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Track-by-Track: Dave Lebental Details His New Album ‘The Long Player’

Veteran rocker Dave Lebental track-by-track details his new, 11-song album ‘’The Long Player,’ blending blues, rock, and Americana.



Dave Lebental, photo courtesy of artist
Dave Lebental, photo courtesy of artist

After a 27-year hiatus, seasoned LA musician Dave Lebental is back on the scene with a new album titled The Long Player. A play on his long hiatus, as well as his long career in the music industry, The Long Player shows that Lebental isn’t just in this for a quick 15 minutes in the spotlight… he’s in it because he loves it. Because music is a passion. And, because it’s something that will never leave his soul.

Having shared the spotlight with ex-Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor, opening for him in the ’90s LA Club scene among other notable artists, Lebental’s experience as a veteran rocker is on full display. A tasty blend of rock, Americana, and blues, the diverse 11-track LP is a testament to resilience, dedication, and a love for the art that transcends time.

Dave Lebental with Mick Taylor, courtesy of artist

Dave Lebental with Mick Taylor, courtesy of artist

1. “I’m Not Too Old”

“‘I’m Not Too Old’ is a rockin’ feel-good anthem for the older set. This track is a blend of rock, country, and electric blues. Notable influences include Little Feat, Tom Petty, & Jerry Garcia. From the very 1st lyric, you get all the proof you need to conclude that Dave Lebental is singing to his own generation (‘I’m too old to be told what to say…. I’m used to havin’ things my own way’). ‘I’m Not Too Old’ delivers a lighthearted bounce that masks some pointed lyrics about aging and marriage. In addition to singing, Dave plays the acoustic & electric guitars, bass, piano, Hammond organ and sax on the recording.”

2. “The Next Train Out of Town”

“On the surface, ‘The Next Train Out of Town’ seems to tell the life story of a restless old hobo named Derek. But on a deeper level, it’s about how following your own pathway & convictions can cause pain to the people closest to you in your life. ‘The Next Train Out of Town’ is an Americana Country Rock track punctuated with a gritty vocal and some ‘rough n’ ready’ slide guitar. Stylistically, this song lives somewhere between Ryan Bingham, Bob Dylan, & Steve Earl. The production sounds more reminiscent of Merle & Waylon than any recent Nashville hits. ‘I’m into roots music that sounds like it needs a fresh coat of paint,’ says Lebental.”

3. “Bring It Around”

“‘Bring It Around’ is an acoustic soul track loaded with tasty guitar riffs, horn punches, and vintage Hammond organ. Dave’s soulful vocals bring echoes of Ben Harper, Taj Mahal and Roy Orbison. It’s Kinda bluesy – kinda pop – kinda rock, and….. 100% Dave Lebental. ‘Bring It Around’ is about a close friend of Dave’s who was in a highly volatile relationship with his girlfriend. The couple had constant arguments with head strong moments. Dave explains, ‘They would say regrettable sh*t to each other. I had a ringside seat to their domestic in-tranquility. They would retreat to separate apartments and cool off. After a little while he’d start missing her and try and get back in her arms.’”

4. “Monique”

“If you’ve ever gotten mixed signals from someone you’re dating, then ‘Monique’ is a song you’ll relate to. It was inspired by a guy that Dave was friends with who would ask him for advice about the woman he was dating. Dave explains, ‘The guy was crazy about her while she would frequently act standoff-ish and disinterested in him. The thing that amazed me was that, despite her ambivalence, my buddy was 100% sure he would eventually win her undying love.’ The guy’s self-assured optimism, against the odds, forms the cornerstone of the lyrics. ‘I felt the song needed to be sung from his perspective, so I tell the story as if it were my own.’ ‘Monique,’ is a blend of singer-songwriter style with a touch of front porch blues & jazz-a-ma-tazz added in! The arrangement is a slow steady build starting with just an acoustic guitar. As the story unfolds, Dave adds in bass, electric guitar, and the Hammond Organ. On the bridge he plays 4 different horn parts to add punch to the section. Later in the song he lays out solos on electric guitar and saxophone to add some elegance.”

5. “Granite Meadow”

“I was sitting in a meadow in the mountains and there was no one around. There were none of the sounds of the city; no cars, no voices, no sirens, no leaf blowers. At first all I heard was silence. Then I started to hear the music of the meadow. I heard the sound of the wind moving through the tree branches and the different insects flying around. In the distance, I could hear several types of birds who were all conversing with each other. After some quiet contemplation, I looked up at the shear granite cliffs and outcroppings. The scope of geologic time hit me upside my head! I could actually feel both my relevance and irrelevance in the scope of life. I could feel the ‘here and now’ but also clearly see that I was just passing through time. A blip on the radar of the mountains and meadow. Just like the insects, birds and the breeze. When I got home I wrote this song on an acoustic guitar and voice. For the recording, I wanted to hear the colors that I saw in meadow and the mountains so I decided to keep the verses sparse and build a color palette in the chorus. I introduced a soft but grooving bass line, added in a Rhodes electric piano and then a shimmering electric guitar. Then, as the electric guitar chord naturally faded, I added in a subtle Hammond organ. I brought the track to its conclusion with just the acoustic guitar playing alone to signify the serenity of sitting in the meadow.”

