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Bio

Hummingbird Syndicate

“So what kind of music do you listen to?”

“Oh, you know - everything from Buffalo Springfield to the Louvin Brothers.” 

“I love the Louvin Brothers - Charlie’s new record is really good!” 

“What? You have the new Charlie Louvin record???” 

“Yeah - I’m a serious country music fan.”

“Me too!” Pause. “But I love pop and bubblegum almost as much. Abba, Andy Kim…”

“I love that stuff! Still have my 45 of ‘Sugar Sugar’ by the Archies.”

This unlikely exchange took place the night Jon Macey and Lynn Shipley were introduced to one another at a nightclub in Boston. They co-wrote their first song a few months later and have been writing, producing, and recording together since that evening.

Hummingbird Syndicate is a collective of like-minded musicians, led by singer/songwriters Lynn Shipley and Jon Macey. On stage and in the studio they shift deftly between a dynamic power pop jangle and a softer, folk/rock shimmer. Most songs feature three- and four-part harmonies and a 1960s/70s vibe, blending sunny Laurel Canyon folk and East Coast urban pop with an edgy dash of early ‘70s British rock. All of this is delivered with a modern twist by veteran musicians drawing on myriad musical and cultural influences. Live shows emphasize original songs from their singles and album, and also include surprising covers, spanning many eras and paying tribute to some of the great songwriters.

Hummingbird Syndicate is from Boston and Los Angeles and sounds like it. The first release was the 45 rpm vinyl single (and CD companion) Waterfall Away b/w I Want You To Stay. Both songs highlight the big vocal sound and sunny pop side of the Syndicate. Tailor-made for a 45, these tunes jump off the turntable with ringing guitars, pulsing beats, and inventive 1960’s pop-influenced arrangements, characterized by four-part harmonies.

Waterfall Away is a joyful, over-the-top pop homage to the 60’s singles that will keep you smiling long after the needle lifts off the record. I Want You To Stay features Lynn’s “Nico goes pop” vocal style over pulsating New Wave rhythms and Eno-esque guitar hooks.

Another unique aspect of the live band is the ‘syndicate’ – along with Macey and Shipley, the core unit features Chris Maclachlan on electric and upright bass and Lenny Shea on drums. Depending on the show, any combination of guitarists may appear (sometimes four of them at once!) Tom Hostage, Dan Coughlin, Andy Hollinger, Steve Gilligan and Jim Melanson all appear on the new POP TRICKS album and on stage. These musicians are equally adept at electric and acoustic instruments; mandolins, mandolas, 12-strings, and B-Benders round out the mix. Contributing to the beautiful harmony sound are vocalists Jennifer Lewis Bennett and MaryJaye Simms.  

Hummingbird Syndicate can play everything from a quiet, stripped down acoustic set to a full-out pop/rock concert. Their eclectic and entertaining live performances invite the audience into the heart and soul of their musical journey.

 

The Band:

Jon Macey – songwriter, producer, lead and harmony vocals, and guitars. Macey has been a member of Fox Pass, Macey’s Parade, and Tom Dickie and The Desires, co-writing the cult hit Downtown Talk.

Lynn Shipley – songwriter, producer, lead and harmony vocals. Shipley was Macey’s favorite poet until he coaxed her back into the limelight as his creative partner. She tried to retire from music after an early punk/art rock career in Indiana, but it didn’t take.

Lenny Shea – drums, vocals. Shea was a long-term member of The Stompers; in demand drummer-about-town and all around pop aficionado.

Chris Maclachlan – bass, vocals. Maclachlan has been a member of Human Sexual Response, The Illyrians, and Lookie Lookie. Known for his succinct verbal style and artful bass lines.

Dan Coughlin – guitars, vocals. Coughlin has been a member of Children of Paradise and Witch Doctor. He is one of the LA-based members and has a large collection of Monkees records.

MaryJaye Simms – vocals. Simms is the other LA member, bringing her powerful, sweet sound to the layered harmonies.

Jennifer Lewis Bennett- vocals. JLB lives in New York state and brings her beautiful voice to the rich harmonies on stage and in the studio.

Jim Melanson- guitar, vocals. Melanson brings his harder edged guitar style to the live shows.  He played with Pop Gun for years.

Andy Hollinger- guitar, vocals. -Highly respected Boston guitarist known to be super-versatile. He also brings the country licks to the sound.

Tom Hostage – guitar, vocals. Hostage was a key member of Macey’s Parade and has been a respected guitarist on the scene for years. 

 

Download the bio [PDF].

 

 

THE SONGSTERS and PRODUCERS - Jon Macey & Lynn Shipley

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