B(r)and new: LYNNETTE AND THE LONGSHOTS

Posted by Dee-Ann On August - 21 - 20132,757 views

lynetteMy brand new band, LYNNETTE AND THE LONGSHOTS, started in July 2013.  We are from the Greater Boston area, Massachusetts.  The band features Lynnette Lenker founder, lead vocals and rhythm guitar; Andy Pinkham on lead guitar and vocals; and Matt Murphy on standup bass.  We’ve been rehearsing and will be out and playing sometime in the fall of 2013 if all goes well.  Our musical style is 1950s/1960s country, a bit of rockabilly and occasionally a song from as far back as the 1940’s — I love a good WWII song!  I choose songs that are not well-known, or completely unknown, many of them from obscure old records found by me or a bandmate.  I gravitate to the songs of Wanda Jackson, Connie Smith, Loretta Lynn, Jean Shepherd, Brenda Lee, Norma Jean, June & Johnny Cash and Jodi Miller to name a few.  We do originals too, more about that a bit later.

A little background:  My (Lynnette’s) last band, The Stumbleweeds, ended in 2012 after 12 great years–we played some great venues like the main stage of Viva Las Vegas and opened for some greats like Wanda Jackson, Rosie Flores, Big Sandy, Junior Brown, Asleep at the Wheel and others.  After about a year off from music, I started to really miss performing and singing, so I decided it was time to start a new band.  Although I have been doing some performing with my side band, The Pioneer Valley Pioneers with former Stumbleweed, Chris DeBarge and my husband, Phil Lenker.

The very  early start of my love for music: 

I always liked to sing, often to the annoyance of family and friends.  But my love for roots, country and rockabilly music started around age 17.  At that time I was a big Michael Nesmith nut and on the back of the album there were names Patsy Cline or George Jones, I didn’t know who they were, so I decided to check them out.  My brother, singer/guitarist/ Roy Sludge aka Allan Sheinfeld and I both developed a love of  old country/rockabilly music and we started a country/rockabilly band, The Country Bumpkins back in the 1980’s.  This is when I first started playing country music, and learning about so many great artists who influence me to this day, like the girl singers I mentioned above, but also Homer & Jethro, The Everly Brothers, The Maddox Bros and Rose, Buck Owens, The Farmer Boys, so many more…

Songwriting:

I have written and continue to write songs for the band.  Also, many songs that I continue to perform were  written by former bandmates in The Stumbleweeds:   Chris DeBarge, Tom Umberger and Mike Feudale, and DJ, Easy Ed aka John Fuller.  Our original songs are in the same styles as the vintage covers we love.

Recording:

Lynette2I was asked to contribute a bear-themned song to the Bear Family Records 40th Anniversary Compilation — so I am writing a song, “Grin and Bear It” for the occasion.   I am very excited to be included in this compilation and hope it’s a good omen since it happened within 2 weeks of starting the new band!  And I hope the song I write bears up…sorry.

The band will record once things have progressed.  Our lead guitar player, Andy, is the Owner and Chief Sound Engineer for Mortal Records, so when we record, we will be in good hands!

What’s important:

Hmm, do the best job you can singing/musically and be prepared.  The fun comes in when you know your set really well and can really enjoy singing/playing the song without worry about what the dang next lyric might be.    Don’t lock your gaze on one person while singing or playing…very bad.  Don’t fall off the stage and injure a customer…  Don’t ask what these people (the audience) are doing in your living room.

Other styles:

Old country, rockabilly, 1940’s music, showtunes, 1960’s music like Dean Martin, Sinatra, Elvis, surf music, polkas, The Beatles, Native American music, Klezmer bands, novelty songs and especially horror novelty (like Jon Zacherle), and more…

Great dreams:

If I had a genie’s lamp, my 3 wishes would be to open for and meet:  Loretta Lynn, Jean Shepherd and Connie Smith.  And to play again with Wanda Jackson, Big Sandy and Junior Brown.

More wishes:

Every show is fun, but I especially love to play at festivals and car shows and dream of finally getting over to Europe to play!

Fun story:

The first time my former band, The Stumbleweeds, played the main stage at Viva Las Vegas we went on first, at 8:30 pm.  We warmed up a little backstage and I went to get set up and the huge room was almost empty.  I got panicky and said to my bandmate, Mike Feudale (bass), “Oh my god there’s nobody here!”  He looked out at the empty ballroom and looked worried too.  We got all set to play to this empty house and as soon as we made any sound, everyone flooded in and the house was full!  It turned out to be a really fun set and experience and we had a ball!  But at first it seemed we’d be playing to tables and chairs!!!

Regrets?

Not really, what’s the point.  There are always many things I wish could have gone differently but I don’t like to dwell on it too much, it isn’t horribly productive!  I’ve had the opportunity to open for so many amazing acts:  Big Sandy, Junior Brown, Wanda Jackson, Dave Alvin, Asleep at the Wheel, Kim Lenz, Rocky Velvet.  And play with many of our favorite locals bands, The Raging Teens, The Rollin’ Pins, The Spurs, Lil Bee Dee, The Barley Hoppers, Sean Mencher, Little Frankie, I’m sure I’m forgetting someone…  I have no complaints, I did as much as I could while raising two children and holding down a part-time job.  Now I have a little more freedom and intend to put it to use playing music!

And now?

Well, the new band is rehearsing and getting ready to play out — I don’t want to rush things, we need to develop as a band and really know the new songs before we get out in public!  I hope sometime in the fall we may be ready to play.  We have our first local show set up for some time in December 2013.  My goal is to play the 2014 festivals and car shows when we’re really ready!   For the first time I have bandmates with some flexibility in their schedules so we do plan to tour some which is exciting!

And, get the song completed and recorded for the 2014 Bear Family Records Compilation!

Finish this sentence: we will never ever… play new country music.

LINKS:

WEBSITE:  http://www.lynnetteandthelongshots.com

FACEBOOK:  http://www.facebook.com/lynnetteandthelongshots

LINKEDIN:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/lynnettelenker

LISTEN to songs from 2006 album, Evil on Your Mind on Spinout Records (Nashville):  https://myspace.com/thestumbleweeds/music/songs

WATCH live performances on youtube.com:

(I Still Miss Someone)

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