Americana-Alternative Country. Two brothers, one on acoustic guitar and lead vocals, one on electric guitar and backing vocals, recorded in 2001, live-off-the-floor in an old church in Southwestern Ontario.
Two brothers set up in a church in Southwestern Ontario´, Canada. One brother on electric guitar and backing vocals the other on acoustic guitar and lead vocals. As stark as the February crusted fields outside the windows but as warm as the roaring fire in the evenings.
LIONEL LODGE PRESS QUOTES
This genial maverick is a passionate singer who wears his heart on his sleeve and this is what fuels his music's brazen beauty. Uplifting and touching ... there is much to enjoy here ... streets ahead of most of the
competition. Lionel Lodge deserves a place in your heart check him out definitely one towatch.
Michael Flynn, audiostreet.co.uk
"Great music and beautiful songs."
Raymond Swennen ATL Radio, FM 105.9, Belgium
"Lionel paints pictures with words and music so vivid you can touch the
canvas. With his brown velvet voice he sings with passion and sincerity."
Flicky Harrison Swindon Evening Press, England
"Lionel Lodge and Brother Bro are indeed related not only by blood but
also by their musical understanding. Lionel, on vocals and acoustic, tells
stories of days of Buicks, liquor stores and loving women. Honest and
open songwriting, with its intensity of depth mirrored by Brother Bro
kicking in on the electric guitar".
"A truly international experience, strongly recommended."
V. Pawlowsky, Arts Diary, Kyiv Post, Ukraine.
"During the two hours of the most positive vibrations, identified as parade of masterful expression by super professionals, a musical performance took place of the highest artistic level."
Oleksandr Yevtushenko Ukraiinske Slovo
(Ukrainian weekly magazine) Ukrainian Word No. 49 Dec. 6-12 2001
"Lionel Lodge is a universal song writing genius!!"
X-Act Music Magazine, Austria
The picture on the CD tells it all really. Two brothers, Lionel and Brodie Lodge at a very young age, in the Black Mountains of Wales where they used to go with their grandmother for summer breaks. Over the following years they became a bass player (Lionel) and drummer (Brodie) team driving their own bands through the clubs and stages of South-western Ontario, Canada. Their final band together was The Corndogs which became a signed band with BMG Canada.
The Corndogs, while Lionel was still in the group, toured many times across Canada, the brothers' homeland of Great Britain and released four albums. During this time Lionel, with the help of Brodie and the other members of The Corndogs, recorded and independently released two full albums of originals. In 1992 Lionel left Canada and The Corndogs and relocated to England, "It was time for a change, both musically and personally."
Over the following years apart Lionel recorded two more full length CDs in England and Brodie continued with The Corndogs, writing and recording three more CDs including the double CD Rabbit´. They stayed in touch and occasionally played together. Lionel was playing mostly acoustic guitar now and during a visit by Brodie to England, to their grandmother's house, sitting around the kitchen one afternoon, they started playing guitars together. Lionel already knew a lot of his brother's songs (he recorded two of Brodie's songs on his fourth CDNaked´) so they had a good starting point and Brodie was quick to pick up on Lionel's originals. The afternoon turned in to the evening and the location changed to the little local village pub 20 mins. walk down the road. They played just sitting at a table, unplugged and brought the house down. Their lustfull energy mixed with the sweeping melodies and paint on canvas lyrics of the brothers' originals kept the pub open hours past closing time.
"Á lot of the folks in the pub that night had seen Brodie and I in different bands but not together with me singing, never with the two of us on guitars, and they all told us that was the music we should be making, but you gotta remember that this was after they had had about eight pints each. They kept us there all night but then cursed us for it the next day."
This first "jam session" developed into the occasional gig and then from there to tours of England and showcases in Canada. It was only a matter of time before they would record together and `Beautiful World´ is that time finally come. They set up in an old church in South-western Ontario, Canada and played through songs from both of theirs long list of originals. There was no overdubbing or punching in, just played through. On some tracks you can hear a lovely and soft female voice singing in the background, that's Louise, Brodie's enchanting wife stirring some angels in.
This CD is true, honest and from the heart. The songs are filled with stories and observations that take you right into that old broken shack out back of the woods. Brodie's electric playing is reminiscent of Neil Young and early Keith Richards while Lionel keeps a steady acoustic backdrop and tells the stories with the full but sensitive tone of his voice. Sometimes fiery and other times soft and musky this CD is a world of it's own.
