“I’ve Got Some Ideas Here …” Dave Lebental

Growing up in Southern California during the ‘80s, Dave Lebental’s interest in music was initially fueled by the eclectic mix albums he heard his older sister playing. “Being a young kid,” he remembers, “I was hearing all that. And then once I became 12 or 13 I would spend my pocket change on buying albums.” Although he played brass instruments in the junior high band, by high school, Dave says, “…of course I needed to get my hands on a guitar.” As he learned guitar and played in bands, “that’s when the bug really spiraled out of control.”

During this time Dave also caught the writing bug: “It didn’t take long until I was like, ‘I wonder if I could write a song. I’ve got some ideas here…’” Songwriting became his primary free-time activity during college. He also gained valuable experience when he brought his band in to record in the studio where he was taking an electronic music class. In hindsight, Dave notes, “You know, we only had four tracks in those days…We learned to coalesce ideas into…the best form they could be, using that number of tracks…”

Dave spent about eight years making his living as a cover band musician, which he credits for building his chops, but which also took its toll. After this, he opted for a day job and a continued presence in the LA club scene, while also pursuing the elusive “record deal” for his original music. “Honestly when it comes to the business side of things and being here in LA—man, I didn’t barely scratch a dent.”

At this point (the mid ‘90s) Dave’s focus turned to his family, and stayed there for two-and-a-half decades. But as he entered his sixties, with his two sons grown, the music bug reasserted itself in his life. He started writing new songs on his acoustic guitar and learned how to record them in his home studio. The ultimate result is The Long Player, a self-produced collection of 11 Americana, blues and rock tracks that owe a debt to the likes of James Taylor, Ryan Adams, The Eagles, Tom Petty, and the Beatles.

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