THE LONG PLAYERS 16TH BIRTHDAY BIO
“Sweet little sixteen..got the grownup blues”. So sang Chuck Berry. The Long Players are turning sixteen but they’ve all been grownups for a good while and had a long musical history behind them before they decided to band together to play the classic albums that are known for. As far as Nashville goes, they were early-birds at showcasing the music that’s been lodged into the DNA of several generations. That first gig was in 2004 where they played The Rolling Stones “Let it Bleed” LP. They’ve played at least 70 albums since. How did this love-fest for iconic albums come together?
It started with Bill Lloyd, who’s had a career over the years as a songwriter/recording artist as well as a producer-session player and sideman. Bill was in the hit rockin’ country duo, Foster & Lloyd. He was also in The Sky Kings, been a sideman to Cheap Trick, Poco and others and has made many solo albums to critical acclaim. As a former record store clerk, Bill’s music nerd-dom is perpetual and Bill came up with both the name and the concept for this band, brought it to his friends who often gathered to spin records and once they agreed, The Long Players got truly birthed. It was, coincidentally, the same batch of guys who yearly played a night of John Lennon songs for charity so they already know they could play together.
Who are these guys? Alphabetically, we can start with Steve Allen. Steve was best known as being the guitarist, singer and songwriter in the Los Angeles via Tulsa based 20/20. Expect a reunion record this year! 20/20 still has fans out there in the world of “Power Pop”, a genre several Long Players are known in.
Drummer Steve Ebe, is a Memphis transplant to Nashville who moved here with the band, Human Radio. Steve is one of the busiest musicians in Nashville, playing sessions as well as in several different bands AND teaching full time.
Original bassist, Garry Tallent, is, as most rock music fans know, the bassist for Bruce Springsteen & the E. St. Band. He’s in the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame for heaven’s sake. He’s playing again with The Long Players on April 11 as they will be playing Springsteen’s The River, a record he made with his other band only forty years ago.
Garry had to bow out of the original Long Players lineup in 2008, for obvious reasons but has returned to play with the Lp’rs more than a few times and.. now.. once again.
Taking Garry’s spot in the band was record producer, sideman and recording artist, Brad Jones. Brad has produced many artists over the years (Hayes Carll, Josh Rouse, Steve Forbert, The Shazam) as well as making his own records. Like Bill Lloyd and Steve Allen, Brad is well regarded in the “power pop” genre.
The other spots in the Long Players lineup, are all filled by the “deep bench” that Nashville has to offer in the way of exceptional musicianship. Once, original keyboardist, John Deaderick left the band some years ago, the keyboard role has floated between talented folks like Jen Gunderman, Ross Rice, Jon Hamby, Jody Nardone and Seth Timbs. Seth and Kevin McKendree (Delbert McClinton, Stray Cats) will be doubling up on keys for The River performance.
Both Paul Snyder and Marshall Morgan have supplemented the band over the years playing percussion. Paul with be back with the band for The River.
Also joining in for the Springsteen E. St. epic album will be stellar sideman, Jim Hoke (who can play damn-near anything). Jim will be re-joining The Long Players again on saxophone and harp.
Most bands don’t stay together for sixteen years but this is a band that doesn’t argue about who sleeps in what bunk on the bus. They don’t travel regularly. They don’t argue over songwriting and arrangements. The songs have been written and the classic records are the blueprints they follow. They allow their own style of playing and musicianship to keep it from being a carbon copy but the parts are there. By keeping the music changing every show, they don’t get bored with having to play the same thing all the time. It’s a fresh album (or theme) with a new set of guest singers to add their own spin to these classic songs and classic albums. All reasons it just doesn’t get old.
One thrill that never get’s old is having someone involved with the original album (or song) onstage with them as they try and recreate a magic moment. It works more often than not. They’ve played Rolling Stones records with Bobby Keys, Dylan albums with Al Kooper and Charley McCoy..Byrds albums with Chris Hillman..Buffalo Springfield songs with Richie Furray..a John Hiatt album with John Hiatt..the list goes on. They also get their thrills out of showcasing new talent that you may have never seen or heard of. Nashville has an amazing community of folks who may not have had their break yet, but fit in perfectly for the album or theme of a Long Players night.
As long as people want to hear the music of the rock era, The Long Players plan to provide it for the Nashville community.
The Long Players perform Bruce Springsteen & The E. St. Band’s classic album, The River at 3rd and Lindsley APRIL 11 8PM.
LONG PLAYING LINKS
Bill Lloyd (Guitar)
FOSTER & LLOYD Fat Lady Sings 1989
Bill Lloyd is a Nashville based songwriter, musician, recording artist and producer who is most often remembered as half of the late ‘80’s RCA country-rock duo, Foster and Lloyd. Lloyd’s diverse musical activities include working as a producer (ranging from Carl Perkins to MTV reality show indie-rockers, The Secret), session player (from Brit-pop icons like Ray Davies of The Kinks and Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze to country legends like Buck Owens and Steve Earle), sideman (Poco, Marshal Crenshaw and with Cheap Trick when they perform The Beatles Sgt. Pepper with orchestra) and as a songwriter (with cuts by Trisha Yearwood, Hootie and the Blowfish, Sara Evans, Keith Anderson, Martina McBride and many more). Bill has recorded a string of critically acclaimed solo records that blend his melodic power pop sensibility with finely tuned songcraft. During his stint as the Stringed Instrument Curator at The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, he created the quarterly series Nashville Cats which he continues to host. Bill is also Music Director for the First Amendment Center in Nashville.
Steve Allen (Guitar)
20/20 Cherie 1980
Many music fans know Steve Allen from the years he spent in the Los Angeles based pop-rock band 20/20. This connection only shows a small part of his versatillity as a musician, songwriter and aritst. 20/20 appeared on American Bandstand and toured nationally behind the albums they made for Epic Records. It was Steve’s song, Yellow Pills, that became a perennial hit on LA radio. While 20/20 is beloved by fans of power pop, Allen’s ability as a guitarist to play a variety of styles of music is reflected in his role in The Long Players and as guitarist for artists like Steve Forbert, Amy Rigby and others who tap his talent as a sideman. Steve owns and operates Blue Planet Studio in Nashville and also makes music for commercial television and radio.
As drummer for Columbia recording artists Human Radio, Steve Ebe moved from his home town of Memphis when the entire band relocated to Nashville in the late 1980’s. An accomplished player, Ebe easily found work as a sideman for a variety of pop and country acts (everyone from The Boxtops and Badfinger to George Ducas and Radney Foster). Ebe also plays studio sessions and teaches drums besides playing in a variety of popular groups in the Nashville area. The Long Players are, or course, his favorite. . . as reported here on The Long Players website.
Brad Jones (Bass)
Brad Jones arrived in Nashville during the 80’s intent on making his mark as a recording artist. This quest culminated in his one, highly sought after, indy-pop solo album, Gilt Flake. Switching gears from artist to producer, Jones has (along with partner and co-owner of Alex the Great Studio, Robin Eaton) forged his own path as a producer of renown working with a host of arists; some include Jill Sobule, Imperial Drag, Steve Forbert, Chuck Prophet, Hayes Carll, Swan Dive, Yo La Tengo, The Shazam, Marshall Crenshaw and even fellow Long Player, Bill Lloyd. His bass-playing skills have also been tapped by Matthew Sweet, Marshall Crenshaw and others. After original bassist for The Long Players, Garry Tallent (Bruce Springsteen E Street Band) left Nashville, the band asked Brad to join.