Weekender

Lemont returns with new lineup

Jason MacIntyre is back in town, which means all-start local band Lemont is hitting the stage Sunday at Elk Creek Cafe and Aleworks.
Jason MacIntyre is back in town, which means all-start local band Lemont is hitting the stage Sunday at Elk Creek Cafe and Aleworks. Photo provided

Lemont is a band that manages to stay together, write songs, record albums and get gigs — all while living in different parts of the country.

The local all-star band will reunite for a show at 5 p.m. Sunday at Elk Creek Cafe and Aleworks.

Lemont singer and guitarist Jason MacIntyre said his main reason for coming back to the area is to help put on the Strawberry Fields benefit concert, which celebrates the music of Bob Dylan, at 7 p.m. Jan. 20 at The State Theatre.

“I am as excited as ever to be a part of it,” MacIntyre said. “I can’t wait to hear all of the performers’ interpretations of Bob Dylan tunes. ... Once the date was set for this show, I figured I would come back a bit early and try to get some gigs in at the old haunts.”

MacIntyre said he’ll get to play at the All-American Rathskeller “one last time” with the Skoal Brothers on Saturday, and he’s playing in a duo set with Dan Collins on Tuesday at Zeno’s, opening for Miss Melanie and the Valley Rats.

MacIntyre is living in Colorado now and is building a robust music career for himself through touring with Austin act Christy Hayes, playing his own gigs locally, teaching guitar to his students and writing music.

Despite recently completing a tour that began in the Pacific Northwest, looped through Los Angeles and ended up back in Colorado, MacIntyre somehow finds the time to continue working with Lemont, his hometown heart space band, which is now without MacIntyre’s longtime collaborator, friend and master guitarist Jason “Junior” Tutwiler.

“I’m sure it is going to be different without Junior for this show,” MacIntyre said. “We have been playing together for probably close to 15 years. ... I don’t really look at it as replacing him, more just augmenting the presentation. I think everyone is pretty well aware of Dan Collins’ skills on the fiddle, but he is a great guitar player as well, and there will be a bit more room sonically for him to add to our sound in that way.”

It’ll also give MacIntyre the opportunity to play a bit more lead guitar.

But he doesn’t think that he and Tutwiler will ever be done playing together.

“We’ll find some time down the road when our schedules coincide and get back at it, probably without having to say a whole lot,” MacIntyre said.

Even with Tutwiler heading out of town, he won’t be out of the mix — Lemont recently released “Bloomsday,” an album of original material that is getting some good exposure, and that ultimately binds together the members of the band, regardless of their locations.

“The feedback has been positive,” MacIntyre added.

One of the songs on the album, “And We Danced,” was recently listed as No. 5 in the Top 10 Songs of the Week for The Alternative Root’s Spotify playlist.

Some potential movie placements are in play, and the album’s been getting “some spins” on the radio across the country and overseas, MacIntrye said.

“But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit disappointed in the reach it’s gotten so far,” he said. “I think I was a bit naive, maybe even dismissive, to the role that social media plays these days. We don’t have a publicist, so it’s on me to figure it out and utilize these tools, so that’s a goal of mine moving forward in the new year. Our music video views have been picking up and starting to gain some steam, so that’s cool.”

Still, even though the members of Lemont are hustling and otherwise working to get “Bloomsday” as much exposure as possible, more music is on the way.

MacIntyre said there are a few songs that Lemont recorded last time he was in town that are almost finished, so he’s hoping to wrap those up during this trip and get an EP out soon.

He said he also has “a lot” of new songs written for the next full length album, which the band is aiming to start work on in the spring.

“Junior was talking about coming back for it, which would be great,” MacIntyre said. “... I’m looking forward to getting started on that when the weather turns a little more friendly and everything starts blooming again.”

Kevin Briggs is a musician, writer and teacher who performs at venues throughout central Pennsylvania. Contact him at KevinTBriggs@gmail.com.

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