Rockabilly Corner: Adam Lopez and His Mighty Locasters

| August 1, 2012 | 0 Comments

by Sheila Broderick

This month, I had the pleasure of capturing a few moments from Adam Lopez, and here is what he had to say.

CMB: Tell us how you and the other band members got together, and give us some background on everyone.

AL: Chaise “Slim” Dewey is the man on the doghouse bass. We initially connected through Facebook while I was still living in Tulsa, and thinking about moving to Colorado. Slim was a friend of friends and was/is super committed to the cause. He’s been as loyal, available, and hard working as I could have ever imagined. He and I played a Lola Black gig not long after I first arrived in Colorado back in October of 2011, which is where we first met Phil Dezellem playing drums for Cannibal Creeps. When Phil was done with that project he got wind that Slim and I were on the drummer hunt once again. Since then, Phil has been a breath of fresh air. His commitment and dedication are on par with Slim’s and his swing is solid!

CMB: Where do you find your inspiration and influences?

AL: I get both of those things from life in general; the good and the bad really, although I try and stay positive and make music that’s part of the solution and never the problem. I grew up in a family of musicians, and my first influences were my uncles Al, Joe, and Richard. My great grandfather Carmen was a drummer and upright bassist, and he was a HUGE influence in making music for the sheer joy of it, even though he was a professional working musician. My grandma Lina was a huge influence as well. We were a close family growing up, and I was exposed to everything you can imagine style wise, but Rockabilly was one of the first things I heard, and definitely the first thing I fell in love with. Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Elvis, Chuck Berry, etc. were played loudly and often throughout our family.

Some of my biggest influences, besides those already mentioned, are Gene Vincent and his original Blue Caps. Cliff Gallup is an all-time favorite guitarist, and Dickie Harrell an all-time favorite drummer. Robert Gordon‘s band from the ’81-’83 period is another huge influence as well. I consider myself a guitarist first and foremost, and Robert had all these D.C. guys in that band including Danny Gatton on guitar. Danny is by far my biggest influence as a guitarist and as a musician. 

CMB: Do you have a CD out or a new release coming up?

AL: My last CD was 2010’s Rock & Roll Is My Super Power. It’s done pretty well for me. I wanted to create my own version of “modern Rockabilly” that wasn’t a version of the Reverend Horton Heat or Brian Setzer, or anything like that. I’ve long since sold out of physical copies, but it’s available at most major online retailers for download. CD Baby might still have some physical copies left. 

Currently, I’m working on material and demos with the Mighty LoCasters for a new release. This time around I’m experimenting with recording techniques. My favorite sounding records of all time are the original Gene Vincent and his Blue Caps recordings done at Harold and Owen Bradley‘s Studios in Nashville back in 1956 (The Quonset Hut). Musically, the material so far is pretty diverse, as is our live show. Rockabilly, rhythm & blues, rock & roll, western swing/jazz, honky tonk, etc. Sonically, we have some demos recorded in different ways, so it’s all over the place. Once we get that dialed in, the recording will go down live just like they did at the Quonset Hut back in 1956. I really want to get back to capturing performances, not into the modern way of tracking things individually like a puzzle. I want what I call the ‘human factor’ in this record. The blood, sweat, and tears. Warts and all. I’m a schooled musician, but I’m a “feel” guy first and foremost. 

CMB: What is your take on the Colorado Springs RB scene?

AL: Honestly, I don’t know much about it. In fact, we might be the only band in it from what I’ve seen so far. I’ve only been in Colorado about nine months now and haven’t gotten out too much. There’s a lot of work to be done to keep a band working so I’m at it 24/7. Unfortunately, that keeps me from going out as often as maybe I should.

CMB: Do any of you have side projects?

AL: I currently play lead guitar for the Black Rose Band. They’re a

classic/modern country rock outfit. I’ve done a lot of hired gun guitar work in my day, so that’s a skill set that I really like to exercise, and the Black Rose Band let’s me do my thing. It’s a lot of fun and a good challenge.

CMB: If you had the opportunity to talk with any of your music influences living or dead who would it be and why?

AL: Wow. The list is long. Danny Gatton, Cliff Gallup, Les Paul, Elvis, Buddy Holly, the Bradley Brothers, Joe Pass, Lenny Breau, Chet Atkins, and on and on. There’s so many!

CMB: What shows do you have coming up in August and where can our audience find you?

AL: So far we’re at Southside Johnny’s on the 2nd for “Rockabilly/Burlesque” night. On the 3rd we’re throwing a big dance party at the Stargazer Theatre as part of their Free Friday Summer Concert Series, and on the 11th we’re at Venue 515 in Manitou Springs as part of a benefit to help get things back to normal post fire. 

CMB: Is there anything you would like out readers to know that I haven’t asked?

AL: I would like them to know that I am a pretty serious student of guitar, music, and music history. The result of that is, that I don’t think our music is as predictable or simple as some people seem to assume because we call it “Rockabilly.” Rockabilly, to me, is not so much a sound as it is a musical recipe that can result in so many different sounds and feels. Sometimes I think the term has become it’s own worst enemy, and keeps as many people away as it attracts. I am not one to cater to the current fads in the scene, but at the same time, I think we offer something for everyone. We also work very hard to maintain the level of musicianship in the genre. Cats like Grady Martin, Cliff Gallup, Dickie Harrell, James Burton, Hank Garland, and countless others really set a high standard in the ’50s when it came to musicianship. The Danny Gatton and Brian Setzers of the world upheld that standard, and we do our best to follow that tradition while still maintaining the raw energy and feel of a great garage band.




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