By Emily Bell | Photography by Phil Fabrizio
Known as The Leify Green Conspiracy, this band believes in paying it forward. Singer-songwriter Leify Green explains, “We are conspiring to grow a stronger and healthier community by creating music with a positive message, providing social entertainment that brings people together, and partnering with other independent businesses and organizations that put people first.”
In tune with their name, The Leify Green Conspiracy makes efforts to stay eco-conscious. The band has made appearances at EcoFest and the 1st Annual Baltimore VegFest, and its CD packaging is 100 percent recycled cardboard.
From growing up in Silver Spring to strumming his guitar on the streets of California, Leify has traveled many miles and puts his heart and soul into pursuing his music career.
The band’s story begins when Leify, then studying economics and linguistics at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), met up with longtime friend Luke Solomon and they began jamming with a group called Mother Nature’s Recipe. But as graduation approached, several members left and the group ultimately broke up.
Leify had a decision to make— continue on to graduate school or pursue his dream of making music. His dream won.
The current band formed in 2010 with singer/songwriter and rhythm guitarist Leify Green, bassist Luke Solomon, lead guitarist and singer/songwriter John Lawton, and percussionist Yerodin Sanders. It has grown to include numerous photographers, graphic designers and other musicians. Leify felt he needed to find a way to encompass all of the people who influence the band.
“I was driving one day and I thought, we’re a conspiracy,” says Leify. And that’s how the band became The Leify Green Conspiracy.
East Coast Roots
When asked what style of music they play, Leify, John and Luke respond, in varying order, “coffee house, acoustic rock, some reggae influences, dudes jamming on the beach, laid back.” Band members all bring their own musical styles and influences to the mix, resulting in the group’s unique sound and feel-good rhythms.
Leify says that early on, he was influenced by his Uncle Mitch Fanning’s fiddle playing. In fact, these days the band sometimes rehearses at Uncle Mitch’s Silver Spring residence. Mitch Fanning, aka Pete Moss, is a teacher at the Washington Waldorf School and leader of the Bog Band, an Irish music and dance group.
West Coast Wonders
Last March, The Leify Green Conspiracy performed at MADjam in Washington, D.C., and its version of Usher’s “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love” turned the band into a staple of the West Coast Swing (WCS) community. The band recently played the Atomic Ballroom in Irvine, California, at a dance hosted by World Swing Dance Champion Ben Morris.
Traveling mostly as a solo artist right now, Leify says his dream and goal for the year is to get the band on the road more with him. For now, the band has a great time jamming together and doing what they love—making music.
The Leify Green Conspiracy
Thursday, March 8, 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 31, 9:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 12, 8 p.m.
Flanagan’s Harp & Fiddle
4844 Cordell Ave., Bethesda
Free for Thursday, March 8 and April 12 performances;
$5 cover for the Saturday, March 31 show
For more events taking place in and around the county, visit our web calendar by clicking here.
Published in the March/April 2012 issue of Montgomery Magazine.