Cripps has been playing music in Memphis since he first arrived in 1990, though his brainchild band, Limes, has been playing in various incarnations since 2000. Inspired by a song he wrote called, “We are the Limes” in ’99, Cripps assembled a crew of misfits for his vision of Limes.“[The song] had kind of an underdog feel to it,” Cripps says. “It went something like, ‘We pick up our guitar but we don't know how to play/You could laugh if you want/But some day we'll blow you away/We're not lemons/ Hey, hey, we are the limes.’”
Nick Ray (Viva L’American Death Ray, ’68 Comeback), Harlan T. Bobo, and Jack Oblivian were the original members. Since then a slew of local musicians have played with Limes including Quinn Powers (Burning Sands, Final Solutions), Alicja Trout (River City Tanlines, Lost Sounds) and Ross Johnson.
The new lineup is Cripps on guitar and vocals with Stephanie Richard (Secret People) on bass and Chris Owen (Tout Le Mon, Time) on drums. “I wanted this lineup to improvise and play with energy,” Cripps says.
Cripps also wanted the group to play more than just the old Limes songs. He says neither musician was very familiar with his older recordings except Richard knew some songs from Tarantula!, so he’d play a riff and then they’d elaborate. Since January, the band’s created 12 new loosely structured songs that they’ll be taking on the road. “Enough for a new record,” Cripps says.
He also says the dynamics will continue to shift from show to show, depending on the crowd and ideas that arise on tour. “Anyone who’s been to Limes shows or who’s played in the bands knows that we never play the songs the same twice. You know, it changes but you never really know when.”
The idea for the tour almost fell through after someone ran their car into Cripps’ 18-wheeler truck while he was driving on I-71 through Cincinnati, but, he says, “We decided to go ahead and keep the tour but think of it more as a vacation.”
The tour begins in Seattle on July 19th and ends in Memphis at the Hi-Tone on July 29th.