GUEST POST: LENNY AND THE POOR BOYS

Hey guys and gals. I’m sitting here in Colorado waiting for the sun to come up so I can get out of this room and onto the mountain. The nice thing about having an east coast internal clock is that I get up early enough to have coffee and eat without rushing.

Today’s guest¬† post comes from the owner of the Colorado based (see the tie in there?) label, Suburban Home Records, Virgil Dickerson. It is about a band that quite frankly, I’ve heard of numerous times but had never heard. I hope¬† y’all like it.

When a post from Bryan looking for Guest writers popped up on Twitter, I emailed Bryan letting him know my interest in contributing. Being a big fan of Ninebullets.net and having a background in zine publishing (Suburban Home started as a zine in 1995), I was thrilled when Bryan gave me the opportunity to write a little something. I asked him if there were any guidelines to which he replied, “No guidelines at all outside of take it seriously…I put alot of time and effort into ninebullets. Other than that, have fun with it.” Fair enough. At this point, I started thinking long and hard about an incredible band that I could share with all of you. I ruled out about writing about one of our bands (but let me shamelessly plug a few of our bands that I hope are on your radar – Drag the River, Two Cow Garage, Tim Barry, Austin Lucas, Yesterday’s Ring, The Takers, Jon Snodgrass, and Ninja Gun). I considered writing about Murder by Death only because Bryan told me he wasn’t a fan (I love them very much), but decided against it. I thought about writing about the new Justin Townes Earle, “Midnight at the Movies” which I got a promo of this week and am digging big time, but since I know that Bryan also loves them, I figured he would soon be writing about the album himself. After further thought, I could only think about one band that I think everyone should know about. This band is Lenny and the Piss Poor Boys.

Lenny and the Piss Poor Boys are from Boston, Massachusetts, and I first heard about them from Drag the River. Drag the River were given some early demos by Lenny and the Piss Poor Boys when Drag played a show with Dropkick Murphys. Chad and Jon loved those songs so much, they started playing “Cambridgeport Saloon” and “Leaving in the Morning” live and during the recording sessions that would become “It’s Crazy”, they recorded a cover of “Leaving in the Morning” which became the first song on the album. I had always thought “Leaving in the Morning” was a Drag the River original, but I was told that this was a song written by Lenny. After hearing that, I decided to pay a visit to the band’s myspace page and I am sure I listened to the 2 songs on their profile (“Cambridgeport Saloon” and “Lonely Days and Whiskey Nights”) about a million times. I loved every second of those 2 songs and immediately looked everywhere I could to find a copy. That search lead me to the Ludeboy Records’ site where I didn’t hesitate to mailorder the album although the $16 price seemed a bit high. I had heard that the label was slow at sending out mailorder and after 2 weeks, I still hadn’t received a copy of the album. A really kind friend burned a copy and mailed it to me and I received it before the copy I had purchased.

As I thought would be the case, I absolutely loved every song. Lenny and the Piss Poor Boys perfectly marry Country and Punk Rock unlike any band I have ever heard. Lenny has fronted the street punk band, Darkbuster, for years and he brings that energy to Honky Tonk Country. The upright bass and pedal steel guitar give the band a much older sound than you would otherwise think. The songs tell stories of late night bar fights, boozing, salvation, their favorite Ramones’ song, more boozing, and they even cover the Lowenbrau theme song. In one particular song, Lenny sings “I’m Thirty Something and I don’t Feel Old, Still listening to Punk Rock still like my beers cold,” and I think that lyric spoke to me more than any other lyric. I loved this record and this band so much, I contacted the band. I mentioned my interest in working with them and hopefully putting out their next album. This is when they told me that after their bass player passed away, the band pretty much fell apart. This my friends, is a true tragedy. I have spoke to the label that released their album and mentioned my interest in licensing it for release on vinyl, something I still want to do. With any luck, this will one day happen.

Although Lenny and the Piss Poor Boys are not active, Drag the River did play a show with Lenny the last time they were in Boston. Lenny, if you read this and are ever looking for a label to put out anything, please drop me a line.

Friends, I hope you like this band as much as I do. Thanks Bryan for letting me rant.

Leaving in the Morning (by Lenny and the Piss Poor Boys)
Cambridgeport Saloon (by Lenny and the Piss Poor Boys)
Lonely Days and Whiskey Nights (by Lenny and the Piss Poor Boys)
Leaving in the Morning (by Drag the River)

10 thoughts on “GUEST POST: LENNY AND THE POOR BOYS”

  1. Virgil,
    I couldn’t agree more. I love that whole record, and it kills me that, even though I live in Boston, I never saw them while they were still together. I even left a show at the Abbey that they were headlining after Drag’s opening set. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

  2. that truly breaks my heart. I did the same when i went to go see Jeff Hanson play this really small club when they opened for this band i had never heard of, the Decemberists. There were only a dozen people watching the show and I ended up going home after Jeff’s set. Bummertown.

    It happens, but man, I would kill to have seen them play.

  3. Virgil already turned me on to Lenny awhile back by putting one of the tracks on a mix cd (dude, please start doing those again, they brought me Lucero, Two Cow Garage and Lenny). I went through the pain in the ass process of getting the CD and was totally blown away by this album. Fucking amazing record. The album is pretty much perfect.

    And “Lonely Days…” has the best opening line of any song i’ve ever heard.

    Please Virgil get these dudes to release this on vinyl or a re-release since Lude Boy obviously doesn’t have their shit together.

  4. Thank you so much for plugging these guys. I’ve been into these guys since they started/since Darkbuster started and it boggled my mind how such great songs went unheard.

  5. Thanks. Jon from Drag told me about these guys last time he was in town. I picked up their CD and love what I’ve heard. I was not aware that Leaving In The Morning was not a Drag song either.

  6. I was lucky enough to see Lenny and the Piss Poor Boys play a Clash tribute show in Boston before the bass player passed away (they played all Beatles songs!). I was also lucky enough to see Lenny and Amy (from Darkbuster/Raging Teens) play a set last year (which Jon from Drag the River opened for). It was incredible. Lenny, Jon and James Lynch (Dropkick Murphys) played Leaving in the Morning together to close the show. Also, I agree with everyone who has posted that the Lenny and the Piss Poor Boys CD is awesome.

  7. I lived 2 blocks from the abbey for 10 Years and regret that I missed these guys. I now live in Somerville and this lp is a staple in my collection. I tell everyone I know that this is an album they should own and that in its own way is quintessentially Boston. It represents I think a dying era (for all that went to the Cambridgeport you know what was lost) I would definitely buy this on LP but even better would be new music. Oh what a glorious morning that would be. But like the Cambridgeport time goes on and so do people.

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