Bill Kirchen, co-founder and lead guitarist of the original Americana band Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen, brings 5 of the 6 surviving original Airmen to the stage.
Guitarist, singer and songwriter Bill Kirchen’s Grammy nominated career spans 13 albums of his own. The latest, Transatlanticana, cracked the Americana Top 10 chart. Named a “Titan of the Telecaster” by Guitar Player Magazine, his guitar licks drove the band’s original version of “Hot Rod Lincoln” into the Top Ten in 1972. Today, Kirchen’s extended version of “Hot Rod Lincoln”, a romp through guitar history, is described as “epic” by Rolling Stone. He has recorded and/or played guitar with a who’s who of roots music, including Elvis Costello, Hazel Dickens, Bo Diddley, Sammy Hagar, Emmylou Harris, Linda Rondstadt, Dan Hicks, Nick Lowe, Maria Muldaur, Doug Sahm, Gene Vincent and Link Wray.
Master steel guitarist Bobby Black has played and recorded with an astonishing number of the stars of country music over the last 7 decades, from his pal George Jones’ very first recordings in 1953, to Ray Price, Lefty Frizzell, Webb Pierce, Barbara Mandrell, Asleep At The Wheel, Doug Sahm, and many more. Bobby has contemplated retirement several times, but the calls keep coming for gigs and Black keeps saying yes. He was inducted into the Western Swing Hall of Fame in 1997, and the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in 2004.
John Tichy, Ph.D., Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, is a Founding Father of the Lost Planet Airmen. With a long list of publications and research for the National Science Foundation and NASA, he also continues to gig steadily, presumably with the research objective of rocking your ass off. Tichy is listed in the Who’s Who in Rock & Roll (1996) and the Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (1998) for his work as singer, songwriter and guitarist.
Buffalo Bruce Barlow: Bass player with Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen, Buffalo Bruce plays blues, rock ’n’ roll, country & Western, Western Swing, and a whole lot of boogie woogie. He’s played with Chicago bluesmen Magic Sam, Luther Allison, Sam Lay, Elvin Bishop, James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite, Matt Guitar Murphy, Albert Collins, John Lee Hooker plus Byrds frontman Roger McGuinn and hit singer-songwriter Hoyt Axton.
Andy Stein: Our 2-time Grammy winner joined Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen in 1968 when Kirchen spotted him jamming at a coffee house with future Prairie Home Companion original Bill Hinkley. Two decades later Andy began his 22 year run on that show’s weekly national broadcasts with Garrison Keillor. Post CC & his LPA, Andy continued his unique quadruple-threat career, playing, writing and arranging for top names in Pop, Jazz, Classical and Country fields. Here are a few: Bob Dylan, Sir Paul McCartney, Wynton Marsalis, Jon Hendricks, Aretha Franklin, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Ray Charles, B. B. King, Tony Bennett, Carole King, James Taylor, Michael Jackson, Merle Haggard, Placido Domingo, Itzhak Perlman etc. Andy sez: “But right now I’m right here back with my old buddies. The Best.”
On board, completing the band: Austin de Lone, piano, and Paul Revelli, drums.