Bixby Lane
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Bixby Lane

Band Rock Funk


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"Local Band Celebrates Release of New Album"

Local Band Celebrates Release of New Album
Local rock group Bixby Lane releases their debut album in style at Lee’s Summit’s own 3rd Street Pub on Friday, Oct. 22.

Lee’s Summit, MO, Sept. 28 - Bixby Lane, a homegrown rock group, will be celebrating the release of their first full-length album, For a Change, on Friday, October 22 at the 3rd Street Pub in downtown Lee’s Summit. The band will be performing live with fellow local musicians Large. The show will start at 9 PM and run until 1:15 AM. The new album will be available for sale, as well as other Bixby Lane and Large merchandise. Any further questions or information regarding the show can be found at
The band, over half of which grew up and still live in Lee’s Summit, is particularly excited about having the release party for the new album at 3rd Street. “Shirley (the owner of 3rd Street Pub) has done a lot of things to promote not only this band, but local music as a whole. We always look forward to working with her, particularly when it comes to something like our new album,” noted bassist Rick Willoughby. This comes as little surprise, considering that the band’s logo and picture adorn the wall of the venue (along with Large and several other local groups).
The group is indeed excited about the album’s release. “We created this thing entirely by ourselves. We wrote the songs, produced the music, mastered and mixed each track, and pieced together the artwork ourselves over the last nine months. So, For a Change, is something we are all proud of,” Willoughby stated. The fourteen track LP provides a unique mix of alternative rock, funk, jazz, and in some places even classical composition. Even with the varied musical influences the album consistently displays the group's consummately professional musical ability.

- Lee's Summit Journal

"Sounds of the Town"

If Steely Dan or the Crusaders switched to jam rock, they might sound like this: a band with a jazz vocabulary, an uptown posture and a fancy dance-floor groove. - T.F. The Kansas City Star

"Bixby Lane, Refreshing"

Bixby Lane is a unique quintet that morphs alternative, funk, jam band free-for-alls and smoky jazz into a tasty 14-song debut.
John Wirt (vocals, trumpet, guitar), Rick Willoughby (bass, vocals), Jeremy Watson (keyboards, vocals), Jeff Viets (guitar) and Giuliano Mingucci (drums) show a wide variety of styles, moods and musical influences.
The disc opens with straight rocker “Balance” and follows with the best track, “A Not So Quiet Afternoon,” a bluesy romp that shows off the band’s strong production.
“Sir Real” sounds like Fishbone meets English Beat and “And So You’ve Forgotten” brings up back to buzzing guitars.
Top notch musicians, Bixby Lane easily shifts gears from modern rock to trumpet-driven jazz for a very refreshing change of pace. - Troy Chrisman, Examiner Magazine


"Us" - Scheduled for release in June 2007
"For a Change" - Full Length LP - October 2004
Demo EP - 2003



Don’t let the first track from Bixby Lane’s sophomore effort CD “Us” fool you. Though it may sound like it, they’re not an emo band. It’s not that they’re fickle, they just have a wide range of musical influences to draw from. Influences ranging from The Beatles to Miles Davis to Radiohead create the band’s pleasurable mix of pop and rock.
Guitarist Jeff Viets describes: “We’re a rock band at heart. We make rock music and try to give our audience something to dance to.” Just take a look at the band’s danceable opening track “That’s Over Now”. A clever title to a song that appears first on a CD. This tune grabs you like a hook to a fish complete with a mimicked Fall Out Boy proclivity in the vocals. Can’t be for sure but it seems to me if you’re taking “That’s Over Now” too seriously you’re missing the point? “Exactly!” says trumpeter/guitarist/lead vocalist John Wirt. “I love the emo bands out there right because it totally reminds me of this new generation’s adaptation of the ‘hair bands’ that were big when I was growing up as a kid. We’re not an emo band by any means but this song just sort of wrote itself one night and we thought it would be entertaining. The song is completely as serious as it is not serious. The spiteful nature of the lyrics definitely shouldn’t be taken to heart.”
The second track on the CD “I’ll Not Stand in the Way” shifts almost 180 degrees from the first track. Instead of a blazing sawtooth keyboard lead and an up tempo beat, this songs starts with just voice and piano. “It’s a lot for the listener to take in,” says bassist Rick Willoughby. “We just didn’t want to pigeon-hole ourselves into saying ‘okay we’re only going to play this kind of music’ or ‘we’re only going to play that kind of music’. We all listen to so many different styles of music and find an appreciation in all of it.”
The band unquestionably wears many hats. “Sometimes,” says drummer Giuliano Mingucci, “we prefer to show our jazz influences as in songs like Miss Construed and The Top.” This brings us to the other lead vocalist/keyboardist/pianist and composer of the aforementioned songs, Jeremy Watson. “John’s style of writing and my style of writing are comparatively different,” says Watson, “but we certainly meet somewhere in the middle.”
The drums and piano on this disc were recorded by Eric Summers at Berry Music Group in Kansas City but the rest of the CD was recorded and mixed by the band’s own Giuliano Mingucci who spent hours upon hours at the mixing board to get the sound just right. “It’s a good thing that I don’t charge these guys by the hour!” says Mingucci. The CD was then mastered by audio engineer Don C. Tyler in Los Angeles, CA whose roster includes The Barenaked Ladies, Beck, James Blunt, and The Rolling Stones among scores of others. The striking art on the CD was created by Bill Phelan.
The new disc also features a string quartet in the mix. “This was a new step for us,” says Viets. “Maybe we’ll start leaning more in this direction…who knows?” Right now the band is quite focused on where they’ll lean in the future. But they’re also in the now…in the moment. And they hope you’ll come along too, on a ride where all are welcome.