Size: 122,4 MB
Label: Longneck Road Music
Styles: Texas Blues/Roots Rock/Americana
1. Chicago - 4:06
2. Angels - 6:04
3. Right on Me - 5:08
4. October's Evening - 3:55
5. Midnight Wind - 4:14
6. All Living Things - 4:46
7. I Play with Fire - 4:02
8. Let It Go - 3:18
9. No More Sufferin' - 3:45
10. Red Lipstick - 4:16
11. Diamonds - 5:22
12. Two Packs - 3:13
Americana, Blues & Roots songwriter and artist Dick LeMasters was born, raised, and lives in Beaumont, Texas. Southeast Texas is known for its music – some of the better-known artists to hail from the area include Janis Joplin, Edgar and Johnny Winter, The Big Bopper, and George Jones. Billy Gibbons and ZZ Top played their very first show as a band at the Elks Lodge in Beaumont. The area truly has a rich musical history.
Although a generation younger than many of the musicians noted above, LeMasters shared many common experiences with them. Some of the coincidences are striking. LeMasters’ father and the Winter Brothers’ father served together in the Army Reserves in Beaumont, and LeMasters’ mother and aunt both taught Johnny and Edgar in junior high. Dick LeMasters attended high school with The Big Bopper’s son, Jay Richardson.
After piano lessons as a child and four years on baritone sax in the high school jazz band, LeMasters shifted his focus towards guitar and electric bass. The “Progressive Country” movement, centered in Austin, Texas, was in full swing, and LeMasters gravitated towards songwriters such as Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark, and Joe Ely.
After many years playing bass and guitar in cover bands, LeMasters began focusing on songwriting and filling the role of front man and vocalist. A father of four, the inspiration to take a more serious foray into music came after LeMasters coached three of his children for a performance of “Born Under A Bad Sign” at their elementary school talent show. The success of that venture spurred the decision to put together a band of experienced musicians to perform LeMasters’ original music.
In 2009, LeMasters formed the band Longneck Road. LeMasters’ original song “The Way You Walk,” which appears on the band’s debut CD, Texas Rock, held the No. 1 spot on the Radio Free Texas listener-request chart for several weeks. Longneck Road quickly gained notoriety and has opened shows for Chuck Berry, The Charlie Daniels Band, Paul Thorn, The Randy Rogers Band, Ronnie Milsap, John Anderson, Joe Nichols, Craig Morgan, Wayne Toups & Zydecajun, Shinyribs, and others.
One event at which Longneck Road has performed is an annual Janis Joplin Birthday Bash held in Port Arthur, Texas. During the recording of his 2014 album, “One Bird, Two Stones,” LeMasters learned from Port Arthur studio owner and recording engineer Floyd Badeaux that Janis Joplin had recorded a folk song with Badeaux in the very same studio while she was a high school student. Unfortunately for Badeaux, the recording was not significant at the time and he recorded over the Janis Joplin tape on the next day’s session.
In addition to performing with Longneck Road, LeMasters performs across Texas with duo partner Douglas Greer and as part of the band Get Right Ramblers. LeMasters and Greer have completed three tours in The Netherlands in 2015, 2016, and 2017, and regularly perform at The Saxon Pub in Austin and Poodie’s Hilltop Roadhouse in nearby Spicewood, Texas.
LeMasters also performs at writers’ nights and has played at the Commodore Grill and The Listening Room in Nashville, and at Austin Songwriters Group events in Austin.
The 2014 album “One Bird, Two Stones” received overwhelmingly positive reviews in both the US and Europe. LeMasters was named “Best Indie Artist of 2014” by the nationally syndicated radio program The Appetizer. One Bird, Two Stones was included in the Top 40 Albums of 2014 by the Americana Music Show, and made the Top 50 Chart of the U.K.-based Independent Blues Broadcasters Association for several months.
One Bird, Two Stones was a “full-band” album, featuring Longneck Road drummer Adam King, along with Douglas Greer on background vocals. Harmonica great Dan Moser contributed harp on several tracks, as well. LeMasters’ second solo album, “Gasoline & Fire” was recorded in one session with the intent that it would be a demo for a follow-up album. However, the live acoustic guitar with vocal tracks worked well on their own, and a decision was made to release these live recordings as the album. Gasoline & Fire likewise received positive reviews.
LeMasters returned to the studio for the 2017 album “Incompatible Things.” This album was recorded by engineer Mickey Rouse at Acme Sound & Demolition studios in Beaumont. Incompatible Things took the same low-key mostly acoustic approach as had Gasoline & Fire. The album received excellent reviews and reached the No. 13 spot on the EuroAmericana Chart.
LeMasters’ fourth solo album, “Plaza Rooms and Fallen Kings” will be released in 2019. This album marks a return to the full electric band sound of One Bird, Two Stones. Drums were again provided by Adam King. “Blue” Marlin Golmon – a member of the Get Right Ramblers – added harp and harmony vocals, and Douglas Greer again added harmony vocals. The album was recorded and mixed by engineer Mickey Rouse.
Plaza Rooms and Fallen Kings is difficult to compartmentalize into a single genre. The album kicks off with the blues song “Chicago,” and two other tracks “I Play With Fire” and “No More Sufferin’” definitely fall into the “blues” category. Although “Americana” and “Roots” are perhaps the best labels for LeMasters’ music as a whole, the blues influence is apparent in these songs.
Fans of the Grateful Dead may lean towards the song “October’s Evening”. This song was written by LeMasters in 1984 in Lubbock, Texas, and has a definite jam band feel. “Midnight Wind,” “Right On Me,” and “Two Packs” embody a more rock approach, while “Angels,” “Diamonds,” and “Let It Go” display a mellow, laid-back feeling.
LeMasters goes all-acoustic, accompanied by Marlin Golmon’s harp, on the quieter, haunting “Red Lipstick”. “All Living Things” is another mellow song, featuring absolutely beautiful harp work by Golmon.
Plaza Rooms and Fallen Kings