A prominent force in the Topeka music scene for more than 13 years, Bridges is comprised mainly of passionate musicians who have known each other for decades which continue to grow and change. Having just finished their second independently produced record, we can look forward to an album release event at the Fairlawn Classic Bean on September 1st. To get more information on songs, shows, and individual members, check out their Facebook page at BridgesTopeka.
Bridges line-up includes Kenny Smith – Acoustic Guitar; Wyndi Senogles – Acoustic Guitar; Glenn Leonardi – Electric Guitar; Terry Proctor – Bass; Nancy McKenzie – Keyboard; and Travis Byers – Drums.
1Q: Where did the name Bridges come from?
A: Kenny – When I started playing with others, I met Lori Bridges, and we were Bridges & Smith for a while. Then we started adding more people, like Terry. Later, Lori moved to Nashville, but we kept the name Bridges because it represents to us the different generations of musicians in the group as well as the musical generations that inspire us.
2Q: How long have you known each other?
A: Kenny – Terry and I met when we were 12, so that’s 47 years ago…
Nancy – I’ve known Kenny and Terry for over 20 years.
Wyndi – I’ve known Kenny for at least 20 years.
Terry – We’ve been a band for a long time, maybe 13 or 14 years.
Nancy – Travis has been with us for a little over a year.
Wyndi – Glenn is our newest; 3 or 4 months.
3Q: What sets you apart?
A: Terry – We have so much talent, and we do things like have Travis, our drummer, come up and play a song he wrote on the guitar, and Wyndi will go back and do percussion. It gives us a different sound and that variety keeps things fresh, interesting, and evolving.
4Q: Favorite venues?
A: Kenny – “Home court” is the Classic Bean in Fairlawn Plaza, and The Celtic Fox is a great place where you can play whatever you want.
Nancy – The Mulvane [Mountain/Plains] Art Festival is always great.
Kenny – Serendipity, I really like that place – it’s different.
5Q: Originals vs. covers?
A: Wyndi – Probably about 50% original music.
Kenny – We work on covers well enough to get by, but we focus on our originals.
Wyndi – Another band, Borderline, wants to do a cover of one of our songs, Cardinal Hotel.
Bridges will be playing on the Top City Thursday Live Concert Series Stage on Thursday, Aug. 16 in downtown Topeka, in front of the Celtic Fox. Look for them to play during a 3rd Thursday seveneightfive showcase at Serendipity this Fall.
[ Interview by Tony Davis | Photography by Amber O’Dell | July 2012 ]