The Legionnaires
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The Legionnaires

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Apr
28
The Legionnaires @ The Nestor

Fargo, North Dakota, USA

Fargo, North Dakota, USA

Apr
20
The Legionnaires @ The Nestor

Fargo, North Dakota, USA

Fargo, North Dakota, USA

Mar
30
The Legionnaires @ The Nestor

Fargo, North Dakota, USA

Fargo, North Dakota, USA

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

Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


Of all the rumors tumbling around these parts about the Legionnaires, the one they will least tolerate is that they're actually a super-group stocked with members of local bands, rather than a bunch of southern-bred, "real country" troubadors with lust in their hearts and the law on their tails.

"That's horse-pucky!", complains singer and guitarist Cactus Kristofferson. Bass player J. "Skull" McCready grunts in agreement. "What kind of low down cattle rustler would spread some kind of horse manure like that?"

Self-described as "old school country and bluegrass music with the rude talk you secretly love", they've reached near-phenomenon status in the area since their debut here in late 2004 - enrapturing crowds with their stunning performances and songs like "Rotten Rhonda" and "You Never Let Me Pee On You". And should anyone doubt their claim to be the torchbearers of pure country-western (aside from Cactus's insistence that Toby Keith hit on him in a parking lot, and Skull's declaration that "We got no truck for this new country"), the story of the Legionnaires - and its individual members - is the stuff that campfire tales are made of.

As Cactus tells it, he and his brother Copenhagen (also a Legionnaire, of whom he says, "He cleans up real well") were separated at birth, only to be reunited a year ago at a tractor pull and wet t-shirt contest. "[My mother] was stranded on the side of the road in Arizona, and she had to go into labor. It's family legend that she looked over on her one side and saw a cactus, looked over on her other side and saw a can of Copenhagen, and so we were named - me and my brother - Cactus and Copenhagen."

Skull, for his part, hailed from Goldthwaite, Texas, and "hooked up with the Kristofferson brothers...in El Paso I guess it was, at the Seven Bar Ranch," he recalls. "We did some runnin' around in that town. We had to leave rather suddenly, and we thought we'd go where the heat would be a little less. So we thought, we need to come up here and be the premiere country and bluegrass band in North Dakota. And we think we've achieved that. And I hear no argument, so it must be true."

The transition from their former day jobs as ranch hands to musical sensations, however, only first came to them on their trek north, during which they picked up three more Legionnaires: acoustic guitarist/vocalist Jethro "New Money" Fink, keyboardist Philip De Snaatch, and electric guitarist Gunter Banger.

"Originally, we thought, I can only carry so many cattle all day," Skull says. "So we thought we'd put our hands to gentler uses." "Yeah, a guitar weighs less than a cow," notes Cactus, before adding his signature addendum, "and that's a fact."

"Besides, you don't want to be too rough with the ladies," Skull continues. "So music being a passion...you know, Cactus never would shut up; he'd be singing in the back of the wagon - that's a station wagon - so we thought, hell, Cactus got hisself a good voice, we got us enough people with washboards and a jug, we could put together a decent band."

Skull and Cactus - hardly the poster children for temperance of any sort (they may or may not be swigging moonshine as we speak) - would likely be the first to announce that they exceeded their expectations. The music itself is first-rate country that would have found likely champions in Waylon Jennings, Bob Wills, Hank Williams, and - had the film been about three men on a journey of sexual conquest - could have been the score for "O Brother, Where Art Thou". But the Legionnaires would be quick to insist that the philosophy in the music transcends easily defined themes (such as receiving certain carnal gratifications around the holiday season), and speaks to a larger truth: that theirs is the message of living, and living right.

"We live the life so you don't have to," Skull explains. "But we talk about the things that everybody has to deal with and that everybody faces, but ain't nobody want to talk about. Trials and tribulations." "Lot about love, too, though," Cactus says. "It's a love thing."

Skull agrees. "And exploring the different varieties of love. Women we knew..." "Women," Cactus adds wistfully, "we didn't want to know."

And yet, the message seems even more deceptively simple and, dare we say, admirable. This is the music of feeling good - of barrooms, hanky panky in a hayloft, and never looking back. And, as Skull will insist, nobody does it better than the Legionnaires.

"Coming to one of our shows could be the different in your year," he says. "We think it's important to come out and support local, quality music, [and] for everyone to develop a friendship so the band knows the fans, and the fans know the band. And we think that, if at any time during one of our performances, the police pull up outside, we'd really appreciate a little heads-up." "Yeah," Cactus readily concurs. "So we can get the hell out of there."

"We're a bunch of back door men," - High Plains Reader


Fargo's The Legionnaires...spread their X-rated lyrics around like the disease for which they're named. But, like their namesake, The Legionnaires are just as infectious and contagious. Their fame spread throughout jam bands at 10 K Lakes last year as burns from their shows circulated, with several wanting to track down the band when they swung through the region again. Though their lyrics are geared to shock ("They actually said that on stage?!"), their instrumentation is a step away from country into jam twilight zone. - High Plains Reader


Discography

Live versions of nearly all of our songs are available for streaming and download at http://www.thelegionnaires.net/tunes and http://www.myspace.com/ndlegionnaires.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

From their first gig in the basement bar of a Fargo, North Dakota strip club, to their fall 2005 appearance at the legendary Cabooze club in Minneapolis, The Legionnaires have become a hot topic on the lips of music and comedy fans across the upper midwest. Their unique blend of country, rock, bluegrass, and world beat music is nearly as noteworthy as their hilariously raunchy lyrics about forbidden carnal pleasures, life on the road, and the prices paid for indulging in too much of both. Take warning, the subject matter in this incredibly entertaining show is not appropriate for all ages crowds but their energetic performances and commanding stage presence are perfectly suited for a roof-raising, floor-stomping party that is sure to leave your patrons asking when the next Legionnaires show is coming to town.

Their showmanship and musicianship has not been overlooked by their peers, either. In just one short year of playing several venues in North Dakota and Minnesota, they have already shared the stage with some of the most established and up-and-coming artists in the Upper Midwest including Wookiefoot, Trampled By Turtles, Stealin' Strings, DownLo, 40 Watt Bulb, The White Iron Band, and The Big Wu. Almost every one of these billings led to onstage collaboration and with "Honorary Legionnaires" now scattered throughout the Midwest, there is always the possibility of a local celebrity musician showing up at a Legionnaires show to join in the fun.