Lionel was born in the early sixties in the Highlands of Scotland eventhough his family was living in the London England at the time. His father, Tom Lodge was soon to become one of the top DJs on the first pirate radio station, Radio Caroline, which introduced Lionel at a very early age to the exploding sixties British music scene. "My dad was interviewing the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, we always had the newest releases playing on the home stereo, dad would go off to gigs and come home with these great new band's latest recordings." When Lionel was four he re-wrote the words to the Stones` song Get Off My Cloud, turned it into a anthem to call his mother to get him out of bed. "Lionel was such a terror when he was young that we had to tell him he couldn't get out of bed until me or his father came to get him, left on his own he would destroy the house in minuets. At first he would wake up before us and start shouting from his room that he was awake, we had to tell him not to shout in the morning, that's when he re-wrote that song and started singing."
At five years old his parents moved Lionel and his two older brothers to Canada. "Dad was working for Radio Caroline and in `67 the British government passed the Marine Broadcasting Act, which stated that anyone working with or for pirate radio stations would be arrested if they entered England. Dad tried to work for the BBC then but it was too regimented for him, so off to Canada we went."
"In Canada we were very strange compared to the rest of the children at school, we had long hair and wore hippy-like clothes, plus we had English accents. I hated it for the first five years, didn't like Canada at all, got into a lot of fights. We moved around a fair bit and so we were always the new kids with funny accents."
Lionel's first instrument was the piano. " I had a piano teacher for a short while who taught me the basics to boogie-woogie piano. But he disappeared one day never to return. It was around this time I started getting seriously interested in girls and the girls thought that the piano was a sissy instrument, so I changed to the saxaphone, far more sexy, but singing was my main passion, all I really wanted to do from as far back as I can remember."
After years of learning Glen Miller`s Greatest Hits in the school orchestra, Lionel and his brother Brodie put together their first band. "I was living in a house with a London Ontario, weekend, nazi punk band, they weren't nazis and they certainly weren't street punks, most of them lived at home with mom and had good jobs and expensive cars but they were singing about tearing down the establishment, their serious fakeness would make me and Brodie laugh. We thought that if they can call themselves anarcist punks, then for all it means then we could be... fish rockers! So it was and so we were. Actually the fish rock wave of London Ontario started with a poster. Brodie made it out of an old excilopedia on fashion, it was a colarge of all these pictures of different fashions and hair styles and across this he painted in a kinda cartoon writing "Fish Rock!!". It was put it up in a party, on a night when the nazi punk band was going to play for all their friends. Well, the poster was pulled down a bunch of times that night, it kept upsetting these renegade, ruthless adversaries to the statis quo and the establishment. We laughed.
"I guess they thought we were laughing at them, we were. So it was that Fish Rock was born. The next day, after we cleared the house by playing Bethoven's 9th very loud, we went down in the cellar and pick up their instruments and started playing. Someone had to play Fish Rock and we guessed we were the most likely candidits. We wrote songs like "Follow Fish", "Living In A Fish Farm" and "Ban Can Tuna". It was a lot of fun but soon became a parody of it's original intentions and then it was over."
After that Brodie and Lionel had a few different bands until the final Corndog line-up with which they were signed to BMG Records Canada. The Corndogs released two recordings before BMG and two with BMG. They toured Canada from end to end many times with steady success.
"But there were some problems on the business side of things, problems with the record company and their perception of who we were. I was not so satisfied and wanted to get out of the deal and try to move to another company. I was loving the traveling and wanted to go farther afield, across the oceans I guess I was bored with being in Canada at that time."
The travel bug had bit and Lionel took exit to England. It was 1992, he originally thought he'd only stay that side of the atlantic for a few months but, Lionel stayed longer, over a decade, longer and started traveling around Europe, meeting local players to record four of his now seven solo CD s.
"It was time for a change, personally and musically. After recording `She's No Game´ I was feeling the need to shake this life of mine up a bit. I was becoming too comfortable, too mellow. Time to take a jump into the unknown."
First stop in England he put together a loud electric band that was said to be a mixture of The Pixies and Stax Volt. With this four piece band his third CD, `Sister', was recorded.
"It was a band based on fun, we played for fun, I was writing for fun, nothing was taken seriously. The effect was very uplifting. We played all over England, pubs, clubs, a few small festivals, whatever came our way. We were loud but not proud."
"And then came the offers. We were talking to Chrysalis and Virgin, there were some pretty big amounts of money being discussed, they wanted to pick up "Sister" and release it as is. I didn't really believe it, I didn't feel it was for real and I wasn't at ease with who was offering the deal. We were doing showcases in London and workig the situation when the band started to fall apart."
