Gritty blues and rock take the Elk Creek stage

If you’ve ever been to a live music performance, it’s easy to see how a band’s stage presence can translate to how much fun the audience may or may not have at a show. For Hannah Taylor and the Rekardo Lee Trio, it’s important to make sure their audiences have a good time and to do that, they make sure they have a good time, too.

“Bands always say ‘We’re here to have a good time — but we actually do,” said Taylor.

Taylor, technically listed as “lead singer and guitar player,” more colorfully describes her role as “general peacocking and entertainment,” and is proud of her “pipes of gold.” Backing her up (in Taylor’s words) is Rekardo Lee (also known as Jesse Lundy) with his “sweet (electric) guitar licks turned up to 11,” Chris Bix, “holding the fort down with an air of stoic-ness” on bass guitar and Alec Meltzer with his “grungy hot drum smashing.”

The band will take the stage from 8-11 p.m. on April 21 at the Elk Creek Cafe and Aleworks in Millheim. Billed as a blend of gritty blues and straight rock, influenced heavily by the British rock scene from the ’60s-’70s, a night with Hannah Taylor and the Rekardo Lee Trio promises to be a good time.

“We have a certain kind of grit that (for me personally) is hard to put a finger on,” said Taylor. “I sing from the heart and the guys play hard. The authenticity is there. And since we’re all down to earth people, we roll with the punches and it really reflects on stage. Anything can go. And we all have such fun playing with each other.”

Though the guys in the group have been playing together for years, Taylor is a newer addition.

“Chris, Alec and myself have been playing together for years,” said Lundy. “There used to be a Country Night at a dive bar called Bob & Barbara’s in town and we wanted to play. We’d been hanging out there, met Hannah and invited her to do a one-off show together (playing country and rockabilly, to fit the theme of the gig), but it was such a great match we stuck together.”

The fact that they so seamlessly fit together is reflected in their performances, said Lundy.

“Sure, we’re here to entertain the audience, but we want it to be fun for us,” he explained. “We’re not up there posing like we’re rock stars or wearing goofy costumes — it’s just us, rockin’ out for you.”

The band first performed at Elk Creek last fall and it was, said Lundy, “overwhelming” and “amazing.”

“The response we got at Elk Creek in November was totally overwhelming,” he said. “These people had no idea who we were and we were the first band on that day. By the end of our set, we were asked back.”

Guests at the upcoming show can expect to hear a unique combination of multiple musical worlds that blends Taylor’s love of “old lady country crooners” like Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynne and Dolly Parton and her “deep, deep love for rock and roll and blues.”

“Anything from the heart I dig,” she said.

The guys in the band cite influences like Fleetwood Mac, Jeff Beck and The Rolling Stones.

“That has been creeping into our sound more and more,” said Lundy. “But we do really love the classic rockabilly acts.”

Though the band hasn’t written any of the songs they perform, most are obscure enough that people often think they have, explained Lundy.

“Thrown in are songs made famous by Elvis, Ricky Nelson, Eddie Cochrane and others,” he said.

“We are so stoked to bring our world and attitude to the countryside. We hope we’re not too loud, but keep the drinks flowing, and you’ll definitely want to party with us,” said Taylor.

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