Interview with Lenny Bosh

“Acoustic guitar based singer songwriter-isms” is a fitting description for the music of Lenny Bosh. After listening to the Connecticut native’s debut release, ‘Thoughts I Collected,’ you too will agree that Bosh’s forte is tuneful compositions driven by acoustic guitar, sweet melodies, and introspective lyrics. Here is what Mr. Bosh had to say himself about his recent release.

Lenny Bosh

How and when did you start playing guitar?

I was 14 and a friend was selling his old beat up guitar to buy a new Fender – I got the old guitar and was hooked.

Who were your early influences?

I am an 80's metal head at heart, and really liked the progressive side of things early on. That said there was this whole other side to me when I was writing songs that came out with these acoustic singer/songwriter songs. It didn't hit me until later in life that I was influenced heavily by a lot of the older guys from Elvis to Buddy Holly and then guys like Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. My mom is an enormous Kristofferson fan and I must have seen him twenty times by the time I was 18. I realized later that listening to those records were probably an even larger influence than heavy metal. Now I feel honored to have seen guys like Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, and Willie Nelson when I was younger. That's part of their magic too, influencing without meaning to.

How about some information about your various guest artists on the release.

The album really started when I became friends with the band Damone out of Boston. Through friends of friends I started getting some local acts at my home studio. The acts ended up being bigger than guys that just play out because the equipment in my studio is top flight. No one in the state has a better microphone collection, just more of the same that I have. I became known to be a fun place to go to and get away from city life and record. Damone had come to record an anthem for the New England Revolution MLS team and I hit it off well with them. I was particularly close to their songwriter and guitar player, Mike Woods. Mike is going on to produce more than play in bands and I wanted to give him some business to get started. I told him, “Help me start my first CD,” and that he had the job of telling me what to do and how to do it, something I am unaccustomed to. As I stated before, all I had to do was get him out bed because he's a night owl while I am a dad by day! He played bass on a lot of the tracks, helped me arrange the songs I had written and worked with in my vision. My relationship with him continues and we write together a bit now too. Frankly, the other guys are friends and some who work with me at my “real” job. Jimy Soprano who did the drums is a close friend of mine, who studied jazz drums at the University of Hartford.

Let’s discuss your latest album, ‘Thoughts I Collected.’

I always wanted to put my songs down. I started my home studio so I could do this, and with kids and a family, it turned out far harder to record. Being able to hire an outside producer to make sure I am “working at home” was the best thing I ever did, and I don't see that changing until my kids are a lot older. The album was really split between some old songs I wrote when I was a teenager and new songs focused on my new fatherhood thoughts. Life really changes when you have children, not for better or worse, but just large and different changes in perspective. I joked when the project was done being recorded that I should have called the CD ‘How to Turn 3 Months into 24 minutes”! It took us a solid three months at about 6 hours a day to complete this project. Mike stayed at my ranch for 3 out of 4 months and we made it through without a scratch. I really wanted something I could hand my kids so when I was no longer around they could listen closely and really understand what was inside of their father. There isn't a thought on that CD that is not about something inside me. At times it might alternate between thoughts. I find I write a lot of songs where I combine the thought of the chorus and verses but they are both independent concepts.

Please describe your guitar set-up.

Since I have a studio I have lots of equipment. Dozens of guitars, dozens of basses, dozens of guitar heads…my favorite guitars are the R. Taylors I have from Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitar's. He runs a small off-shoot of Taylor Guitars and I had him make me three very special acoustics where Larry Breedlove did the inlay work. One is made from quilted mahogany that is was cut down in the 60's in some remote jungle and finally brought to the states in the 80s. The tree had a 10 foot base and over 100 feet high…it sounds so majestic. So those acoustics are amazing in tone, history, mojo and playability. Apparently it was the largest private order Taylor ever had. My other favorite gear is the microphones that my friends at Telefunken USA made for me…they are right down the street from me and make the finest microphones in the world. Any time I need a fix on a mic, I pick up donuts or pizza, stop in, and get it done in a half hour.

Do you follow a practice routine?

The only regular thing I do is noodle and come up with short ideas. I am trying to become more focused but for me to grab a 4 or 6 hour span where I can concentrate on one task is difficult. So any time block I get like that is dedicated to recording.

What do you think of modern day rock guitar, and who are some of your favorite guitarists?

I am not a shredder nor will I ever be. I don't have the gifts of those guys old and new. I never really get into a band because of the guitar – instead it was the creation of music. I really enjoy non-traditional song writing and a more progressive approach like Fates Warning and Radiohead. I don't have the skill to do these things yet as I am just trying to get myself some traditional song writing experience. With that said guys like Mark Knopfler are amazing. Vince Gill is another one that comes to mind. These guys can hold their weight against virtuosos but instead apply the technique to the song craft.

What advice would you give to other guitarists – to both newcomers and already established players?

I don't thing people should aspire to be exactly like anyone. That's what helps the creativeness. An example is I used to want to sing like so many different metal singers and then I realized – I will never sound like that. The thought that I couldn't do that really depressed me. Once I got comfortable with that thought, saw a vocal coach, I learned my own sound, style and instead concentrated on working on standard singing techniques. Once I melted all that into my style, it sounds better and was like a huge weight off my back. I didn't have a complex about my voice; I just figured it is what it is. The sound of each human voice is so unique. Again why the best microphones in the world are worth it – they pick up everything.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *