Lipbone Redding brings ‘American music’ to Eagle
Vail, CO, Colorado
Lipbone Redding has an interesting talent that is sure to make audiences even more curious about where his sound comes from. They’ll hear an invisible trombone and wonder who’s playing it. Spoiler: It’s Redding himself using his lips to make the very convincing sound of a trombone, hence the stage name Lipbone.
Redding prefers to think of himself as a musical entertainer, not just another sappy songwriter with a guitar. He’s well versed in many musical styles and has traveled the world to find the sound that he now produces. His latest album, “Party On The Fire Escape,” is a breezy, sometimes silly, snapshot of Redding’s life in New York City. He’s currently on tour through Colorado in support of the CD. Before his Eagle show we talked with Redding about his unique style of music and playing in subway stations.
Lipbone Redding: It’s been pretty good actually. We’ve been here before so we got a lot of people that we know that come to our shows and stuff like that. I mean, this is a beautiful place to be in the summertime, give me a break.
LR: The music I’ve been playing lately has been not so much dark and personal as it has been light and personal. I was trying to put stuff together that kind of exudes having fun and a good time. I think it was a direct result of my work environment, my gig environment for the past year. That’s kind of how the record came about.
LR: I was a subway musician in about 1998 or 99 … I just went down and started playing music in the subway and no net, nothing to fall back on but my ass, I guess … I started just making noises along with what I was playing in the subway and the lipbone kind of rose to the top of that. And I just started doing it, and then I started getting gigs doing it, and pretty soon I’m working more than I’d like to at some points.
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LR: Yeah, all the time. People come and if they’ve never seen me before and it’s a casual environment, sometimes they’re like looking around. I’ve had girls ” maybe under the influence of champagne or whatever ” they’ll come up and start looking, pulling on my cheeks or make me open my mouth and looking in the mic. It’s a good time.
LR: It kind of forced me to not take the sappy songwriter route, which I think that’s an easy thing to do. It forced me to take more the entertainer route with my music. Which, you know, I love a good love song but if it was just me in a vacuum, I don’t know what I’d do … but being in the subway, it just forced me to be an entertainer more than anything and to try to actively reach out to an audience, rather than just wait for someone to show up and hear me.
LR: I had this one time I was playing and this woman, she came by me, I think she lived in the subway … and she looked all haggard like one of the mole people … she came out and she started writing on all these little strips of paper, little fortune cookie-sized pieces of paper. And there was like a pile of maybe 50 or 60 little strips of paper and she just came and dumped them in my guitar case and then left. And I came back and looked after the (performance) and I was like, ‘Wow, that was really weird.’ And they all said the same thing: ‘Help, get me out of here.’ It kind of gave me a creepy feeling.
LR: It seems like no matter where you go, people love American music, especially like blues-influenced stuff or anything that’s got kind of that American sound. And if you were to ask me to describe my music I would definitely call it American music because it’s a big conglomeration of different influences … I was very well received, for sure, absolutely.
High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or email@example.com.