Geno LeSage (Keyboard & Vocals) Since June of 1991, Gene LeSage has been
Keyboardist and High harmony background vocalist for country music artist, Collin Raye. Performing up to 180 dates a year, Geno has definitely experienced the strenuous road life of a Musician. Gene's father, Gene LeSage III, owned a small recording studio in Minden, Nevada.
At this studio, the young LeSage learned to play guitar at age 7 and recorded Ricky Nelson songs, singing both lead vocals and harmonies. At church, he played drums and bass as early as 9 years of age. "From age 10 through 15," laughs Geno, "I was my Dad's only employed studio musician."
During high school Geno had a solo act that performed at a local Mexican restaurant. Around graduation, he started playing in bands around the Carson City and Reno, Nevada areas in several bars and casinos. One of the first bands in which Geno performed was "Nikki Nelson & Gold Rush." Nikki later became lead singer for the award-winning country group Highway 101.
Geno recall's, "We were childhood friends. We met at church, and one night she came to my Dad's studio and started singing the song 'Teach Me To Cheat' by The Kendells. I can still see my Dad snickering while she sang -- the material was a bit mature for a 7th grader."
While performing in a group called "The Silver State Band," Geno was approached by Collin Raye's manager, Steve Cox, and asked to join Collin's band. Collin would often attend their shows after he had completed his own shows for the evening in the Reno area. "What a tremendous honor and education it has been to work with Collin," Geno says of his boss of eight years.
With his earliest musical influences being Ricky Nelson and Elvis, Geno sites Ricky Skaggs as his "ultimate influence on the die-hard traditionalistcountry side. On the 70's and 80's pop/rock influences side, I've got to mention Elton John and Lionel Richie," he remarks. "In a perfect world, musically I'd like to meld all my influences -- and I think the music I'm currently writing at least gives a little taste of that."
Since 1997 Geno has had writers deals with EMI and Britsar Music Publishing. Geno got his first cut in 1999 when Collin Raye and Bobbie Eakes recorded " Loving this Way," which was a top 40 hit. Since then, he has had 5 other cuts including "Forgotten," "Heart," and "We'll Be Alright," on Collins current Album "20 Years and Change."
In 2001, Geno wrote and produced the demo for newly signed DreamWorks artist Jennie Jordan. Since then, he has co-produced Collin Raye's new "20 Years and Change" album (released November 2005) and another Raye album that was released in Europe. Lately, Geno has been playing in the Atlanta area with “Wilson Braswell”, "Borderline", and has also been taking solo gigs for restaurants such as "Garrisons," and Johnny Esposito's "Athletic Club."
Geno also performs at other special events and will be going back out on the road with Collin Raye through the summer. Geno has also been in the studio producing aspiring artists that he thinks deserve a shot at a recording career. "There's nothing cooler than helping talented people achieve their goals."
Geno stated, "OpenMic.US is a great organization. Open mics are a great way for emerging talent to gain experience."