Welcome to the lab! Here you will find a collaboration of central Kentucky musicians tackling some of the most iconic artists of the last 50 years. Our goal is to honor these great songwriters and players with our interpretation of their best tunes. Do yourself a favor and follow us on Twitter. You'll be able to keep up with the latest releases as well as get the inside scoop on guest appearances! Also, send us your feedback and ideas for future episodes and help us get the word out using the sharing feature on the videos. Most of all, thanks for checking us out. We hope you enjoy what we've cooked up for you in the lab...
Over a year ago several of us sat down and shared a vision for covering the amazing music that had been a major influence on each of us. Our vision was to dive into the songs and bring them to life, all for the purpose of learning more and enjoying the art of making music together. That day the Lab Band was born. The artist at the top of all of our lists was Steely Dan. We smiled and said, “If we could pull that off it would be an accomplishment”. Well, a year and six episodes later we'd like to share that accomplishment with you! We've picked five incredible Steely Dan songs and put in many hours of arranging and practicing in an attempt to honor one of the most revered songwriting tandems of all time, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen. We aren't going to attempt to list all of the great session players used on their records and the numerous Grammy's and accolades they've achieved. This is strictly about the songs themselves - the grooves, the chord structures, the instrumentation, and the creative genius in their writing and playing. We know we can never live up to the standard these amazing musicians have set, but we have thoroughly enjoyed trying! With most episodes it takes amazing guests to make them a reality. Please welcome our friends Tom, Jim, Kenny, Dan, Tyler, Kevin, Jessica, Liz and Amanda to the Lab! We hope our passion for these songs shines through in these videos! As always, thanks for listening - LLB
With the release of Episode 6 the Lab Band is both honoring a true Kentucky music icon and welcoming him to the family. J.D. Crowe is one of bluegrass music's living legends. Born and raised right here in Lexington his career has spanned over 6 decades. A true master of the banjo, J.D. is known for his impeccable timing and unique tone. Along with his long time band, The New South, he has helped influence and shape bluegrass music into what it is today. Music legends Jimmy Martin, Tony Rice, Ricky Skaggs, Doyle Lawson, Jerry Douglas and Keith Whitley have all stood along side J.D. Crowe and we are humbled to join him on 3 incredible songs from his amazing career! - LLB
With our 5th episode we set out to honor the "bad boys from Boston". Aerosmith is the best-selling American rock band of all time, having sold more than 150 million albums. They have four Grammy Awards, ten MTV Video Music Awards and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. Formed in 1971, Steven, Joe, Brad, Tom and Joey dominated the rock n' roll scene of the 70's. After a quiet start to the 1980's they launched what has been described as one of the most remarkable and spectacular comebacks history starting with their groundbreaking collaboration with Run–D.M.C. in 1986. Since that time they have continued to remain a relevant and powerful force in popular music. As always, it was tough to decide which songs to record. In the end we went with the songs that made an impression on each of us when they were released. This session could not have happened without our very special guests James Cornett (guitar) and Mike Huff (Lead Vocals). They are phenomenal talents as you will see in these 5 videos. Thanks for taking a trip down memory lane with us - we hope you find it as "sweet" as we did - LLB
Hailed by many as "the biggest band in the world", U2 has sold over 150 million albums and garnered 22 Grammy awards over their 37 year career. From the post-punk era of the late 70's, to the sold out tours of 80's, on through the experimental 90's, and return to their roots in the new millennium, the band from Dublin has stuck together and recorded 12 albums that have captivated fans around the world. We narrowed it down to five songs that we believe are among their best at showcasing Bono's emotion and The Edge's revolutionary guitar work. It was a tough decision to say the least! Along for the ride in this Episode are two great friends of the Lab, Jonathan McKeown and Matt Edin. We know you'll enjoy their playing and hope you connect with these songs as much as we do! Thanks for listening. -LLB
We are so very excited to release our 3rd Episode and in doing so honor a band that was at the forefront of merging 1970s guitar-oriented rock with the early 1980s synth-oriented pop, The Cars. From the demo of "Just What I Needed" in 1977, to their smash album “Heartbreak City” in 1984, Singer/guitarist Ric Ocasek, singer/bassist Benjamin Orr, guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes and drummer David Robinson helped redefine the genres of rock and pop music creating songs that were both intricate musically and incredibly accessible to the listening masses. We are thrilled and humbled to have been able to dive into these 5 songs and learn from these masters of songwriting and production. Our hope is that you can enjoy these songs half as much as we have! In the words of their hit from the album Candy-O "Let’s Go"!
