Love Your Local Band

Lenny’s Basement

LYLBlenny's-basementLenny Ruckel, lead guitarist for Lenny’s Basement, really does have a basement—at least he did in 2010 when the band formed. But the band never actually rehearsed there. They were going to, but the space wasn’t available.

“He said it would be fun to play in the basement like a real rock band, but it was kind of flooded, so we played in his living room. ‘Lenny’s Living Room’ didn’t sound very cool,” says bassist Jo Jo Fox.

They’ve since found a proper practice space, but kept the name. Most of the members had already known each other for a long time when the band came together, and they gravitated toward covers of songs from the 1960s to the 1980s, specifically danceable rock tunes from artists like Blondie, Little Feat, Talking Heads, Tom Petty, and the Beatles.

“The underlying theme is to have rock music that people want to dance to. It’s kind of just a haphazard list of songs that we come up with that we want to try out. There’s really no order to them. Ones that just seem appropriate, or just seem to have a good flow,” Fox says.

Unlike most of the other groups the members of the band are in, Lenny’s Basement doesn’t have a band leader, let alone a single lead singer. Four of the five members sing lead on different tunes, and whenever possible, they seek out songs with three-part harmonies.

“What we like about Lenny’s Basement is it’s a collective. Everybody sings. Everybody contributes ideas for songs. It’s very democratic,” Fox says. AARON CARNES

INFO: 8 p.m. Friday, July 3. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $7/adv, $10/door. 603-2294.

Contributor at Good Times |

Aaron is a hard-working freelance writer with a focus on music, art, food, culture and travel. In addition to Good Times, he's a regular contributor to Sacramento News & Review, VIA Magazine and Playboy. When he's not working, he's either backpacking, arguing about music or working on his book about ska. One thing's for sure—he knows more about ska than you.

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