The incredible Lipbone Redding returns to Sundilla on Thursday, September 24. Showtime at the AUUF is 7:30; $12 advance tickets are available at Spicer’s Music, Mama Mocha’s Coffeee, Blooming Colors, and online at www.sundillamusic.com.
It’s an overused accolade, but it has never been more appropriate: Lipbone Redding MUST be seen to be appreciated. His songs and stories are fantastic enough to stand on their own merits, but that moment you understand why he’s called “Lipbone”—like we said, you have to experience it to understand it. (And to show just how he blew away so many Sundilla fans at his previous performance, consider this: only Act of Congress has elicited as many “That was the best concert I’ve ever seen!” comments as Lipbone Redding.)
Storyteller, songwriter, guitarist and voice-stramentalist Lawrence “Lipbone” Redding, has spent the last 20 years traveling the world collecting and recounting exotic tales through music and performance art. Despite humble beginnings as a New York City subway singer, Lipbone now performs in festivals, theaters and concert halls across America and Europe. He also teaches workshops and collaborates with other musicians, dancers, and performance artists.
What began as an attempt to populate his songs with more soloing, has become a trademark and an innovative instrument all its own. Redding worked the subways of New York City during the late night hours in 1998 through 2001 singing soulful ballads and stomping out echoey grooves. Late one night when a crowd of weary straphangers had gathered on the northbound side of the uptown 6 platform at Spring Street, something amazing happened. Always prone to imitating sounds and people, Redding began using his voice as a wordless solo instrument over the funky strumming of his acoustic guitar, a kind of wailing that bounced from wall to wall in the subterranean cavern. He reformed the shape of his lips, and quite by accident, the sound resembled a brass instrument. Long slow sliding tones and bright brash explosions of musical joy. The commuters smiled and applauded as the train pulled into the station. Thus was born, “The Lipbone.”
After traveling the world for several years, performing with musical artists from many cultures and with extended visits to South America and India, Lipbone came back to New York. He worked tirelessly to advance his performing career by playing in cafes, bars and restaurants. He recorded and printed his own CDs and sold thousands of copies. Several months later, he had 4 steady shows a week as a solo artist.
Making a leap of faith in 1998, Lipbone began playing in the subways of Manhattan. An already accomplished performance artist and aspiring songwriter, he honed his craft in the late-night cathedrals and underground labyrinth of the New York City Transit system.
In 2001, Lipbone began an epic adventure that is still unfolding. He traveled to South America where he witnessed the power of music opening the hearts and homes of strangers. He was struck with a revelation that music was the key to spirituality and community.
Upon his return to the states, Lipbone loaded up his little camper truck, “The Beautiful Flying Machine,” and made his way from town to town via the highways and byways of America. Sleeping by rivers and in forests, playing music in small venues, campuses and communities, he remained diligent in his dream of a sustainable life comprised of music, travel and creativity.
In 2003, his travels led him to San Francisco, where he performed for early morning yoga classes and in the clubs at night, quickly earning a reputation as a versatile artist with a positive message. It was in San Francisco that he was introduced to the music of India and South Asia. That same year he followed the Ganges in India into the Himalayas. There he remained for a year, living in ashrams, and playing music with local masters.
Lipbone returned to NYC in 2005 playing 6 nights a week. He had left the underground behind and put his effort into regular shows at established venues. He formed the Lipbone Orchestra and composed music for world famous choreographer Bill T. Jones. The show, featuring Lipbone’s unique vocal talents, toured to France, Spain and Italy. He and his fellow artists’ efforts received a 2007 Obie Award for best collaboration and Toronto’s Dora Mavis Moorer Award for best production.
Several of Lipbone’s songs have become Americana and Jamband radio hits throughout the U.S. and he can be heard on NPR, Internet and Community radio stations, as well as in TV and film sound tracks.
Since he first began in the subway, Lipbone has released 8 albums and many live recordings selling thousands worldwide and with his blessing, pirated by many more. He has collaborated with artists, musicians, theater & dance troupes, and toured widely, performing over 200 shows a year.
Lipbone Redding will put on the funkiest, grooviest, get-up-and-danciest Sundilla concert you’ve ever seen, and he’ll do it with some incredible songs, some great guitar work, and the most incredible one-man brass section anyone has ever heard. And we can’t say it enough: you have to see it to believe it. And once you see it, you’ll beg to see it again and again.
(We’re not alone in our esteem for Lipbone. Jim Promock of the Colorado Blues Society says “Lipbone Redding may be the most remarkable band I’ve seen. Playing mostly original material, he presents a wonderfully entertaining and engaging show. He interacts with the audience and there is a story for nearly every song. Gritty and bluesy vocals, guitar, and the voice instrumentals of Mr. Redding, who just could be the hottest trombonist around. Check out the recordings but see him in person if you can. You won’t believe your eyes, and you won’t stop smiling.”
Lipbone Redding will be performing at Sundilla on Thursday, September 24; showtime at the AUUF is 7:30. Admission at the door will be $15, but $12 advance tickets are available at Spicer’s Music, Mama Mocha’s Coffee, Blooming Colors, and online at www.sundillamusic.com. We’ll have free coffee, tea, water and food, and as always, attendees are invited to bring whatever food or beverage they prefer. For more information, go to www.sundilllamusic.com.