A pair of brothers who’ve entertained audiences in NEPA for around three decades, in their respective bands and as a popular duo, plans to make a record and announce a gigging schedule for next year.
The Liebacks — Bill and Pete Lieback, both of Duryea — will begin a residency in January at Arturo’s restaurant in Dupont. They’ll play one show a month throughout 2018, and they hope to have an album out by July.
‘We’ve been playing longer as a duo than any band we’ve ever been in, but we’ve never done any original stuff,” Bill Lieback said.
Lieback, a skilled drummer who has been a member of successful local groups like Mere Mortals and Cider, said he and guitarist Pete, who played in multiple NEPA outfits including popular party band Hoosier Daddy, agreed to make 2018 their last campaign as a duo because their window for attracting audiences is closing.
“Our crowd is getting older, like we are,” Lieback said. “They don’t go out like they used to when we were younger. We don’t have the push to get it to places where there’s a built-in younger crowd and they’ll follow us. You don’t want to end when the crowd is two people. Why not go out where we still have a good crowd and people can come out and by a CD.”
In their heyday, The Liebacks were accustomed to playing six nights a week. After a year-and-a-half break from gigging locally, the brothers found that more sporadic performances could lead to greater interest per performance.
“In the beginning of this year, we did one show in February, and it was packed,” Lieback said.
The first show in their Arturo’s residency will take place on Jan. 20, Lieback’s birthday.
Lieback said he and Pete decided to make an original record after they concluded that they would perform for one more year.
“I said, ‘Pete, this is going to be our last year playing. We have to do it now or it’s not going to make any sense,’” Lieback said. “I started writing songs for me to do another album, but I just figured we’ll take some of the old songs and we’ll write some new ones and do it as a duo.”
The old songs, Lieback said, will come from a record he made in 2016, when he resurrected the name of his old cover band, The Pee Pees, to try his hand at being an original songwriter after years behind the drum kit.
Ten new songs, which will comprise the upcoming record, will be written by Lieback on guitar, the instrument he took up for the Pee Pees record, and ukulele, an instrument he started playing more recently. Traditionally, The Liebacks are known for high-energy performances and rambunctious humor.
“I’m getting really poppy,” Lieback said. “Certain songs, I’m trying to keep comedy in there too, so it fits my and Pete’s mold, what everybody’s used to. There’s going to be some serious songs as well.”
Live, The Liebacks will keep their typical format with Bill playing drums and Pete playing guitar.
“I’ll sing from behind the kit when I sing,” Lieback said.
Lieback said he’s excited to hit the studio with Lake Ariel producer Eric Ritter to work out four-part harmonies and other sonic elements that won’t be achievable by a duo in a live setting.
“I’m not going to rush it,” Lieback said. “I want to get it done right.”
The Liebacks launched a brief Kickstarter campaign for 30 days in October and November to begin raising funds for the studio. Lieback said they are grateful to their patrons and hope to generate interest in a second drive in the new year.
“For $10, you’re actually buying the CD,” Lieback said.
Although The Liebacks plan to engage in different endeavors when 2018 comes to a close, they are adamant that they are not saying goodbye in contrived, grand fashion.
“Pete and I do not like to say ‘farewell,’” Lieback said. “We’re a local duo, and we’re not important. It’ll be nice seeing everybody for one last year.”
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or on Twitter @TimesLeaderMatt.
IF YOU GO
What: The Liebacks Christmas Spectacular
Where: Arturo’s, 140 Main St., Dupont
When: 9 p.m. Dec. 9
Additional information: The Liebacks will perform each month throughout 2018 at Arturo’s starting on Jan. 20. They’ll also release an album of original music in the summer. For more information and updates on The Liebacks, visit their Facebook page at http://bit.ly/2hXZEtj.