L Shape Lot
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L Shape Lot

Wilmington, North Carolina, United States

Wilmington, North Carolina, United States
Band Americana Acoustic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Shaping Up for New CD:"

Shaping Up for New CD:
L Shape Lot brings new tunes to Azalea Festival

By: John HItt

Me and a buddy of mine were tooling around downtown a couple of years ago, and we happened into the Soapbox. Well, I think it was the Soapbox; neither of us seems to remember for sure. But we were, in fact, downtown somewhere, and we were, in fact, probably partying a bit. And it was a piss-poor night for nightlife—the cops on the horses didn’t even bother coming out.

There was nobody around, nothing going on, and I had to pee. Then we heard the music. And it was good. So good, in fact, that my buddy--we’ll call him Tobey, ‘cause that’s his name—set off into his trademark dance, the half-helicopter, half-chicken-headed concoction that Tobey performs whenever the music is good enough. The band was outstanding, playing some sort of banjo-free, folk-bluegrass. We stayed a while. I forgot I had to pee.

Come to find out, the band was L Shape Lot, and we knew we’d see them at many more gigs. Tobey always needed an outlet for the chicken dance, and we both know talent when we see and hear it.

You’ve probably seen L Shape Lot before. They’re prolific giggers, taking every opportunity to show off their craft to the public. But these local boys have been busy lately, laying down a few tracks for their newly-released album, Go ‘Til I’m Gone. The band has released other albums, most recently a live disc in 2005, but this is a new incarnation for the band. Eighteen tracks long, the album was surprisingly recorded, in the words of their liner notes, “between the hours of 2pm and 9pm” back in December. You’d never know that the album was the result of just seven hours at Audio Genesis.

I had a chance to sit in with L Shape Lot recently as they played live on-air at the 106.7 Penguin studio. Between songs, which sounded great over the air, the guys showed off their fun-loving personalities, most notably when Eric heaped starstruck praise onto WUIN personality Kimberly MacLaughlin (also known as the Night Nurse). For those of you who heard that performance--or anyone who’s seen them live, for that matter: listen to the record. They did a great job of translating some of the fun, personal aspects of their shows to a permanent recording.

That’s a tough thing to do. L Shape Lot offers one of the best shows in town, combining their originals and covers with great conversation and many laughs. Singer/guitarist Eric Miller has a booming, slightly countrified voice that travels for several city blocks, and the rest of the band members (Steve Todd, mandolin; Rick Williams, bass; John Kovalski, drums & percussion) add to the show with obvious musical talent and backup vocals.

The album stands out in several places. The first track, “Gone,” starts the album well, with a mandolin-heavy, well-harmonized piece that shows off the band member’s musical abilities perfectly. The race for best track on the album, however, is between “Shine” (written by Eric Miller) and “Lucky Stars” (by Steve Todd). “Shine” is a funky, stripped-down ballad that gives Miller a chance to show off his vocal skills and musical talent. “Lucky Stars,” on the other hand, is a fun, upbeat song that would certainly bring out Tobey’s chicken jig.

In other words, the album shows that the band has versatility and is willing to use it. You can find the new CD at Althea’s Attic on Eastwood and Finkelstein’s Music downtown. Pick it up, and check out L Shape Lot on the Azalea Festival main stage on April 8th and at Hell’s Kitchen later that night.
For more info on L Shape Lot, visit www.lshapelot.com
- By: John HItt Encore Magazine

"Local bluegrass fave L Shape Lot makes a tidy transition to CD with a new album, Go Til I'm Gone"

Wilmington four-piece L Shape Lot has gone to great lengths to pay its dues on North Carolina's progressive bluegrass circuit over the past few years, and the band's new album, Go 'Til I'm Gone serves as evidence.

L Shape Lot - John Kovalski (drums, backup vocals), Steve Todd (mandolin, vocals), Rick Williams (bass, backup vocals), and Eric Miller (lead vocals, guitar) finds a comfortable but polished sound on its highly anticipated new disc of finely crafted originals, and it suits them like a pair of worn overalls. Stories and sing-alongs from celebrated live performances jump from the stage to the studio with remarkable ease, confirming that what makes this band so popular is based on more than crowd participation and lack of pretentiousness.

Miller's vocal abilities would have the potential to eclipse the other members in a band of less talented musicians; standout tracks such as Shine and Tomorrow provide him with the opportunity to lend his distinctive voice to a straightforward message with some very solid backup.

Todd's gifted mandolin playing fairly glows on She Left Me Singin'and Gone, on which the band hasn't missed the importance of creating a great hook. Devoted fans in search of the energy from LSL�s live shows will no doubt be drawn to the infectious sing-alongs Love is a Train and Walkin' in the Holler. And while they're not searching to break any boundaries with original themes, ramblin and lost love are an ideal path to take for folk and bluegrass music, and will score points with their traditionalist bluegrass fans.

