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...
Combining a blend of hard rock riffs and lush, driving harmonies, Heart emerged from the Seattle music culture with one of the most original sounds of the 1970s. Behind Ann Wilson’s powerhouse voice and Nancy Wilson’s inspired guitar playing, Heart recorded a series of albums that stand as the best mix of hard rock and folk rock of their era. Their hit singles remain standards of rock radio and include “Magic Man,” “Crazy on You,” “Straight On” and “Barracuda.” Ann and Nancy Wilson were pioneers becoming the first women to front a hard rock band and we are excited to have our friend Jessica McKenney along to handle Ann's vocals! LLB is glad to bring to you the music of Heart for our 16th episode! Thanks for listening! LLB
For our 15th project the Lab Band is excited to bring you the music of the Eagles. Rolling Stone writes, "Specializing in broadly appealing, masterfully crafted tunes, the Southern California band has sold more than 100 million albums. The 1976 compilation, Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, was the first album ever certified platinum and has sold 29 million copies in the U.S.” The band has five number-one singles, six Grammy Awards, five American Music Awards, and six number one albums. We start each project by deciding on a set list and this was no easy assignment for the Eagles. We’ve settled on five timeless songs we feel represent what could arguably be called America’s biggest band. We hope you enjoy each one! LLB
The Lab Band is thrilled to bring you our 14th Episode - The Police. In the 6 years between 1978 and 1983 The Police released 5 albums of Punk, Jazz and Reggae inspired Rock that garnered them 6 Grammys and sold over 75 million albums worldwide. With the energy of Stewart Copeland behind the kit, the jazz sensibilities of Andy Summers on the guitar and the incredible performer and songwriter Sting, the band crafted a legacy that has them among the greatest bands of all time and earned them a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We are very excited to welcome a brand new guest artist on these 5 songs, Jake Gammon. Jake grew up in Lexington and considers Stewart Copeland as one of his influences. In addition we brought back our good friend Jonathan McKeown to sit in on guitar. We hope you'll really enjoy our tribute to The Police! Thanks for listening - LLB
The Lab Band is very excited to cover the music of Stevie Nicks with our 13th Episode! With 5 Grammys and 140 million albums sold Stevie is undeniably the "Queen of Rock and Roll". In 1998, along side her bandmates in Fleetwood Mac, she was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and she continues to have a strong impact on the music scene today. With this episode we are excited to introduce to you a long time friend of the band Lauren Mink! Lauren is a 2 time American Idol contestant and popular Lexington performer who really shines in these videos! Along with Lauren we invited our friends Caleb, Nathanial and Randy to join us and we we couldn't be more thrilled with the results! We think you'll enjoy these songs as much as we do! Thanks for listening - LLB
As we approach the 2 year anniversary of our first session the Lab Band is honored to bring you the music of Johnny Cash. Johnny was a singer-songwriter, actor, and author, widely considered one of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century. His songs and sound embraced rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel. This crossover appeal won Cash the rare honor of multiple inductions in the Country Music, Rock and Roll, and Gospel Music Halls of Fame. Best-known for the songs "I Walk the Line", "Folsom Prison Blues", "Ring of Fire", "Get Rhythm" and "Man in Black", we have chosen four of our favorite and brought back our friends Jay and Kevin from The Big River Band as well as a special guest, J.D. Simo for this episode. J.D. is a good friend and has established himself as one of Nashville’s finest players, as you will see in these videos. Go to simo.fm to learn more about J.D and his band. Also sitting in with the guys and doing a fantastic job are Kenny Knauer and Jamie Tuttle on Trumpet. As always, thanks for listening and we hope you enjoy our take on Cash! -LLB
With our 11th episode The Lab Band takes on one of our favorite bands, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The band's original lineup of Tom Petty, Mike Campbell, Ron Blair, Stan Lynch and Benmont Tench released their first album in 1976. Their third album Damn the Torpedoes went platinum and produced the bands 1st top 10 hit "Don't Do Me Like That". Known for hit singles such as "American Girl", "The Waiting", "Refugee" and "Mary Jane's Last Dance" the band continues to be relevant with their twelfth album Hypnotic Eye nominated for a 2014 Grammy Award. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have sold more than 80 million records worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time. We are excited to be joined once again by our friend Steve Broderson who brought along fellow Twiggenburys bassist James Weeks for this session. We are also grateful to Bob Willcutt of Willcutt Guitars for his help on this project. We hope you enjoy the 5 songs we chose to share with you and as always, thanks for listening! - LLB
With our first episode of 2015 and our 10th overall we are excited to bring you The Jimi Hendrix Experience! Jimi Hendrix, bassist Noel Redding, and drummer Mitch Mitchell, had a short but impactful run between 1966 and 1969. Jimi is recognized as one of the most influential players of our time and his style and charisma were the catalyst of three successful studio albums for the Experience. Are You Experienced (1967), Axis: Bold as Love (1967) and Electric Ladyland (1968) were featured in the top 100 of the Rolling Stone list of Greatest Albums of All Time and in 1992, the Jimi Hendrix Experience was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We are honored to have Sam Jones join us on this project and have chosen four songs that we feel represent the soul of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Sam is an amazing guitarist and vocalist and we think you will really enjoy his contributions to the Lab Band! Check out this video to get to know Sam a little better and be sure to stay tuned to see all four of our Hendrix videos as they are released! Thanks for Listening - LLB
With Episode 9 we honor a band who's career has spanned over 5 decades, Journey! The original members of Journey came together in San Francisco in and released their first album in 1975, Their fourth album, Infinity (1978) reached No. 21 on the album charts and gave the band their first RIAA-certified platinum single, "Lights". Their eighth and biggest-selling studio album, Escape, was 1981's album of the year and would ultimately go nine times platinum. Journey's next album, 1983's Frontiers, continued their commercial success, reaching No. 2 on the album charts and included "Separate Ways.” We are honored to have Tyler Adams and Brad Wilson join us on this session! As always, thanks for listening – LLB
With the release of Episode 8 we have set out to honor a man that burst on the early 80's rock scene with incredible songs and a truly unique sound. Billy Squier spent the 70's cutting his teeth at Berkley and playing in numerous bands in and around the Boston area, but it's his solo material in the next decade that made him a household name. His second album, Don't Say So, was a triple platinum smash that included the mega hit "The Stroke". The Lab has picked a few of our favorite cuts from Mr. Squier, each displaying what we believe is the cornerstone to his sound - straight ahead rock and roll with a touch of soul. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do! As always, thanks for listening - LLB
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.