Lipinsky brings energy to the Raue’s piano

Jerry Lee Lewis always will be an inspiration, but this time around, it’s all Lance Lipinsky.

The performer known for his portayal of the legendary piano-pumping artist in Chicago’s “Million Dollar Quartet” will take the Raue Center Stage with his own music and his own band, Lance Lipinsky and the Lovers.

“It’s something that’s been a long-time coming for me, years in the making,” said Lipinsky, who got his start portraying Jerry Lee Lewis in Las Vegas revues.

Lipinsky is among the headliner acts taking part in the Raue’s third annual National Piano Conference on June 27-29.

Lipinsky performed in a sold-out “Jerry Lee & Friends” concert at last year’s conference. An excerpt of what he had to say about the latest show follows. Find the whole interview at

Kunzer: What can we expect from Lance Lipinsky and the Lovers?

Lipinsky: It’s not anything to do with Johnny Cash or Elvis or Jerry Lee this go-around. This is all my band, The Lovers, and it’s all original music. We do other music from the ‘50s and ‘60s, but also our originals, as well. ... We still do the high-energy rock and roll piano stuff.

Kunzer: What are your future plans for the band?

Lipinsky: We just recorded our first album, and it will be released in a few months. ... It’s kind of cool – the album was recorded in Memphis at Sun Records. It’s kind of similar to my day job at “Million Dollar Quartet.” It was funny going from fake Sun Records to real Sun Records in Memphis. A lot of people don’t realize you can still record there. ... It wasn’t for the novelty of it. It’s because, in my opinion, that equipment sounds the best.

Kunzer: Tell us about your original music and upcoming album.

Lipinsky: Kind of similar to Jerry Lee Lewis, it’s very piano-driven. It has that Jerry Lee drive on the piano and also the other piano influences from the ‘50s, Ray Charles and Fats Domino. With the baritone saxophone in the group, it gives it this rhythm and blues, Little Richard sound. It kind of pays homage to all those ’50s piano guys. It’s more music inspired from the late ’50s and early ’60s, Elvis meets Roy Orbison meets ’50s Phil Spector. It’s basically a bunch of songs completely influenced by that era. It’s just very authentic. It sounds like stuff that came directly from that time period.

Kunzer: Why that time period for you? What is it about that era that attracts you?

Lipinsky: Any artist that expresses their art from the heart, they just want to make a good piece of art. They’re not worried about his market or this record deal or trying to appeal to this or that. When your heart is completely free and open-minded, your soul is going to naturally do what it wants to do. For me, it always comes out looking and sounding that way. It’s from a childhood kind of foundation with what my parents listened to. My sister inherited the same thing. We both love that era. I just think it was the most colorful form of music ever created. ... Young and old love it. Every walk of life loves it. It was a special time in history where everything was just kind of really special.

And it was a one-time thing, and through all the phases and trends that we’ve gone through over pop music history, I think we’re finally at a point where we’re allowed to dip into the past. Not everything has to be groundbreaking and brand new. It’s refreshing in my opinion to do something traditional. We can steal from the past in a good way.

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