Radio station: Listen to music by Love Squad
No scheduled events.
Current Status: Actively playing in and around Lawrence
Sound description: Alterna-country with a pop sensibility, emphasizing vocals
Influences: Neil Young, Billy Bragg, Jason & The Scorchers
Similar to: Pogues, Ben Kweller, Lucinda Williams, Rank & File, Replacements, Freedy Johnston
|Every Single Day||1991||Mercy|
|One day along the Mississippi near New Orleans||2003||self-released|
|Paul Matthews||Drums, Percussion|
|Allen Levine||Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals|
|Joe Salem||Bass guitar, Guitar, Vocals|
|Doug Byers||Bass guitar, Mandolin|
|How has the Lawrence scene changed over the last decade?||None||July 21, 2004|
|How long were you full-time musicians?||None||July 21, 2004|
|What brought about the 2003 reunion of the band?||None||July 21, 2004|
In late 2001, Al Levine - former Love Squad singer/songwriter, placed a call to Joe Salem - also former Love Squad singer/songwriter. Al had been working on a recording project with Love Squad's former bassist Doug Byers and drummer Paul Matthews. Al wanted to know if Joe might want to be included in the unnamed recording project. Joe agreed to get together to do some playing and learn some of the songs. A year later, the album project had turned into a reunited Love Squad release -- the first since the band had stopped playing together in 1993.
Love Squad had originally formed in Lawrence in 1988 while its members attended KU. The band released its first album that year, and played as often as possible at parties and all of the usual regional clubs. In 1991, the band had achieved enough success that its members decided to make it the focus of their efforts. In a week's time, Al withdrew from the KU Law School, Joe put his senior year on indefinite hold, and Doug left his job. The band moved to California and began work on a second album while based out of San Francisco.
From the moment its second album was released, Love Squad began touring almost non-stop. The band regularly appeared in shows and on college radio in over 20 states. In 1992, the band logged over 300 shows, as a move to Dallas exposed Southern audiences to the group's work. During Love Squad tours, the band was sometimes the headliner, and sometimes played the supporting role for such artists as The Gin Blossoms, The Rev. Horton Heat, Pleasure (later to become Semisonic), Material Issue, Joe Ely, Peter Case, Webb Wilder, Buck Naked and the Bare Bottom Boys, and even Woody Harrelson.
In 1993, the band released its last album to date. Posertown garnered more airplay than the previous Love Squad releases. But the touring was taking a toll on the band's members. A move back to Lawrence, and a desire by Doug and Al to settle down, and Joe to finish college brought Love Squad to its 10 year hiatus.
Doug, Joe and Al still played a bit after the Love Squad stopped touring. Joe played with the power pop trio, the Velveteens, and had the opportunity to open up for Green Day. Doug and Al first joined members of Baghdad Jones and John Brown's Underground to form The Gospel Porch Singers. And later on, the two joined the Big Rigs with members of the Lonesome Houndogs and current drummer Paul Matthews.
Ten years off while experiencing working with other musicians have shaped the Love Squad into a slightly different animal than it was previously. The instrumentation now includes a lot more mandolin, less electric guitar, and more diverse percussion. One thing that remains is the band's emphasis on vocals and songwriting. The band's trademark blend of harmonies and melody backed by different instrumentation make the new material fresh and open. Old fans should like the new direction, and new listeners will find the band's offerings to be a welcome change from the usual fare.
Song highlights :: Wicked Game, See Red, Gladiola Lane (all from One day along the Mississippi...)