We are Lee O’Nell Blues Gang, a 5 pieces band. We come from France, w play some Blues Rock, and had just released our 2nd album self produced named « This is us » in September 2022.
How did you all meet?
Lionel WERNERT: I decided to form my band in 2019 even if I’ve been playing guitar for more than 40 years now. I was waiting to find the great voice for my songs. I found it, 10 years ago, Gipsy BACUET. She’s also my wife (that’s easy to write and compose songs haha !) and then was waiting for the right moment to form a band. I chose the 3 other guys who are now the Gang : Philippe DANDRIMONT on bass, François BARISAUX on keyboards and Pierre-Alain DELAUNOY on drums. They are those I consider as the best in my area ! Both on stage and in person !
Who were your musical influences growing up?
Lionel: Well, I’m a self taught guitar player and I grew up listening to the 70’s Rock guitar legends. So in my music you may feel a little of Deep Purple, some Thin Lizzy, a bit of Rainbow among others… Then I studied and practiced all the Blues legends, Eric Clapton, Albert King, Peter Green, and most recently Eric Gales, Christone Kingfish Ingram and Joe Bonamassa!
Gipsy BACUET: For my part, it’s a different journey ! I’ve taken classical piano lessons because my parents bought a piano some day to decorate their house. As I was always trying to play, they took me to a music school, which I didn’t really like, so when I was able to, I stopped the lessons and preferred to sing all I could hear on the radio. Then I get interested in the female Jazz voices, such as Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald up to Etta James and now Joanne Shaw Taylor or Bonnie Raitt !
What made you want to be in a band?
Lionel: Well that is not really what made me want to be in a band, but why did I formed this kind of band if I can suggest ! I really came from Rock and Blues, Gipsy is more Jazzy, so I would like to mix several styles in the same band with the blues as common point. That’s exactly why I chose my musicians, they also came from different universes and the combination is perfect for me.
Gipsy: Lionel and I have been behind so many artists that we thought it was the right moment to tell what we had to say ! So, I took the pen, and Lionel as the only composer of the band we very quickly proposed 10 original songs to the group. 6 months after the beginning of Lee O’Nell Blues Gang’s story, Lionel took us to the studio ! We released our first album
« Different Shades Of Love » in september 2020. Things happened very quickly !
What has been your best gig?
Lionel: Can I have more than one answer ? Well the first one, the release party of course was a great moment ! Finally I could play my songs on stage ! And another fabulous moment was when we made a double headliners show with my friend, my brother of heart Fred CHAPELLIER ! He’s always on tour too with his own band, so we rarely have the opportunity to be on the same stage.
Gipsy: I would say the last and the next at the same time!
Can you tell us a bit about your music?
Lionel: Well, we have just release our second album few months ago, so no new single for the moment. A lot of work for promotion, international press, webzines, radio shows etc.. and as we have no label or booking agency, we must put all the caps in the same time ! SO for the moemnt, I think we will concentrate on tour and may be another album in few years.
Gipsy: Lionel is really an hyper active person, so he doesn’t tell you, but the 3rd album is already in his head, and he always ask me for new lyrics…. Haha !
Describe your music in 3 words.
Lionel: Blues / Rock / Feeling Gipsy: Emotion / Passion / Rhythm
What makes your band stand out from others?
Lionel: I think it’s the mix between vintage, modernity and a touch of Jazz Gipsy bring with her way to sing. A kind of Contemporary Blues .
Gipsy: Someone here in France said about us: « Lee O’Nell Blues Gang, the band that has all it figured when it comes to putting some Blues into Rock and vice-versa » I Think that is a pretty good description of our universe.
What are your plans for the rest of 2023?
Lionel: Well: tour, tour, tour…
If your band had to be remembered for one thing apart from your music what would you want it to be?
Lionel: I guess people can notice the lyrics of course, because Gipsy is very attentive to that point. She doesn’t want to sing only basic things. She writes about life, human relations, she plays with extremes and opposites. She likes to put a kind of ambiguity in her lyrics.
Gipsy: I think they will remind the different shades of Blues Rock we bring to them on stage. And we are very king people too, we like to spend a lot of time with fans after the shows…
Any gig’s coming up?
Lionel: Yes, but most of all in France. Some great opening concerts for Ana Popovis or The Cinelli Brothers for example. We will also start touring in Belgium and are waiting for some gigs in Germany too. May be in England if some booking agency is reading us right now !
Gipsy: And of course you can follow us, like, subscribe and share all that you want right here :
Site web : Youtube : Spotify : Deezer : Facebook :
By Siân Parker
Leave a Reply