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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Area musician pursuing his dream

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Rick Ledune at work.
(Submitted photo)
Greene County native and area singer/musician/songwriter Rick LeDune continues to develop his talents in pursuit of a Nashville country music career.

He took a big step forward in chasing his dream this week when he performed on stage at the annual Sandy Lee Songfest in Henderson, Ky., which opened Wednesday night and continues through Saturday.

More than a dozen writers of blockbuster songs like Brad Paisley's "Waitin' On A Woman," Tim McGraw's "Down On The Farm," George Strait's "Troubadour," and Tanya Tucker's "Two Sparrows In A Hurricane" will be performing throughout the festival.

LeDune performed Wednesday night at Rookie's Sports Bar in Henderson along with songwriters Keith Vincent and Darren Warren.

LeDune, a popular lead singer for the local group Awesome Possum Project, and a frequent performer with Bruce Borders and the City Council Band, was an invited guest of Henderson native and award-winning songwriter Kerry Kurt Phillips.

"I think I'm the only writer featured without a major hit, yet," LeDune told the Greene County Daily World on Sunday evening.

Other songwriters who will perform in the four-day event include: Jamie Teachenor, Buddy Owens, Lance Miller, Dan Demay, Liz Hengber, Brandon Kinney, Mark Alan Springer, Lisa Carver, Kendell Marvel, Jerry Salley, Larry Cordle, Wil Nance, Jason Matthews, Phil "Philbilly" O'Donnell, and Wynn Varble.

Speaking of the Henderson festival, LeDune commented, "It's loaded with pro Nashville writers. I'm so stoked for this. Being invited to play this is as big a deal for me as a writer as getting to pick with Roy Clark as a performer."

LeDune did, indeed, get a chance to pick with Clark during a June 2010 performance in the Greene County Foundation Festival An Evening With Roy Clark and Friends concert at Linton-Stockton High School.

Clark's regular lead guitarist was ill and LeDune was recruited off the opening act band of Bruce Borders and the City Council Band.

The 50-year-old LeDune, who lives in Spencer and works at the U.S. Federal Prison in Terre Haute, has been spending a lot of time in recent years commuting back and forth between Nashville, Tenn., and his Indiana home.

"I get up with my wife at 5-5:30 every morning. She gets ready for work and I write. I write until time for me to get ready to go to work around 8. Since I work Monday-Thursday, I write every Friday-Sunday, so, I work full-time and write full-time. I even write driving back and forth to and from work," LeDune explained. "I'm not busy enough. I want more."

LeDune may be on the brink of something big.

The former Jasonville resident recently had songs recorded by a pair of what he termed "up and coming superstars."

Nashville's July Michael recorded the "Can Ya Diggit?" written by LeDune, Jasonville native Cindy Bell and Erik Nelson.

"I was in a band with Cindy in high school called Adam's Rib. Cindy and I both moved away from Jasonville around 1978," LeDune recalled, saying the connection with his old band mate has been a good one.

Bell and LeDune reconnected about two years ago after he found her on Facebook. Since then they've starting writing some together.

"Cindy had been in the Nashville area writing for 15 years and we started doing some co-writes. She introduced me to several industry people. One was an act she was working with July Michael. July recorded several of our songs and has just released a CD, however, our co-writes will most likely be on the next one," LeDune explained. "Cindy introduced me to Danny Wells, who I found out was looking for a new young female artist to aid in development. I had just started writing with a 15-year-old girl from Clinton named Abbi Scott. I suggested Abbi submit a promo packet to Danny Wells Productions. They loved her.

"Abbi, Danny and I got together to write. Her album is complete. Her videos are blowing up on YouTube and she just opened up for Jana Kramer and Lee Brice at SummerBash in Terre Haute. Abbi performed one of the songs she and I wrote with Danny Wells. It's called 'Too Country, Too Bad'."

LeDune began his music career by singing his first church special at age 5.

His Jasonville family home was always filled with the music of Elvis, The Everly Brothers, Ray Price, and other country greats.

His folks bought him a yard sale box guitar around age 11 and he started to perfect his music skills.

LeDune did an eight-year stint in the U.S. Army, where he had the opportunity to perform on stage in Australia, Korea, and Panama. During the Gulf War, he penned a song called "Desert Storm" that brought him some notoriety in Virginia and earned him a spot as opening act for Lee Roy Parnell, Mark Collie and John Anderson during the Fourth of July celebration.

"I have dabbled with songwriting since I started playing guitar, nearly 40 years ago. But I got serious about it while I was in the military," he said.

LeDune, who is a member of Nashville Songwriter Association International, will have a busy week.

Aside from his Henderson gig on Wednesday, he'll be with his band Awesome Possum Project at 7 p.m. on Saturday night at the Farmersburg Festival in the park.

A few years ago, LeDune wrote, recorded and produced a full CD with his rockin'/country band.

"Awesome Possum is still together, but due to my writing, we are limited on the gigs we play," he commented.

LeDune's songwriting dream remains alive.

"I've played Nashville writer rounds at The Bluebird, Roosters and now this big event in Henderson, Ky.," LeDune said.

He stands ready when inspiration hits.

"Inspiration comes from giving yourself permission to be a songwriter. After you've done that, you see and hear things that might pass by most folks. News stories, family, movies, Facebook posts, conversations other folks are having, almost everywhere there's inspiration for a song," LeDune said. "I always have a pen and paper ready to jot down a hook (idea) for a song. I even use a voice recorder when I'm driving."

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Way to go Rick and everybody you guys GOT this!! Your amazing and make people feel amazing! You always have the crowd hoppin! Praying for success!

-- Posted by greenecountymom on Wed, Aug 1, 2012, at 5:18 PM

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