Instead of accepting offers from Chrysalis or Virgin Lionel continued traveling on his own, going around England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, meeting and working with local players. By the end of this period he recorded his fourth CD, Naked, with a six piece, mainly acoustic band. "The band on `Naked' is a mixture of Irish, Scottish and English players, I'm very proud of that CD. It worked so easily. We recorded it in one day, started at 9:00am and finished the mixing in time to make it to the pub before closing time."
But the need for more traveling and musical exploring was still calling, so he went to France then Spain, Greece and through a strange twist of events, after a couple years, ended up in Vienna. "I've met a lot of great players here, people like Rens Newland, Hans Theessink, Othmar Binder, Gajus Stappen, Peter Müller, Oliver Gattringer, Willie Lange, and the members of my new group, Valentin Oman, George Beck, Thomas Eder, Bernhard Osanna and Peter Schönbauer.
"Playing with these people has been a joy and an honour. Also the mixing of cultures has been both interesting and inspiring. I only planned on staying in Vienna for a couple months, but I met so many fine players here that leaving became a hard thought to entertain."
In 1999 Lionel signed an single deal with Turnaround Records and started working with Rens Newland in his studio in Vienna. Together they recorded the maxi-single You're All I Want´, which was finished in May but released in October. By the middle of 1999 Lionel was mainly perfroming live in Vienna Rens, both on acoustic guitars. But when the opportuinties arose they extended the live line up with some of the musicians they're working in the studio with. By the time the first recording was released, the maxi-singleYou're All I Want´, Lionel and Rens had transfered the understanding they'd developed in the studio out to the live stages. They're managed to fuse Lionel's Americana/Folk/Rock writings with Rens' Jazz Funk sensibilities to an effect that was both international and down-home, sophisticated but still easily accessable.
In November 1999 Lionel and Brodie met in England to do a series of shows, just the two of them on guitars. "Our Grandmother had died earlier that year and this was to mark her first birthday since her death. She was very popular in the area and so it was a bit of a community event. We played in the local pub, set up in the corner. It worked with a haunting effect."
They started with the local pub and ended up in London. They realised that they still had the open natural way between them, their way of rolling through the songs together.
"People seemed to really react to the two of us playing together, we played a lot of the places I used to play with the group on "Naked". It was a lot of fun and the music was flowing."
In early 2000 they returned for another three weeks of playing in clubs and theaters around England and they recorded a whole slew of songs, some of which ended up on Lionel's next CD.
In September 2000, Lionel released his fifth CD, `Somewhere In Vienna And Doing Fine´ while he was continuing with numerous live shows in Europe and North America. This CD covers the three different musical settings Lionel was working with at the time. Mainly the two different duos, Lionel and Rens Newland (for most of European performances) and Lionel and Brother Bro (for British and American performances) but the CD also includes a couple tracks with the group Lionel had at the time in Vienna with Rens, Willi Langer and Oliver Gattringer.
But before that something else, a whole new musical direction, was bubbling up from under. During the summer of 2000, while playing at the Pepsi Donau Insel Fest in Budapest, Hungary, Lionel met Myroslav Levytsky, a Ukrainian composer and leader of the group Braty Bluzu. They talked and exchanged contact info with the thought being of Lionel, sometime, traveling to Ukraine to perform. A few months later the invitation came. On January 8th 2001 Lionel traveled to Kalush, Ukraine with Rens Newland as his stage partner. They performed in the city's concert hall as part of the city's Christmas festival.
"It really took my heart, being there, we drove through the mountains, though the small villages and found this indoor festival overflowing with their cultural dances and songs. It was an experience I will never forget and it was the start of many more shows and concerts in the Ukraine."
In June of 2001 Rens arranged a concert at the Linz City Music Festival for Lionel and Rens to perform with Braty Bluzu, all together, mixing their styles, their approaches and their songs together to give a very unique soundscape of cultural diversity. Since this date they have continued to perform what they call the "Music Without Boarders" project a few times a year. Twice they added a Swiss Chamber Orchestra to the line up and it is planned to take this full show out on the road in Europe.
In Febuary and March of 2001 Lionel recorded his 6th CD, "Beautiful World", in Canada with his Brother Bro. They set up and recorded in an old church in the middle of tobacco country, South Western Ontario. Just the two of them and a pile of original songs. It's spooky kinda country rock with a blue...