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Austin Lounge Lizards Biography

The Austin Lounge Lizards are arguably the perfect pairing of their hometown’s moniker, “Music Capital of the World,” and its motto: “Keep Austin Weird.” For 33 years, the Lizards have been spoofing the topics American families try to avoid at the Thanksgiving table; subjects like politics, religion, romance, the music industry, and their crazy/stupid relatives. With pointed lyrics, precise harmonies and instrumental expertise, the band has become legendary for its satirical skewering through song.

The Lizards originated in 1976 in New Jersey, when Hank Card (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Conrad Deisler (vocals, lead guitar, mandolin) met as mutual history majors at Princeton University and started songwriting together. Following graduation, both Hank, a native Oklahoman, and Conrad, a Tex-Cali-Connecticut-Venezuelan, ended up in Austin. University of Georgia philosophy graduate and banjo/dobro player Tom Pittman completed the founding-troubador trifecta in 1980, and the Austin Lounge Lizards was born.

With a series of talented fellow players and writers, the band began playing dates around Austin and across Texas. Soon, they had developed a widespread following of loyal Lizard fans, and by 1987, began appearing at festivals and concerts throughout North America and in the United Kingdom. Five-time winners at the Austin Music Awards, the Lizards have played many celebrated festivals, including California’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and Strawberry Music Festivals, New York’s Grey Fox and Florida’s Stringbreak Festivals, Canada’s Vancouver and Edmonton Folk Festivals and Summerfolk, the Americana and Iron Bridge Festivals in the UK, and the Kerrville Folk Festival close to their home in Texas. They have also performed at dozens of prestigious concert venues, including The Barns at Wolftrap (Vienna, VA), the Freight & Salvage (Berkeley, CA), the Kuumbwa Jazz Center (Santa Cruz, CA), John Ascuaga’s Nugget (Sparks, NV), Eddie’s Attic (Atlanta), The Ark (Ann Arbor, MI), Calgary Folk Club (Alberta, Canada), the Bass Performing Arts Center & McDavid Studio (Fort Worth), McGonigel’s Mucky Duck (Houston) and Austin’s own Cactus Café.

After more than three decades, Tom retired from the band to Asheville, NC, in 2011. The departure of Tom, who stands about 6’4”, literally downsized the band; to honor his legacy, the Lizards chose to do so figuratively as well, continuing as a quartet, less a banjo but no less eccentric.What once was old and laughable is now new and laughable, as the Austin Lounge Lizards welcome two "new" members as of December 2016. Tim Wilson and Kirk Williams, former band members, have rejoined the Lizards, the self-proclaimed "Most Laughable Band in Show Business." Tim was the Lizards' first fiddle and mandolin player and appeared on the band's first album, "Creatures from the Black Saloon" (1985). Kirk played bass with the Lizards for eight years and played on 5 albums, from "Highway Cafe of the Damned" (1988) through "Small Minds." (1995). Although we're sorry to say goodbye to Darcie Deaville and Bruce Jones, we're glad to be performing as the classic Lizards with Kirk and Tim.

 

With their unique amalgamation of highly literate Ivy League roots; the folk, country and bluegrass musical conventions of Appalachia and Nashville; creative influences like Frank Zappa, Spike Jones, George Jones, and Flatt & Scruggs; and an unquenchable thirst for the absurd, the Lizards specialize in musical eclecticism, excellence and extreme entertainment.

 

Booking Agency: Mike Drudge, Class Act Entertainment, 615.262.6886; www.classactentertainment.com




THE AUSTIN LOUNGE LIZARDS ARE:

Hank Card — guitar, vocals

Card is one of the three founding Lizards. He grew up in Oklahoma City, went to Princeton (not “prison,” as commonly believed), where he met Conrad Deisler, and graduated from the University of Texas School of Law. Card is one of the main songwriters of the Lizards, unless you don’t like their songs, in which case he is not.

Conrad Deisler — guitar, mandolin, vocals

Deisler has been monkeying around with music and electronics since the first grade. One of his earliest memories involves singing along with his mother’s Electrolux vacuum cleaner. His first paying gig came in eighth grade. In 1974, he woke up at the Union Grove Fiddlers’ Convention in North Carolina. Since then, he has been devoted to bluegrass and (real) country music. Influences include George Jones and Spike Jones, Frank Zappa and John Hartford, and Bela Bartok and Emmylou Harris.

Darcie Deaville — fiddle, mandolin, vocals

Starting at 16 as a street performer in Toronto, Deaville is an accomplished actor, singer, writer, producer, musical director and coach. She’s collaborated with artists including Ani Di Franco, Tom Paxton, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Eliza Gilkyson. Darcie’s toured from the Yukon to the Yucatan and throughout Europe. “Woody Sez” is her current part time project with her NYC-based theater troupe. In 2007, she released her fifth CD, LIVIN’ ON THE LUCKY SIDE.

Bruce Jones — bass, vocals

The newest Lizard is Bruce Jones, a Texas songwriter who spent 16 years playing bass with Omar and the Howlers. This involved a lot of bad behavior, close calls and lucky breaks, including an album on CBS records and tours around North America and Europe with artists including Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Fabulous Thunderbirds and Johnny Winter. In 2004, he released his first album of original songs, including “Fight Like a Girl,” which won Second Place in the Austin Songwriter’s Group Songwriting Contest in the "Rock" category. In 2007 he collaborated with Emily Kaitz on an album called "Monotoneland". In 2008 he released another album of original songs called "Rough Tough Game". This album featured a song called "I Miss You", which won First Place that year in the "Singer-Songwriter" category of the ASG song contest.