Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Interview with Lenny

Lenny is the brain-child of Rad Burt and Paul Pearce. The new EP, Bug, consists of songs written separately by Rad and Paul prior to forming the band and represent the ‘core’ of the band’s early development. Drummer Aaron Graham joined after recording at Paul’s project studio, The Shed, in 2013. Bassist Tod Ellsworth completed the initial lineup and recorded 3 of the songs on Bug prior to his departure in 2016. Dave Munn picked up bass duties thereafter and helped the band complete the EP for its 2017 release. The band is currently recording new material for a future release.

Radcliffe Burt has been writing and performing music since the early 1990’s in Atlanta, Boulder CO and Richmond VA. Influenced by the acoustic music scene built by the Indigo Girls and Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta, he formed jangly rock band Millan & Kenzie. After 3 records and 7 years of touring, he relocated to Richmond, VA in 2000 where he formed an acoustic band, The Orderlies, and released one record, ‘Beautiful You’. While recording demos for a solo rock record, he met guitarist Paul Pearce. Lenny came into being to develop, record and perform these songs in late 2013. Outside of music, Rad grows vege-terribles to torture his daughters and maintain their immune systems as well as healthy teeth and gums.

Paul Pearce is also guitarist for RVA band Vexine, and has a long history of playing and recording in both Richmond and Nashville since the mid-1980’s. In addition to Lenny and Vexine, Paul played and wrote songs for The Velvet Marias, The Deaves, and The Boilers. He also served as a hired gun for live and session work with the Lark Watts Band, The Claimstakers, Will Rambeaux & the Delta Hurricanes, and pop songwriter Jamie Kyle. He met Radcliffe one night at a church event. Sloshing wine all over himself, he suggested Rad send over some MP3s and perhaps collaborate. Two weeks later, he called Rad over and suggested they put a band together. Rad was impressed with both Paul’s apparent sobriety and ability to play his songs. The die was cast. When not playing guitar, Paul is an avid curator of old tube amplifiers and guitars and is losing his hearing but hasn’t noticed yet.

Dave Munn began his music career as a stage manager, soundman and roadie in the early 1990’s starting with Mid-Atlantic College band Mudcat Jones (aka Recovery) and later with touring indie band Earth-To-Andy. Off the road he built a small studio in Charlottesville, recording several local bands. Picking up the drums, he began performing with emo/punkers All of Fifteen, diva pop rocker Clare Quilty and several other singer/songwriters in the Charlottesville scene. After relocating to Richmond, he played with RVA icon Jimmy Catlett for many years. During a brief hiatus in 2016, his long-time friend Radcliffe talked him into picking up the bass and learning his songs. He joined Lenny shortly thereafter. Dave has an affection for scooters, just like the Mods in Quadrophrenia.
Aaron Graham has been a fixture of the RVA music scene since the late 1990’s. Over the years he has played with many bands, including Haymaker. He also fronted The Brotherhood of Boilermakers, while continuing to do session work as a drummer where he met Paul. He is the proud owner of a floor-to-ceiling wall of vinyl and at least one Moog synth – with which he creates silly instrumentals among which is Paul’s favorite, “March of the Arpeggios”.

All the members of Lenny have extraordinarily patient wives, who hope both for the band’s success, as well as help with the laundry, the children and a night out now and then. The children are both awed and disdainful of the ‘dad rock band’, depending on their age and behavioral status at their respective dwellings on any given week.

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