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Whole Lotta Led in the Evening


Zeppelin Tribute Band Rocks Crockett

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – As the first chords of “Good Times, Bad Times” splintered the evening quiet of Crockett, it was evident this would be a fun night, a loud night and a night of “Rock N Roll.”

For the second installment of the 2018 Summer Lightnin’ Concert Series, the Piney Woods Fine Arts Association (PWFAA) brought in a Led Zeppelin tribute band named – appropriately enough – “Whole Lotta Led.”

The group managed to pull off the look and the sound of perhaps the greatest rock band ever assembled as they blistered through nearly two hours of the Led Zeppelin musical catalogue.

Before taking the stage, members of the group sat down with The Messenger to discuss how they became a Led Zeppelin tribute band.

Comprised of Mike and Linda Lambert, Zach Keener, Jeff Ball, Nathan Stellman, Darby Usey and Doug Pritchard, M. Lambert said the idea for this came to life because of a toy drive.

“This all started about six or seven years ago. We did a toy drive and we got a bunch of my friends together to do a lot of Led Zeppelin songs – as the house band,” Lambert explained.

“Linda was there, Darby was there and we had a really successful night. We drummed up a lot of toys for kids. As soon as we finished the show, it was like, ‘When can we do it again? When can we do it again?’ We tried to do it for a few months with multiple singers but that didn’t work. Eventually we chose one to lead us all and that was Darby,” he said.

Lambert added while the band had experienced a few line-up changes over the years, the core group of he and his wife Linda, Jeff Ball and Darby Usey had been the mainstays of the group.

“Just recently, Nathan joined us along with our drummer Zach and Doug Pritchard to round out our sextet,” he said.

Lambert, who is also the group’s general manager, said his love for all things Led Zeppelin began at an early age.

“When I was in middle school, I had a catcher’s mitt that I traded to my cousin for the Led Zeppelin IV album. It was the best trade I ever made,” Lambert laughed.

Before taking the stage, the band gave a shout out to Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Paige.

“Jimmy, if you read this, we love you, you touched our lives and you’re the reason we do this,” Usey said.

As to their set list, Lambert said the musicians would “… stick to the hits, but we have one or two deep cuts we’ll do.”

With the band waiting in the wings, PWFAA Executive Director Glenn Barnhart took the stage to introduce a Whole Lotta Led to the nice sized crowd at the Sallas Amphitheater and to make a few announcements.

“We have a wonderful rock and roll show for you tonight but before we begin, I would like to direct your attention to these two side panels. They were painted by your kids and grandkids at the Jim Jeffries workshop which starts next week,” he said.

Barnhart said registration was now open and would give area youth a chance to learn about sculpture, painting, jewelry making and several other crafts.

“We have award-winning artists from all over the country. We have Nina Bell, who is our new guest artist this year. She has been in New York recently but is returning home to Texas to teach at the Summer Arts Workshop,” he said.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.