Lex Romane is a musician. A singer, guitar player and songwriter who has been playing music of one kind or another for the last 40 years. It all started at summer camp, where he and a bongo-playing friend performed Harry Bellafonte's "Deo" at the bonfire to rousing applause. Something inside clicked.
Lex grew up in Northeastern Pennsylvania in the "great folk scare" of the 1960's. As a teenager, he started playing the guitar, so he could sing songs by Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, and other artists of the day. He also formed a Peter, Paul and Mary-inspired trio, called The Cumberland Three, that played at local coffeehouses and Hootenannies. When he reached college, Lex joined a local rock band called American Asfault that went on to open for groups like the Jefferson Airplane, Three Dog Night and the Kinks. After the group disbanded, Lex turned his attention to bluegrass, country music and Western swing and joined a bluegrass band that played once a week at a local watering hole.
In 1975 Lex moved to Philadelphia and became involved with the Cherry Tree music co-op, a neighborhood organization that promoted local and "on the road" musicians out of the folk tradition. While living in the City of Brotherly Love, Lex got to meet and play with a wide variety of musicians, including Winnie Winston (pedal steel guitar and banjo); Saul Broudy (harmonica); Jack McGann (acoustic guitar); and Bruce Carver (acoustic and electric guitar). Lex got to open for David Amram, Rosalie Sorells and Utah Phillips.
A chance meeting at a mutual friend's house brought Lex together with clarinet and saxophonist Joe Riillo. And so the "LEX & JOE" duo was born. This musical collaboration has lasted 27 years and resulted in four CDs that feature a mixture of swing, blues and old R&B with some original material as well.
Lex & Joe also have played in bands in Pennsylvania (Northeast Extension band and River Street band) and in Maine (Neil & the Nightlifes, the Nightlifes and Lex & Joe's Blueswing). Lex & Joe have opened for Leon Redbone, Buddy Rich and BB King.
Lex Romane still plays the occasional solo gig with his acoustic guitar, like he did so many years ago. His latest songwriting project speaks to his lifelong interest in the coal-mining region where he grew up. He is currently working on a solo CD with original songs that anthologize Northeastern Pennsylvania's coal mining history and the tough life of the coal miner. Some of the songs are: The Knox Coal Mine Disaster-which deals with an event back in 1959 that ended coal mining in the Wyoming Valley. Another song is about "The Breaker Boys", young boys who worked in the coal breakers instead of going to school. There is also another song about a miner who realizes that mining is the only thing he will ever do-"Living on Borrowed Time".
Lex lives in the resort town of Ogunquit, Maine and can be seen performing in clubs in and around the seacoast area.
He can be contacted at: