Lee O'Nell Blues Gang Says Much on Music, Where They Are From and More!

Blues rock n' rollers LEE O' NELL BLUES GANG have had some releases over the last few years, with all new music coming up, no show plans as of yet, but they want to get their music out more, with hopes to reach places all around the world. See what the band says about all of this right below.

1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

Gipsy BACUET : Lee O’Nell Blues Gang was born  in 2019 under the influence of Lionel WERNERT (guitarist and composer). He and I (vocalist and song writer) are a couple on stage as well as in the city ! We played alone and together with various artists for many years, but started to play in duet in 2012. We used to cover some great blues, rock or jazz tracks and in 2019, we were invited as guests to share the stage with Fred CHAPELLIER, a famous French Bluesman who also is the best friend of Lionel for 45 years now… Together we played some of his famous blues songs, and at the end of the gig he naturally said to Lionel, "you’d better start your own band with musicians, you have so much things to say, you got it, so let’s go !"  

Lionel WERNERT : Yes, that’s right, and 2 weeks after this famous gig, I had set up the band with those whom I consider to be the best musicians in the region. 

On bass, we have Philippe DANDRIMONT who also plays with Chris BERGSON when he comes here for his European tour, François BARISAUX on keyboards, who came from classic and jazz and who is very good when to improvise; and Pierre-Alain DELAUNOY on drums who has an incredible sense of rhythm and knows exactly how to stick to the baseline to make it groove with a touch of rock.

Less than 6 months after, we entered in studio to record our first album "Different Stades Of Love" released in September 2020. But as we all know, the pandemic was a very bad thing for musicians all over the world, so we could not defend as we hoped for this first album ; so at the end of 2021, I decided to produce a second one ! And « This is us » was released in September 2022. 14 new original tracks, I composed all the music, and Gipsy wrote the lyrics.

Gipsy: Yes, but English is not my first language so I asked some friends to help me a little to make it sound more American… the co-writers are NEAL BLACK (a blues singer and guitar player who lived in France since 1995, LEADFOOT RIVET, a French Blues singer, writer and composer , and for the last track of our album « Just need a prayer », our friend Jade MACRAE accepted to put some words with mine. If you wonder, Jade is a wonderful Australian singer and also background vocalist for Joe BONAMASSA !! 

2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?

Lionel: Haha ! it’s a word game with my first name. As Gipsy is my voice, here is Lee O’Nell (Lionel) Blues Gang, cause we also are a gang !!

Gipsy: We can add that the Irish sounding is a nod to a blues rock guitar player we appreciate a lot : Gary Moore.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Gipsy: We are French, not native but living in Reims, the city where all the French kings were crowned, and of course the capital of Champagne ! Cheers !

Lionel: Unfortunately the local scene is not really blues, and the French public too little expert in the matter for my taste…

So, except my friend, my heart brother Fred CHAPELLIER who is an excellent bluesman. He plays a kind of old school blues and his way of approach the melody and the harmony and the sound he produced are recognizable between a thousand !

4. How would you describe your style?

Lionel: I think I play a mix of vintage and contemporary blues rock.

Vintage by the sound I choose, with a very law saturation for example , and contemporary by the way I compose. In the style of Eric Gales or Joe Bonamassa with a female voice which can be soul, jazz, sassy, and rough when I need her to be.

Gipsy: Lionel is a child of rock, passionate with blues too. I came more from Jazz, I love blues and rock of course, and Lionel knows exactly where he wants me to go in the different shades of my voice at the service of his music.

Lionel: Gipsy has so many facts in her voice, in her way of approaching melodies that I can afford to play and mix many styles always in the tune with the modern blues that I want.

5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?

Gipsy:  Well "Different Shades Of Love" in Sept. 2020.

10 original tracks all around the theme of love and these different colors, and only one cover "Walking by Myself " by Jimmy Rogers with our 3 guests Fred CHAPELLIER, Neal BLACK and LEADFOOT RIVET.

You can listen it here: 


Lionel: And the second one: "This is us" released in Sept. 2022.

14 originals tracks.

This one is a kind of awareness of the world we are living in, and especially of the relationships between humans, friends and family. We wrote and composed this album while the pandemic, so there is nostalgia, anger, disappointment, sadness but also hope…

6. Do you have any new music in the works?

Gipsy:  Oh yes!!! Lionel is a kind of hyperactive person. For example, he can’t stay on the sofa to simply watch a movie. One of his guitars is never far away from him, so he watch the movie, in fact his eyes are open to the tv screen but his mind is focused on what he’s working on!

So yes, the third album is already on works !

Lionel: she said it all!

7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?

Lionel: Well, we don’t have any label or booking agency so we do all the aspects from composing to play by the way of looking for gigs, festivals, or contact shows organizers.

The public, the radios and the press have already warm welcomed « This is us » as well in France, and it starts to be the same in Belgium, Holland, Canada, USA… So we have some great shows to come, and some first parts for great artists like Ana Popovic or The Cinelli Brothers for example… So yes, I think this year will be a great year for the band and our music,  and we hope to play more and more over the French borders…

8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?

Gipsy: Going beyond the French borders of course, cause we think that the French musical culture does not correspond to our music. In Germany, UK, Belgium or Holland for example, and of course in the States, there are so many connoisseurs and enthusiasts people than in our country. And in fact, I think that in France, if you are not a black person or coming from another country public don’t trust in you. They had to be sure that your music is recognized in other countries to say « oh yeah that is good ! » . 

We are white people, we are French, so how could we play the Blues ??

Seriously, we really want to export ourselves…

9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

You can listen us on all the streaming platforms, on our YouTube channel, and you can buy our album directly on our website:


Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4uU0QwUeHcEk1e7tsANRjH?si=JR1qx1BvRDCEP1f8qTyunA

Deezer: https://deezer.page.link/DqbQnn31DgSFvvih6

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@leeonellbluesgangofficialc4402

And of course we’d like you to subscribe or like and follow us on Facebook and Instagram

We are open to any booking agency where they are from !!

10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

Lionel & Gipsy: We’d like them to feel that they need to listen one more time, and one more again, and one more…and that they want to see us live, because it’s on stage where we feel the best and exactly where music can really live with the emotion of the moment. Blues is alive....

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