My First Rodeo
Longneck Strangler is more than just another country band. When Longneck Strangler overdrives Hank Williams Sr's 'Hey Good Lookin' to a swinging 140 beats per minute, is this country music? When Longneck Strangler applies steel guitar and the two-step to the Rolling Stones 'Honky Tonk Woman', is it only rock and roll? Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Rod Stewart, David Allan Coe, Queen, ZZ Top -- it all gets Strangled. If both their love of rock and roll and their being from Detroit is not enough to deny Longneck Strangler an invitation from the Grand Ol Opry, a quick inspection of Longneck Strangler reveals that the singer is sporting a mohawk, the guitarist slings a Gibson Flying V and stops moving only to work the steel guitar, the drummer waves a mane of long black hair as his sticks hit the skins, and only the bass player (occasionally) wears a cowboy hat. These four combine diverse but overlapping backgrounds into the Longneck Strangler sound, which you could arguably label country...or rock and roll. Their new CD - My First Rodeo - breaks the barriers that have grown between these estranged musical cousins. Produced by Chuck Alkazian (Sponge, Christina Aguilera, Uncle Kracker), and recorded at Pearl Sound in Canton, MI, My First Rodeo captures the rock and country mix that has those who first hear Longneck Strangler saying; "I don't like country music, but I like what you boys do." From the true-life "Out Getting Drunk Over You", to the barn-burning "Take Me Off This Mountain", through the swingin' door honky-tonk of "Choose You Over Booze" and the instantly infectious rocker "Gone, Gone, Gone", My First Rodeo showcases the writing and performing talents that have made Longneck Strangler must-return artists at every venue they play. Lastly, their haunting, harmony-filled, acoustic-driven take on the Allman Brother's "Midnight Rider" is just one example of how the boys Strangle the classics to make them their own. Born in Mississippi, lead vocalist Ricky Lentz is the closest thing to a true southern gentleman that Longneck Strangler can offer. In addition to his vocal talents, he has been known to add fiddle and harmonica to the mix. Ricky may be wearing an acoustic guitar, but he is also a gifted lead guitarist who has chosen e to focus on his singing while onstage with Longneck Strangler. Regardless of the instrument, his musical pedigree is balanced with equal parts punk, hillbilly and hip-hop. Jeremy Kanouse, the aforementioned long haired drummer, is Longneck Strangler's musical wolf-in-sheep's-clothing. Though the drummer's role in country music is typically defined by restraint, when the moment calls Jeremy will channel the power of John Bonham, Keith Moon and Mitch Mitchell. Pay close attention, and you'll hear that this lifelong drummer is also an outstanding singer. Holding down the gunslinger spot is Rick Browarski, who has earned the nickname 'Guitar Rick'. Give him eight bars and hell show you that Guitar Rick is more than a way to avoid mispronouncing his surname (bro-var-skee). He holds a degree in music from the renown Wayne State University Jazz Studies program, though his formal education is balanced with countless gigs in all styles of music. Ricks contribution to Longneck Strangler grows from the same branch of the musical tree that connects Ron Wood, Brian Setzer and Angus Young. Kevin Davis, known as K.D. to his friends, has country music in his blood, as some of his family are Country Music & Bluegrass Hall Of Fame inductees who have worked with such names as George Jones, Conway Twitty and Bill Monroe (to name a few). K.D. has also been on tour playing bass with such names as Uncle Kracker, Tantric, David Allan Coe and Bret Michaels (his country project) and he brought both Rick and Ricky together in an earlier Detroit based project that was often described as a modern-day Lynyrd Skynyrd. A little bit Hank, a little bit AC/DC and a healthy dose of twang, flash and honky-tonk - they're all a part of the Longneck Strangler sound. As the boys would say - to borrow a phrase - Longneck Strangler is a lot of country, and a lot of rock and roll.