DFW Music News

Lance Lopez on What Dallas Blues Needs Now

Lance Lopez is a blues talent unlike any other working today. He spent much of his childhood here in Dallas before moving to New Orleans, where he launched a career that includes mentorship from Billy Gibbons. You can read more about Lopez in this week's music feature, but we didn't have room there for a few of his extended answers. Read about his past, his upcoming trip to Europe and his prognosis of the Dallas blues scene below.

Where did you go to high school?

We moved around a couple of years. I went to junior high in North Dallas. Then I moved to New Orleans with my dad, and when he saw what I was doing and what I could play, he was like, "Man, we're going to the clubs." So immediately we went out and my dad asked if I could sit in on stage with players in New Orleans and they were just like, "Oh my god, here's this young white kid playing this blues like this."

See also: Lance Lopez Took His Blues from Elvis, Jimi and Billy

Is there any venue in Europe that you like?

The big festivals are great. But they've always done that in Europe. You only have a select few. Every town in Europe has a festival. Tons of festivals over there. You get to meet people of other genres. Everybody comes. You'll have a blues fan next to a Megadeth fan to a folk fan. It's really cool and a neat thing.

I've also played in castles over there. I'm going to play in a castle in France in August. We played in a castle in East Germany one time and almost knocked it down, Man. We were so loud. The building was crumbling all around. Where do you see the blues going?

We need more good venues. We used to have Blue Camp Blues All the venues have gone away. For Dallas it's really sad, and for guys like me I have to stay on the road. There's no place to really play in Dallas anymore. Then you also have a set of blues artists who are traditional, and then you have progressive blues artists like myself. That are more of a blues rock thing. I love those guys. There needs to be venues for both styles of blue. All national touring blues, and there also needs to be room. There are a lot of traditional blues fans and artists who don't care about listening to progressive blues because they think it's rock, and it does rock. But if there's no place to play, nobody is going to play here. I mean, you just had the Pearl Street venue close.

The thing about me is because my music is so progressive, so heavy, that I can play rock clubs. I'm playing my sound. So for me I can play rock clubs and rock rooms. But some other blues artists need venues to play it but they closed all of them down.

It would be nice if we had more localized festivals for local artists. We need to raise awareness of some of these artists here. There's a lot of great young guitar players who are coming up, and there needs to be something to cultivate that. Something to provide something for that. That's my thought on that.

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Christian McPhate is an award-winning journalist who specializes in investigative reporting. He covers crime, the environment, business, government and social justice. His work has appeared in several publications, including the Dallas Morning News, the Fort Worth Star Telegram, the Miami Herald, San Antonio Express News and The Washington Times.

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