In my video intro I say I first saw Gerry Leonard with Jonatha Brooke in in San Francisco. I might be wrong about that, but once I moved back to New York I saw him often in his guise as Spooky Ghost, both solo and with an amazing band, performing feats of looping magic while singing haunting, Gaelic-tinged, original songs. One of those nights, in a tiny Tribeca club, I found myself sitting practically on top of David Bowie as he checked Leonard out for his band. The rest is history as Gerry went on to be musical director for David Bowie’s Reality Tour and have his guitar featured on Bowie records, “Heathen,” “Reality,” and “The Next Day.” We discuss that fateful night and much more.
Most loopers who do time based loops tend to work alone. If they use bass and drums as part of their act, they layer the instruments themselves. Rarer are loop-based performers who work with a live bassist and drummer. Teddy Kumpel has perfected the art of looping with a rhythm section through his steady gig at the Rockwood Music Hall in New York City. It helps that his locale offers him a menu of the best rhythm sections in the world to work with. Kumpel was kind enough to explain how he keeps the sections in sync, before leaving on tour as guitarist for Joe Jackson.