6. “My Heart’s on Fire”

“‘My Heart’s on Fire,’ is a roots-rock-roller coaster ride. The sound of the recording reaches back to the early days of rock n’ roll. The sound is reminiscent of Sam Phillips’ Sun Studios in Memphis, TN. Mix in a dash of Texas Swing along with some West Coast cool and you’ve got the DNA of this track. The lyrics of ‘My Heart’s on Fire’ tap into the energy and lust of a teenage guy starting to become interested in girls. To tap into the needed youthful energy, the lead vocal, drums, and rhythm guitar were recorded live in one take. Dave then added the piano, bass and harmonies as overdubs. ‘My Heart’s on Fire’ surely owes a nod to Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, The Stray Cats, and Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys.”

7. “5 O’clock Quittin’ Time”

“This song lays out how I was feeling about trading my time & labor for a wage. Let’s just say, when 5 O’clock came, I was ready to cut loose and party. By the way, I didn’t change any of the names mentioned in the song!. ‘5 O’Clock Quittin’ Time’ is built on a finger pickin’ country blues pattern. Dave layers in some dobro, piano, bass and drums to give the recording some texture. This song was lyrically influenced by Johnny Paycheck and sonically lives beside Ray Wylie Hubbard, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Bruce Springsteen.”

Dave Lebental 'The Long Player' album artwork

Dave Lebental ‘The Long Player’ album artwork

8. “Painted Desert Sky”

“‘Painted Desert Sky” is a song about loneliness, love-lost and regret. The recording transports the listener into the American Southwest landscape. The main character is a solitary trucker on a long haul who reveals the mistakes he made that cost him the love of his life. Dave was inspired to write this song while driving alone through the desert. “During those long, lonely stretches I found myself reflecting on the past. I would occasionally pass truckers on the road and wondered if the desert had the same effect on them”. Stylistically, the song lives in the world of The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Eagles, Zac Brown Band, and Poco. On “Painted Desert Sky” Dave Lebental sings all the vocals and plays the Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Hammond Organ, Electric Piano, Pedal Steel Guitar, Electric Guitar, and Harmonica.”

9. “No One Else Can Do It”

“‘No One Else Can Do It”, is a declaration of true love for couples who have been together for a good long time. Dave comfortably writes and sings songs to, and about, people over 50 years old.
The storyline of this lyric reaffirms the respect and love older couples feel but often don’t express to each other. Musically, “No One Else Can Do it” is fusion of Ragtime, Delta Blues and Singer Songwriter that draws it’s influences from the songs of the 1920’s & 1930’s. The chorus has a 1920’s “Flapper era” feel that’s sure to make you smile. “No One Else Can Do it” sounds like an entertaining mash up of Cole Porter, Blind Wille McTell and Lyle Lovett.

Dave explains the creation of his arrangement for “No One Else Can Do it”; “I wanted an acoustic arrangement with an upbeat rhythm. Drummer Tim Freund added in a clever groove that allowed me to play a swing style bass line. On the choruses I added in the Hammond Organ to give the track a little touch of gospel. As the arrangement unfolds, I bring in some 1920’s style piano riffs as counterpoint. “No One Else Can Do it” provided me with so much exploration and creativity; all in a compact 3 minutes and 28 seconds.’”

10. “Let’s Just Stay In Bed”

“Occasionally, we need to break the rules of the daily routine to get back to what really matters. “Let’s Just Stay in Bed” is a call to action to “blow off” the morning and snuggle up with your special one. Then, later in the day, when your eyes meet, you’ll get a look that you haven’t seen in a while…

“‘Let’s Just Stay in Bed” is a very quiet acoustic guitar and vocal song. Dave explains “I wanted the sound of the recording to match the intimacy of waking up in bed, right next to your special one. The lyrics describe one of the quietest moments of the day. To match that moment, I played a very soft finger picking pattern on my acoustic guitar. I paired that with a softly sung vocal to provide intimacy.”

11. “What You Got”

“The Long Player LP closes out with “What You Got”, a song about trying to figure out where your talent lies and how to use it to the best of your ability. Dave wrote this song for his 3 sons who are now in their 20’s. “It’s some fatherly advice that I hope might help them find their way in the world and prepare them for life’s successes and disappointments”. “What You Got” is a blend of singer songwriter, funky blues and rock. This track’s influences include Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Ryan Adams, and Tom Petty. On this recording, Dave Lebental sings all the vocals, and plays Acoustic Guitar, Dobro, Bass, Hammond Organ, Saxophone, Harmonica, and Triangle.

Lebental fulfills a personal promise with this album by donating all proceeds from his vinyl and CD sales of The Long Player to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, where his son was saved 20 years ago.”

Dawn Jones is the curator of the V13 imPRESSED Column. Previously known as imPRESSED Indie Music Blog, Jones and her team joined forces with V13 in 2020 to collaborate on an exclusive column on V13's site (imPRESSED) to bring a niche focus to the rapidly evolving indie music genre. Dawn is also the founder of Pressed PR - a boutique PR agency that focuses on PR for independent creatives. Pressed PR’s team works on a variety of campaigns partnering with independent filmmakers, independent artists, and independent labels. Pressed PR’s music clientele has landed in the pages of Billboard, Atwood Magazine, EARMILK, HYPE Magazine, and many others.