Time for the next edition of Metal Anarchy’s “new music showcase,” the feature where I introduce you to bands that readers of this site may find interesting. This time I have an exclusive Q&A with Lionel Wernert and Gipsy Bacuet of the Lee O’Nell Blues Gang.
METAL ANARCHY: Tell me a little about your band:
WERNERT: Well, let us present you guys my band: Lee O’Nell Blues Gang. I play guitar since my 11 years old, and decided to form Lee O’Nell Blues Gang in 2019. I’m the composer and the guitar lead, and my wife, Gipsy, who is the female voice is also the song writer.
BACUET: We came from France. We are not native, but we live Reims: the capital of Champagne and where the French Kings were crowned in the Middle Ages…In the band, we are five artists: Voice, guitar, bass, keyboards and drummer.
WERNERT: We play a contemporary Blues Rock with a touch of Jazz. In September 2020 was our first album release with “Different Shades Of Love” with 10 original tracks and a cover of Jimmy Rogers. And in September 2022 was the release of our second album “This Is Us.”
BACUET: You can follow us, listen to us and watch us at leeonellbluesgang.com, YouTube, Spotify, Deezer, and Facebook.
METAL ANARCHY: Who are your main influences?
WERNERT: As I’m the only composer I bring the band into an universe full of the main influences I grew up during the 70’s. Big riffs and powerful guitars like Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Led Zeppelin or Rainbow among others, but also some Blues legends like Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Gary Moore, Albert King and most recently Eric Gales, Christone Kingfish Ingram or Joe Bonamassa. I like to mix several styles all close to the Blues with a vintage sound, with some low saturation for example and a modern way to compose. If you add the jazzy touch Gipsy put in the songs… well you should listen rather than read it!!
METAL ANARCHY: What is your latest release and why should readers of this site check it out?
WERNERT: “This Is Us” released in September 2022. 14 new original tracks all composed by myself and written by. Gipsy helped with some friends for the English sounding (Neal Black, Alain Leadfoot Rivet or even our friend Jade Macrae who is a fabulous Australian singer and also background vocalist for Joe Bonamassa. In our first album the main theme was Love and its different shades. In this one, as it was composed while the pandemic, the themes are much more like kinds of introspections or self-analysis. You can find Joy and happiness, tears and fears, disappointment and hopes. Gipsy loves to write with a certain ambiguity and let the public imagine if she did experiment or not what she is talking about in the songs she wrote.
BACUET: And, for example, Lionel knows exactly which atmosphere he wants to create in the songs, playing with different styles at the same time and of course without falling into something overplayed. He’s got a very great sense of lyricism in his solo, and he is very skillful in putting some rumba for example on sad lyrics…
METAL ANARCHY: What can people expect when they go to your live shows?
WERNERT: They can expect to live a great moment of course ! Haha ! But they can also expect to feel the 70’s rock atmosphere with some modern Blues, a little of roots and a touch of jazzy sound…
BACUET: They will move their head, tap their feet… dance why not , they will sing with us, and above all be happy and smile!
METAL ANARCHY: Where do you see your band heading in 5 years?
WERNERT: Thanks to radio shows, webzines, blogs and press the world starts to hear about us ! We play in France, but will start to play in Belgium very soon, and are waiting for a little tour in Germany.
BACUET: We also have great artists to open for: Ana Popovic, The Cinelli Brothers… And we are looking for booking agency in various European countries… so may be soon in UK, USA, Canada… Why not!
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