Thanks for taking some time to chat with From the Green Room
- What’s the name of the band?
Lionel WERNERT: Well, let me introduce you Lee O’Nell Blues Gang
- Where are you from?
Gipsy BACUET: We came from France, and are living in Reims: the city of Champagne and where all the kings where crowned in the Middle Ages.
- What type of music do you play?
Lionel: We play a contemporary Blues Rock music. A mix of vintage and modernity.
Gipsy: Some say here « The french band that has it all figured when it comes to putting some Blues into the Rock and vice-versa » which is a pretty good definition of Lionel’s music.
- Introduce yourselves to the readers and tell us what you do in the band?
Lionel: I’m the leader and the only composer of the band and decided to form my own group in 2019 with Gipsy as the fabulous female voice and lyrics writer.
Gipsy: And we are also manager, booking agents, driver of the van on tour… haha ! we have to put all the caps in the same time as we are an emerging band , even if we have 2 albums self-produced since 2020. « Different Shades Of Love » released in 2020 and « This is us » released in 2022.
- This is probably a common question but one that most want to know, what musical influences did you have growing up, and what are some now?
Lionel: Yes that is a common question, but I think it’s the normal way to discover a band without listening to it before ! Anyway , I’m a self taught child of rock who grew with all the iconic 70’s rock bands such as Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy, Rainbow among others… Then I went to the roots and listened and studied Albert King, Eric Clapton, Peter Green… among others, and most recently Joe Bonamassa, Eric Gales or Christone Kingfish Ingram…
Gipsy: I love all those Rock and Blues legends, but mostly came from Jazz: Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald… and country with Bonnie Raitt for example.
Lionel: These different universes from which we come, allow me to compose and build songs with a multitude of shades. That is exactly what I was looking for. Gipsy also has an extra large vocal range and can play with her voice; she can be sassy, feline smooth and jazz till rock , rough and powerful when I need her to be.
- Have you always been into music? Was it something that just came to you naturally?
Lionel: Yes, I’ve always been into music . I started to learn and play guitar when I was 11 years old with my best friend, my brother of heart Fred Chapellier, who is here in France recognized as the n°1 of Blues. We were only kids when we were truant spending our time listening, slowing down vinyls to study and practice every riff, every phrasing of Ritchie Blackmore of Gary Moore and so one… I’ve always been playing with many artists and bands since I finally found the voice I was looking for and decided to form my own band.
Gipsy: I came into music thanks to my parents who decided one day, when I was 6, that a piano would be something nice as a decoration in their house. Then, have followed classical piano lessons…till I discovered female and jazzy voices !
- What can we expect from the band in the rest of 2023 and beyond into 2024?
Lionel: Well, we will play in some beautiful venues, and we will be openers for great artists and bands such as Ana Popovic or The Cinelli Brothers for example. We will promote on stage our 2 albums and can’t wait to meet more and more people to share our universe !
- For someone who wants to know more about the band, were can they find you at? And were can they find your music?
Gipsy: They of course can buy our albums at the end of the shows, but for those who won’t come to France this year, you can find them on our website and legal download platforms here, and please; like, share, subscribe !! Let’s stay tuned !
Web site : https://www.leeonellbluesgang.com
Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU9bcdZ-UVh2_EM83NxyjFg
Spotify : https://open.spotify.com/artist/4uU0QwUeHcEk1e7tsANRjH
Deezer : https://www.deezer.com/fr/artist/107074722
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/leeonellbluesgang/
- Let’s answer some fun questions, what is your all time favorite band?
Lionel: Black Country Communion !
- If you could tour with any band and open or have them open for you, who would you choose?
Lionel: Without any hesitation I would like to open for Joe Bonamassa, Eric Gales, Deborah Bonham …
Gipsy: Joanne Shaw Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, Jade Macrae ( who is a fabulous Australian soul singer, and backing vocals for Joe Bonamassa and who has also written with me the last song of our album « This is us » !)
Thanks for chatting with me From the Green Room and look forward to chatting again in the future.