In March 2003 "The Carlyn Lindsey Group" was notified that they had been accepted to perform at two events in the 2003 City of Bloomington (Indiana) Parks and Recreation Department's outdoor concert series.
In response, bandleader and drummer Tim Haas contacted some of his musician friends to form a band. Besides his wife, co-bandleader and singer Carlyn Lindsey, the group was made up of Scot Halpin, bass; Larry Vesely, keyboards; and Dave Withered, reeds. Already active in the Bloomington music scene, they knew each other and had played together informally at parties and blues jams at local clubs.
They got together for their first rehearsal as a band in April 2003 at Carlyn and Tim’s house in the Prospect Hill neighborhood of Bloomington. They had chemistry, a shared musical vision, and a distinctive sound. They really liked playing together. Carlyn calls their gutsy blues-jazz style "Blues with a twist." This unique style is showcased in their wide-ranging playlist of original songs and covers done in their own way.
Two months later, Tim was on the phone with a publicist who needed immediate information for the event where the band was to debut. Tim asked Carlyn to quickly give him "a cool name" to use. On the spur of the moment, she replied, "Snakedoctor." After he hung up, Carlyn explained that in the South where she's from, a snakedoctor is another name for a dragonfly.
Carlyn Lindsey & SnakeDoctor debuted at Encore Café in Bloomington on June 30, 2003, opening for O2R Blues Band and Tim Grimm at a benefit for Scott Wells’ legal defense fund. They got an enthusiastic response from the audience and great reviews from the members of the other bands in attendance.
The band still uses Carlyn’s rendition of "I Put A Spell On You" from that night on the CD in their promo package. It was an inspired musical moment that shows perfectly the excitement they generate in live performance.
Since that day, Carlyn Lindsey & SnakeDoctor have performed at many of the area's high-profile events and venues, including the Bean Blossom Blues Fest, the 2004 4th Street Festival of the Arts in Bloomington, the annual Benefit for Community Kitchen of Monroe County at Fountain Square Ballroom in downtown Bloomington, at People's Park and Farmer's Market, at the First Annual Mitchell Music Festival, and regularly at Encore Cafe in Bloomington.
Although originally formed without a guitar player, and performing the first year without one, when SnakeDoctor finally decided to add guitar, they were fortunate to work with three excellent ones.
Soon after performing with the band and delivering a scorching performance at the 2004 Bean Blossom Blues Fest, guitar player, Tadas Paegle, joined the band of herpetologists in October 2004. Tadas left the band as a regular in May 2005.
Chicago guitarist John Mead joined this den of vipers in May 2005, and brought a strong R&B influence both to the band, and to a whole host of grateful sweaty dancers.
When John left in March 2006, Dave "Caveman" Everton stepped in as SnakeDoctor's regular guitar player. Dave liked the band so much that he had taken it upon himself to learn much of the band's material, including original songs. He became SnakeDoctor's "designated hisser" who filled in when necessary, and moved seamlessly into the leading role when it opened up for him.
In September 2005, Dan Withered became Carlyn Lindsey & SnakeDoctor's bass player. Multi-instrumentalist Dan, who is Dave Withered's twin brother, has sat in with the band many times over the past few years both on trombone and on bass.
Queen Cobra, their debut CD of original music, is scheduled to be released soon. Songs from the album have already been featured on WFHB radio this summer.
So, look for the band to perform this year at Bear's Place, Players' Pub, Encore Cafe, Bloomington Parks and Recreation concerts, and Bean Blossom Blues Fest (along with Derek Trucks, Rod Piazza and others!). Check "Snake Bits" for details.
This is a band on the move. Watch for Carlyn Lindsey & SnakeDoctor to bring "Fair and Balanced Blues" to your town!