We are excited to honor Merle Haggard in our second episode! The Hag is most known for pioneering the 'Bakersfield Sound' along with other greats such as Buck Owens. Known as one of the outlaws of country music he has 38 number one hits, 3 Grammys and is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. To pull of this great artist's music we needed a great location, some guest musicians and of course, lots of Telecasters! Luckily we found all three. Over the next week The Lab Band along with Kevin and Jay from The Big River Band are excited to release 4 great songs from one incredible songwriter! Check em' out and let us know what you think... - LLB
Over 33 years ago Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons formed one of the most popular California rock bands of the '70s, The Doobie Brothers. They racked up a string of gold and platinum albums in the U.S., along with a number of radio hits like "Listen to the Music," "Black Water," and "China Grove." With the addition of Skunk Baxter and Michael McDonald in the mid seventies the bands sound began to include more jazz and pop and two more platinum albums followed. We are proud to launch Lexington Lab Band with this very first episode that covers what we believe are 4 of their very best songs - two from each era of their remarkable run. Thanks for listening to the music! - LLB
Dale grew up in central Kentucky and began playing guitar at the age of 14. Over the past 38 years he has grown into one of the areas finest guitarists and has been involved with numerous projects including his work with Lauren Mink, Big River and Southland Worship. His diverse taste in music brings a well rounded approach to the Lab Band and Dale is a true student of the guitar. He is well respected in the YouTube community for his excellent tutorial work and loves sharing music with his friends both online and on the stage. Dale’s skill and humility are a rare but incredible combination. He has 3 amazing kids, all involved in music, and teaches students with disabilities during the week.
Derrick began singing and playing guitar at a young age. His vocal ability and skills at crafting a great song were evident as he released solo material while still in high school. In addition to fronting his own projects he has been part of bands such as The Fifes and Funk Seminary over the years and can be found most weekends on stage with Southland Worship. Derrick’s keen sense of melody and feel for the pocket enhances the Lab Band through both his playing and arrangement ideas. Derrick and his wife Lauren have three energetic kids under the age of 6 and He spends his week leading a team of creatives at Southland.
Mike is a multi-instrumentalist and catalyst behind the Lab Band. Growing up in the home of two music educators afforded him many opportunities to develop a passion for music and performing. Born and raised in Michigan he began playing drums at the age of 4, and added other instruments through his school age years. Since moving to Kentucky in 1993 he has been involved in bands such as The Schuers, Funk Seminary, and Big River as well as backing several solo artists. Mike has a gift of bringing out the best in the musicians around him and loves to see people excel in their craft. He spends his days leading the musicians of Southland Worship and manages a studio in his spare time. His family includes his wife of 15 years, Leann, and 2 incredible kids.
Neil is a talented videographer and leads the filming and editing of the Lab Band episodes. Growing up in Northern Illinois Neil found a love for video at a young age and attended Sheffield Institute right out of school. He has been involved in many projects ranging from documentaries and short films to music videos and promotional pieces. Over the years he has had to wear many hats and Neil wears them all with passion, joy and a creative edge that is contagious. Neil loves to tell stories in his work and strives to bring out the details that will capture both someone’s attention and heart. During the week he produces videos for Southland Creative but more importantly he is married to Emily and has 2 daughters that capture his heart.
Rob picked up a ukulele at age 4 and has never looked back. A talented film composer and accomplished keyboard player Rob has worked on projects for Disney, 20th Century Fox, Lions Gates and countless others. Rob brings a unique perspective to the Lab Band drawing from a love of jazz and classical music while growing up on classic rock. He has a great ear for finding the perfect sound and is an expert in software synths and effects. During the day Rob owns and operates Rob Pottorf Music where he scores for film and television. Moving to Lexington 7 years ago to marry Kris, Rob also gained two talented kids. Halley attends NYU and majors in Theater and Luke is Pre-Med at the University of Kentucky.
Ryan grew up in Kentucky and has been playing drums since his elementary school days. In the years that followed Ryan became a student of his craft and, in addition to playing for various Morehead State ensembles, has laid down the foundation for Liquid Snafu, Clear Conscience, Lauren Mink and The John Hatfield Band. In addition to his sense of time and groove, Ryan brings a thoughtful, detailed approach to each Lab Band episode. No one is more prepared for a session than Ryan and it shows in his playing. Ryan is married to his amazing wife, Kristen, and he spends his days teaching Math as well as freelancing in web development and photography.
Jordan West is one of the hardest workers on set. He normally covers lead guitar and then sets up and runs the jib. He directed the shoot for Doobie Brothers and The Cars.
Nick Elam is a great guy to have on set. He’s always looking to help. His first shoot was Merle Haggard. He also filmed some behind the scenes that we are hoping to put out soon.
Andrew Baker might be a mind ninja. Anytime I’m in on edit and I think to myself, “I wish I had this shot”, 9 times out of 10 Andrew will have the exact shot I need.
Wes Kawaja joined us for U2 and Aerosmith. His previous work in live production shines through in his shot selection.
Alex Canada joins us on most shoots. She gets the shot you need every time. Very stable and consistent.
Zack Brewer is a film student at Asbury. I love the fresh looks that he gives on set. He gets the shot you need while still adding his own twist.
Matt Edin joined us for the Aerosmith episode and filmed lead vocals. You might recognize him as a guest artist on the U2 session. He is a multi-talented guy and got some great and unique shots for us.