The Story of Bad Lucy
"I'm told I'm mostly Irish Catholic, but they'll never quite convince me. Cause all the dark spots in my family tree were drifters, drunks and gipsies. I've been told that I'm a Virgo, and my exes say it fits. But some of them told me I'm a genius, so I guess my exes don't know shit."
So says Steve. Steve Baldino is to Bad Lucy what Leonardo is to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Unlike Leonardo, however, Steve's talent is his songwriting, and that is his primary contribution to Bad Lucy. Steve wrote his first song the day he found an old nylon string guitar sitting in his grandfather's attic when he was ten. His fascination with music led him to his father's record collection, which was mainly what is now called Classic Rock, but was then called heavy metal. Led Zeppelin, the Who, Deep Purple and VanHalen were Steve's earliest guitar teachers. Later, as Steve was offered paying gigs playing blues and jazz throughout high school, his influences diversified. His love of country music comes mostly from cousins in rural Virginia and a fellow guitar player from Paris, TX, named Brent Oglesby. It was Brent who convinced Steve to sneak away from the United States Naval Academy, where the two were midshipmen, to see Robert Earle Keen and James McMurtry play a show in Baltimore, Maryland. Robert Earle Keen and James McMurtry would later become huge influences on the fledgling songwriter. During his senior year in college, Steve stumbled across the Drive-By Truckers album, A Blessing and a Curse, while drinking his way through his first serious breakup. Jason Isbell and Mike Cooley instantly became Steve's lifelong role-models for how songs should be written and performed.
Many years, many songs, nine states and several careers later, Steve moved to Austin, TX, where he met Tim Dinkins while messing around with old classic rock cover tunes at a friend's house. The two remained friends and collaborators through four different musical projects until Bad Lucy was finally born, in the front yard of the house where Steve and Tim first jammed.
"Hey Steve, would you do me a favor play that Strat through the oscilloscope? I wanna see what the wave form looks like. Might need to add a capacitor to this circuit board..."
It's hard to pin down where Tim says he's from, as answers vary from Padouka, Kentucky to somewhere in the Florida Panhandle to Las Vegas. The band is convinced he was assembled from parts of various vintage amplifiers sometime in the late 1970's and miraculously came to life one night when struck by lightning at a Black Sabbath show. Tim learned blues guitar from his father, whose Les Paul he still plays today (pictured above), but he quickly became obsessed with heavy metal, quit school and joined a band. Though he can still conjure up the hair-raising riffs of his wild youth (One of his fondest memories is opening for Pantera in his late teens), living in Texas and playing with Steve these past years has taken its toll, and Tim's style has evolved into something between Randy Rhodes and Waylon Jennings.
Steve and Tim played as a duo and with several different acts for two years, but struggled to find the sound they were looking for in other players. Then the lease on Steve's apartment ended, and he took the plunge into the abyss that is Rooming With Strangers You Meet On Craigslist. One of those strangers turned out to be Bryan "Booze" Cruz.
"Look man, I know you've got stuff to do today, but you're just gonna have to do it high."
Bryan is very much the heart of the band. He's everyone's favorite drinking buddy and the driving force behind Bad Lucy's rhythmic sound. A child prodigy like Tim, Bryan was on tour playing bass with The Raspas, a reggae act out of Harlingen, TX, before he graduated a year early from high school. Since then he as played to packed houses of reggae and rock fans all over Texas and beyond with Sun Salutation, Axis Unity and the Sagans. Now, with Bad Lucy, he's helping create a sound unlike any other, and the fans all dig it, especially when he brings the show to a brief halt to chug a Lonestar between songs.
Steve and Bryan became close friends after forming the band, and frequent drinking buddies. One night after more polishing off a few more tallboys than usual with Bryan, Steve happened upon a table of attractive women, and sat down to regale them with stupid jokes, as was his habit in those days. One of those women was Elizabeth Boyea.
"Hookers make the best friends."
Elizabeth "E" Boyea grew up in upstate New York, the daughter of a Toronto Blue Jays third baseman and a professional piano player from Brooklyn. From a young age, it was clear to all of her music teachers, as well as her mother, that E was a very gifted singer. E continued to study music through college, and was offered a part in a prominent Broadway show upon graduating. She turned it down, however, and went into the service industry, like a real musician.
When E first joined Bad Lucy several years after moving to Austin, she started off by singing backup vocals while Steve sang lead on every song. Then one day Steve asked her to sing his song "The Roadhouse," a song about a restaurant manager who breaks her lover's heart by putting her career above their relationship. E jumped in with both feet, but changed the line "I spot a black Silverado with a bottle on the floor" to a brown Silverado, because her girlfriend, then and now, drives a brown Silverado. Steve says he's excited for further lyrical contributions.
E, like the rest of the band, loves being able to call Austin home, and loves it all the more thanks to her close knit group of friends, affectionately known as "The Hookers." The Hookers have remained some of Bad Lucy's most dedicated fans, despite having been regaled time and again with Steve's stupid jokes.
The band's sound improved dramatically as Elizabeth started singing more and more harmonies and taking the lead more and more often. But the band still needed one more addition to tighten up its sound. So Bryan got his buddy, Jake "The Snake" Moore, to take over on drums.
"You know you grew up in Shabonna, Illinois if you ever catch yourself talking shit about someone's crooked row of corn stalks."
Jake's about as country/ reggae as they come. He and Bryan play together in the Austin reggae band Axis Unity, but Jake grew up on David Allen Coe and Johnny Cash like some people grew up Catholic or Baptist. Seldom caught without his trucker hat and work boots, he looks every bit as country as his drumming sounds reggae. Equally happy playing a train beat to Folsom Prison Blues or a rolling through a tom fill in a dubbed out Sublime cover, Jake is exactly the drummer Bad Lucy needed to create the unique blending of its various and sometimes juxtaposed genres.
When he isn't smacking the skins Jake is generally welding a staircase or a guardrail in a high end home or bar, or throwing a slobbery tennis ball across the backyard for his much beloved mutt, Rusty.