members of Lucero are Ben Nichols (guitar and vocals), Roy Berry (drums), John C. Stubblefield (bass), Brian Venable (guitar), and Rick Steff (piano, organ, accordion). Todd Gill substituted for Brian Venable from 2003 to 2004. The band also experimented with guitarist Steve Selvidge in the early months of 2003.
In late 2008, the band announced they had signed a four album deal with Universal Music Group, though the relationship with Universal was short-lived. 1372 Overton Park was released October 6, 2009 by Universal Music Group and was the first Lucero album to feature a horn section.
Lucero's album, Women & Work, was released on March 13, 2012 by ATO Records. This album integrates more of the horn section as well as the pedal steel guitar, keyboards and a gospel chorus.
The first solo release from frontman Ben Nichols, The Last Pale Light in the West, was released in January 2009 on Lucero's label Liberty & Lament. On November 17, 2013 the title song was featured in the episode "Live Bait" of the AMC series The Walking Dead. The seven-song record was inspired by Cormac McCarthy's book Blood Meridian and recorded with Rick Steff on piano and accordion and Todd Beane on pedal steel.
In May 2009, Nichols co-starred in MTV's $5 Cover, a Craig Brewer-produced, quasi-fictionalized series about the Memphis music scene. A performance of Lucero's song "San Francisco" at the Young Avenue Deli in Memphis was featured in the trailer for the series.
Ben Nichols's previous band was Red 40 in which he played alongside Colin Brooks and Steve Kooms.
Drummer Roy Berry is half of experimental duo Overjoid and was a member of the Memphis-based band The Simple Ones before joining Lucero.
John C. Stubblefield has recorded with North Mississippi Allstars, Jim Dickinson and BigAssTruck (Sack Lunch EP), among others. He co-produced Hill Country Revue’s 2010 album Zebra Ranch.
Rick Steff has recorded with Cat Power, Hank Williams Jr. and Dexys Midnight Runners, among others.
Todd Beene is also currently a member of the Tennessee band Glossary.