Interviews RunawayGin**

Published on March 27th, 2014 | by Ballard Lesemann


The Punch List with Runaway Gin’s Jimmy Landry

Metronome Charleston‘s weekly Punch List puts local musicians on the spot with a questionnaire that touches on music, venues, gear, records, vices, and more. This week, pianist/keyboardist and songwriter Jimmy Landry takes a turn.

1. What is your favorite local hang and why

“The Pour House. Great music, great people, great food. The deck and inside are both awesome. It’s always a very fun, laid-back atmosphere.”

2. You know you’ve played an excellent show when…

“All the guys in the band are just beaming at each other. Everyone is hugging, shaking hands, and smiling. The crowd is almost an afterthought. When the band fires on all cylinders, that kind of energy permeates throughout the crowd. Then, when you do step off stage, everyone in the crowd is smiling and happy.”


Jimmy Landry on the deck stage at the Pour House (provided)

3. What was the last show you attended that really got you fired up in a good or bad way?

“I went to see two Phish shows and two Widespread Panic shows in five days in July. Just to see those two bands continue to improve so much is so inspiring. They’ve never said, ‘We’re good enough now.’ They continue to get better and better. I especially like how playful the guys in Phish are. They have so much fun on stage while playing amazing music. Also, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood show at the Pour House last year was amazing. All the playing was so precise. And, then they encored with an Otis Redding song and a Grateful Dead song. That’s my kind of show.”

4. Define your musical style in exactly 10 words.

“Hope and pray that what’s in my head comes out.”

5. What’s your theme song?

“That’s a tough one. My favorite and most relevant theme songs change so often. I wrote a song called ‘Rising’ that has never been played out, but it’s very autobiographical. It talks about rising up beyond all the mistakes I’ve made to get to where I am, but still nowhere near where I would like to be.”

6. Gear-wise, what’s is your irreplaceable baby? 

“The Nord [a Swedish-made keyboard]. It has changed the way I play music. I have never had a really good organ sound, and it’s amazing. I just got it in June, and I don’t know what I would do without it now. Plus, it’s about 10 times lighter than my other keyboard!”


7. What’s the most overplayed album in your collection?

“Robert Palmer’s Sneaking Sally Through the Alley. I love every song on that album. You just can’t go wrong with the guys playing on that album. When you combine guys from Little Feat with guys from the Meters, you’re bound to come out with something amazing.”

8. When was the last time you were genuinely star-struck?

“I recorded my first album at [acclaimed engineer/producer] John Keane’s studio in Athens, Georgia. I was so nervous. I kept asking myself, ‘What the hell am I doing here? I’m not good enough to be here.’ I couldn’t even play a G chord on the first song we did. John was amazing, and he got me to chill out completely. It was a great experience, and I feel fortunate to be able to call him a friend now.”

9. What’s your poison?


10. In 10 years, I will be…


A native of North Carolina, keyboardist and songsmith Jimmy Landry attended Georgia Southern University and East Carolina University before landing in Charleston a few years ago. In recent years, he’s jammed and collaborated with a variety of rock, funk, soul, and proggy bands around the Lowcountry.

In recent months, the members of local Phish tribute group Buddhist Prodigies amicably parted ways, and guitarist Andy Greenberg quickly picked things back up with a new Phish-minded band called Runaway Gin.

Landry signed on with Greenberg, bassist Bobby Hogg, and drummer Jack Friel as Runaway Gin’s core lineup. They’ve performed a series of shows at the Pour House as part of the venue’s weekly Sunday Phunday series. A press release from the band describes the crews as “longtime Phish fans who have united with the goal of creating musical moments inspired by Phish.”

Landry frequently assembles a group of like-minded musicians for shows under the name Jimmy Landry & Friends. Brent Poulson, Jermane Holmes, Paul Quattlebaum, and Bill Wilson are set to join the keyboardist this week for a set of originals and renditions at the Pour House.

Jimmy Landry & Friends will perform an early evening show on the deck stage at the Pour House on Fri. March 28 from 4-9 p.m. The full Runaway Gin lineup will hit the main stage at the Pour House after 9:30 p.m. Tickets to the late set are available for $8 in advance and $10 at the door.

Runaway Gin will return to the Pour House deck for Sunday Phunday at 4 p.m. on Sun. March 30. Admission is free.

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About the Author

Ballard Lesemann

is a musician and writer. Born and raised in Charleston, S.C., he spent years playing in bands and working for Flagpole Magazine in the bustling music town of Athens, Ga. He returned to his hometown and served more than seven years as the Charleston City Paper's music editor. He's better at drumming than he is at playing guitar.

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