All the best elements of the group seem to come together on tracks such as The Pass and She Left Me Singin', which give the musicians a chance to stretch their storytelling skills and instrumental legs with some very fine picking. Making their way through an easy blend of folk and bluegrass seems to be second nature for the members of L Shape Lot, and Go 'Til I'm Gone is proof that they can successfully evolve from a great live band to a first-rate studio band. - Wilmington Star News

"Yes Weekly - Reveiw"

"[L Shape Lot] takes the most beloved qualities of Union Station, Alabama, and the Del McCoury Band and rolls them into a comprehensive roots album that, in an overall sense almost defies classification."
-Ryan Snyder - Yes Weekly - Ryan Snyder

"L Shape Lot - CD Reveiw"

Considering this week's unseasonably cold weather, "Looks Like Snow" turned out to be the perfect title for Wilmington band L Shape Lot's brand-new album, which it will release during a show at Hell's Kitchen on Halloween. But the CD's title is at ironic odds with the popular group's country-folk sound, which is nothing if not warm, cozy and comfortable.
For the first several years of its existence, L Shape Lot was consistently termed "bluegrass," but with "Looks Like Snow" the band can officially retire that label. The mandolin no longer figures into L Shape's sound, and while the mostly acoustic album has its fair share of blistering, bluegrass-style guitar runs, the songs on "Snow," with their variety of influences, aren't so easily categorized.

There's a smoothness here that comes from a dovetailing of L Shape Lot's musical parts. The band is led by a pair of singer/guitarists. Eric Miller's deep, earthy vocals blend perfectly with the sweet, higher-pitched tones of Alex Lanier. Drummer John Kovalski and bassist Rick Williams make for an almost imperceptibly solid rhythm section.

Miller and Lanier switch off on lead vocals and harmonize on nearly every song, and the band consistently changes tempos, giving the album a sense of ebb and flow. There's the mellow "Next Time," the mid-tempo title track, the jumpily rockin' "Lost Again" and the flat-out, guitar-picked sprint of "Down to Church," which eventually downshifts into some spine-tingling, gospel harmonies.

Also standing out is the deeply groovy, countrified bluesiness of "Same Old Thing" which is a little slice of musical perfection.

If anything, at nearly 75 minutes there might be too much of "Looks Like Snow," which could've been pared down by losing four or five of the weaker tracks, thereby making the strongest songs stand out all the more. Even so, this record shows L Shape Lot at the top of its game.

- John Staton - Wilmington - Star News

"L Shape Lot"

"The band has been spreading it's infectious sound into other states, including South Carolina and Virginia...you will certainly find yourself under their tremendous musical spell.

-Chrisopher Asher - Focus on the Coast Magazine. - Focus on the Coast Magazine


Looks Like Snow - 2009
Go 'Til I'm Gone - 2006
Live from the Slow Lane - 2005
It Aint Grass....But it Is -2003



Mixing a healthy amount of musical chops, honest and creative songwriting,
powerful stage presence, and well-sung four-part harmonies, L Shape Lot creates
an original and dynamic Americana sound based in country, rock, bluegrass, and
roots/folk music. Their lively sound explores new ground, while still paying
homage to their predecessors. L Shape Lot is from Wilmington, NC and consists of
four members: Eric Miller (acoustic guitar, vocals), Alex Lanier (electric,
acoustic guitar, vocals) Rick Williams (6 string electric bass, up right bass,
vocals), and John Kovalski (drums, vocals).
Their high-energy live shows have become a hot ticket at both night clubs
and music festivals of all types. This group of veteran musicians has been
perfecting their sound for over 8 years. Its genesis was the steady train-like
acoustic guitar layered over an almost imperceptibly tight country/bluegrass
rhythm section with Eric Miller's booming baritone roots vocals. But it came
into full bloom when Alex Lanier brought his blistering proficiency on both
acoustic guitar and a Fender Telecaster to the mix. In 2009, the band completed
their second full-length studio release, Looks Like Snow, and earned excellent
press and numerous honors including Encore Magazine's Best Band and The Beat
Magazine's Best Country Band. They have become the go-to roots band in the area
for touring national acts, sharing the stage with The Avett Brothers, Peter
Frampton, Drew Emmit from Leftover Salmon, Larry Keel and Natural Bridge,
Chatham County Line, and most recently Railroad Earth. 2010 finds LSL moving
beyond the confines of their coastal stomping grounds to serve up their unique
brand of "on your feet" Americana throughout the Southeastern US.
So what else can you expect at a live L Shape Lot performance? Expect to
hear music ranging from solid originals to classic country, to traditional
bluegrass, to a unique blend of all genres. Expect to dance even if you aren't
good at it. Expect to find out why these guys are consistently invited to play
bluegrass festivals, even though they are typically the only act there that
includes electric guitars and drums. Expect knowledge of and respect for
multiple musical genres and a passion for weaving them together. Expect to see
four gentlemen with the utmost dedication to professionalism and showmanship
having the time of their lives and doing their best to make sure that their
audience does the same.