|Birth name||Gilbert John Landry|
|Also known as||Frank Lemon|
December 10, 1975|
Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States
|Genres||Americana, bluegrass, progressive bluegrass|
|Instruments||Guitar, banjo, steel guitar, resonator guitar|
|Associated acts||The Felice Brothers, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Kitchen Syncopators|
Gill Landry, also known by the stage name of Frank Lemon, is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States. He is a former member of Old Crow Medicine Show and a founding member of the Kitchen Syncopators. In March 2015 he released his third album, the self-titled Gill Landry, and in October 2017 came Love Rides a Dark Horse released by ATO Records.
Gill Landry got his first guitar when he was 5. After spending many years busking the streets of New Orleans, the Northwest, and Europe, he started The Kitchen Syncopators with his friend Woody Pines in 1998. As he tells the story:
The Kitchen Syncopators came out of a Vaudeville show that Me, Felix Hatfield, Woody Pines, and Huck Notari were doing called The Songsters. It was a Bread and Puppet—inspired cardboard theater which featured a lot of early American music we were picking up off of our friend Baby Gramps. We'd been starving in shacks in Eugene, Oregon, when me and Woody went to the Oregon Country Fair one day to try busking. I think we made $300 bucks that day, which to us was a fortune at the time.
The Kitchen Syncopators recorded six self-released CDs:
- The Kitchen Syncopators
- Tijuana Zebra
- Pepper In My Shoe (2003)
- Yazoo City Strugglers (2004)
- Underwood (2005)
- Live From Sedona (2006)
Old Crow Medicine Show
Gill began to fill in for Critter Fuqua, lending vocals, banjo and steel guitar for Old Crow Medicine Show, joining them on tour in Europe in 2005 and appearing at the Cambridge Folk Festival. As Landry tells the story:
Our mutual friend, Sam Parton, suggested I give Ketch a call. So, I did, and he...asked me how my clawhammer and dobro playing was, and I said it was rusty but good. I didn't even own a banjo at the time and hadn't heard of clawhammer before. I was a guitar player."
Recovering quickly, he "went to a place called The Folkstore in Seattle, and bought a Goodtime banjo." He got a five-minute lesson from the store owner, then "practiced it for two weeks before I went to meet the boys. I played it on the Opry and at Doc Watson days. I must have just been god awful (sic)." Something must have worked, because "they kept calling me back.
When Old Crow co-founder Chris "Critter" Fuqua officially "went on hiatus" from the group in 2007 to pursue "recovery from a longtime alcohol addiction", the group looked to Landry as a suitable replacement. " He toured and recorded with the band until 2015, appearing on Tennessee Pusher (2008), Carry Me Back (2012), and Remedy (2014), for which they won a Grammy Award for Best Folk Album.
Regarding his third solo album, released March 2015, he says: "This album, though holding to a few similar influences as Old Crow, is very much a departure as it is more of a personal journey, musically and lyrically." Landry left Old Crow Medicine Show following the release of this record.
In 2007, Landry released a solo album titled The Ballad of Lawless Soirez on Nettwerk Records. "Coal Black Heaven" from this album was hailed by one reviewer as "something of a hobo haiku to the national collapse and depression looming over every hollowed-out and rusted-through US river town."
In October 2011, he self-released his second solo album titled Piety & Desire — featuring the Felice Brothers, Brandi Carlile, Jolie Holland, Ketch Secor, and Samantha Parton (of the Be Good Tanyas) — where he "creates a whole film and stereo hi-fi noir milieu" by realizing "a dozen rootsy, ambient and mostly catchy hardscrabble southwestern tinged originals."
His third, self-titled album was released by ATO Records on 3 March 2015. Leaving the "relative security of the popular roots band Old Crow Medicine Show" and suffering a "tough breakup with a one-time fiancée," forced a reevaluation of Landry's life helping to generate the "introspective, generally dark songs that pour out of him' on this album. Landry says of his "map out of the darkness":
The characters in the songs — some living, some dead — are all pulled from my life. Some are very specific, and others relate to the wide range of both good and bad hearts I've had the pleasure of meeting over the years. I tried to write from a perspective in which there was no blame. These songs are searchers looking for some semblance of truth in a shifting and messy landscape.
Love Rides a Dark Horse (2017)
I’d like to believe love always wins coming down the stretch — it just might not be the way you envisioned it. In my experience love often isn't what I expected and wouldn't be half as good as it was. That basically is what I wrote this album about.
The album includes contributions from Ross Holmes on fiddle (Mumford & Sons, Bruce Hornsby), Skylar Wilson on keyboard (Andrew Combs, Rayland Baxter), and Logan Matheny on drums (Roman Candle, The Rosebuds). American Songwriter notes "Landry’s looming yet subtle baritone — somewhere between Leonard Cohen, Kris Kristofferson and Dave Alvin — unspool (sic) stories of broken hearts."
Festivals and tours
Landry shared stage at Americana Music Festival in September 2015 with acts such as Loretta Lynn, Steve Earle, Pokey Lafarge, and Gillian Welch. He opened for Warren Haynes and The Wood Brothers on tour in Fall of 2015.
Landry appeared at the end of Be Good Tanyas video "The Littlest Birds".
- Hahne, Jeff (9 May 2007). "Dark inspiration". Creative Loafing Charlotte. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
- Leahey, Andrew (13 January 2015). "Listen to the New Single From Old Crow Medicine Show's Gill Landry 'Just Like You' paves the way for self-titled, genre-jumping solo album". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
- "Interview: Gill Landry on New Solo Album, Freedom After Old Crow Medicine Show". The Boot. Retrieved 2017-12-11.
- Chris, Mateer (December 13, 2011). "Gill Landry Reflects On His Work With The Kitchen Syncopators & Old Crow Medicine Show, While Delivering His Own "Piety & Desire"". Uprooted Music Revue. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
- "Gill Landry". The Post and Courier. 11 October 2007. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
- Comaratta, Len (July 26, 2012). "Interview: Critter Fuqua (of Old Crow Medicine Show)". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
- Dickens, Tad (August 14, 2012). "Old Crow Medicine Show's new chapter [podcast with new member Chance McCoy]". The Roanoke Times. Archived from the original on February 1, 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
- Scott, Craig (23 July 2015). "Interview: Gill Landry. I'm Putting My Own Boots On And Taking A Walk". Rock Shot. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
- Danielsen, Aarik. "Gill Landry: The Ballad of Lawless Soirez". PopMatters. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
- Ritter, Mitch (March 19, 2011). "Mitch's Monthly Mix: Aguas de Marḉo (Waters of March)". Driftwood Magazine. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
- Ritter, Mitch (October 18, 2011). "Feature Review: Gill Landry, Piety & Desire". Driftwood Magazine. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
- "Gill Landry Pre-Order". Atorecords.shop.musictoday.com. 2015-03-03. Retrieved 2015-04-30.
- Horowitz, Hal (2017-10-05). "Gill Landry: Love Rides a Dark Horse « American Songwriter". American Songwriter. Retrieved 2018-03-09.
- "Gill Landry announces new album "Love Rides A Dark Horse" – ATO RECORDS". atorecords.com. Retrieved 2017-12-11.
- "2017 Line Up". Latitude Festival. 2014-04-24. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
- "Line up". Longitude Festival 2017. 2013-02-17. Retrieved 2017-07-21.