Q&A: Daddy Long Legs On His Band’s New Record, Playing Harmonica For Heroes, And “Panther Piss”


Daddy Long Legs—frontman for local blues-bashing, clothes horsing around trio of the same name—doesn’t want me to tell you his real name. Could it be there’s a spurned lady out there trying to track him down? Some traffic tickets piling up? More likely, Mr. Legs (and they are long ones, make no mistake) just wants to takes more care shaping his stomping brand of bar-trash, having come up through the sticky-floor world of Brooklyn punk and aiming toward… well, at least somewhat less sticky floors. This weekend, expect Union Pool’s floor to be unkind to your dancing shoes’ soles as the band unleashes its debut album, Evil Eye on You (Norton) onto the world.

Aside from your nom de plume, what is Daddy Long Legs?

Rock and roll salvation through the spirit of roots and blues.

Wasn’t Daddy Long Legs a two-piece in the beginning? Why/how the change? What is the quick history of how Daddy Long Legs came about?

Right. We were a guitar and harmonica duo at first and we would just stomp the beat. We got a great reaction from audiences, but it felt like it could be taken to another level with a really solid backbeat. Then we recruited Josh Styles on drums; now the loud sound abounds!

Thanks to being the boss go-to harmonica blower on the scene, you’ve been able to grace the stage with some old veteran faves. Who were some of your favorites/favorite shows of that kind?

Lenny Kaye, Andy Shernoff, Roy Loney, and Cyril Jordan. T. Valentine, Guitar Lightnin’ Lee, April March, Deniz Tek… the list goes on. Harmonica playing being the lost art that it is, I’ve found myself performing and recording with a lot of my heroes, so its been a blessing.

When did you start blowing harp and why?

It was after I moved from St. Louis to New York. I didn’t know nobody. It was a lonely time. I needed a friend. I found one!

Where do you get your boss vintage mics?

From old harp players who are out of the game.

Tell us about the making of the new record. Any good stories? How/where did you record it? What drinks mainly lubed it?

We basically just got in the studio and blasted it out like we would live. We had no money at all and no plans to even record until John Yorke (a complete stranger at the time) saw us live. He believed in the group so much that he dedicated all this free studio time to us. (Thanks John!) Then we got Florent Barbier to produce it, and the rest is history. We drank a lot of panther piss, which is our signature drink of choice. It’s a special concoction we blend ourselves. I can’t tell you what’s in it, but it’s very effective.

You’re playing this record release show with Bloodshot Bill. An inspiration, no doubt?

I’d say anything from Norton Records [inspires me]. They’re the label with the able stable!

You’re a snazzy dresser. Where do you get your duds?

These are the only clothes I could find under your mother’s bed this morning!

Name five unexpected Daddy Long Legs influences.

  1. “Fruit Distributor” in Alfred Hitchcocks Frenzy
  2. Ice hockey
  3. Robert Mitchum in Night Of The Hunter
  4. White Castle
  5. Canvey Island, Essex

Daddy Long Legs plays Union Pool with Bloodshot Bill and T. Valentine on Saturday.