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Monday, July 21, 2003

Trusting Lucy prepares for festival appearance

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By Dave Steffenson-- Assistant Editor

Lisa Long, left, and Linda Arceo will play at 1:45 p.m. July 26 at the Gazebo stage at the Garlic Festival.
GILROY - What’s in a name?

Well, when it comes to names, this band has had its share. While many people may have heard Linda Arceo and Gilroy resident Lisa Long’s bold lyrics and catchy guitar riffs while wandering the Garlic Festival the last three years, they might not recognize the two by any name.

Going under the name Linda Arceo, Arlo, Arceo and Long and, finally, Trusting Lucy, the women don’t seem to care what name they go by, as long as they keep turning heads.

“I think what grabs people is that our songs have hooks in them,” Arceo said. “We don’t play like girls.”

Bucking the stereotype that women playing acoustic guitars play light, airy music, Arceo and Long have turned the last two years into a productive collaboration based on two different styles and a rock sound that always turns heads, something the women hope to do July 26 at the Gazebo stage at the 2003 Garlic Festival.

“We always want to get in there,” Arceo said. “There’s so many people there. If you can get the person to turn from way out in the field or beer booth, that’s a goal.”

But when asked about the band’s name, Arceo could only laugh and say, “That’s a story on it’s own, I think Lisa should tell you about that.”

It all began when Long, who was doing her own solo work and had released a self-titled album, was asked to help fill in playing the keyboard for Arceo, who also had her own album out, but was picked to play for the Garlic Festival and didn’t have a band - she had produced the album by hiring 13 musicians to back up her guitar.

“I had my own thing going on,” she said.

When Long joined in the band, they changed their name to Arlo, a mix of the Arceo and Long’s last names, but it didn’t last for long.

“Arlo was taken by another band, so we couldn’t use it. We changed our name to Arceo and Long,” Long said.

Finally, the two decided to settle on Trusting Lucy. But how does that name fit in when neither of the women have that name?

“When we joined forces, it took a lot of trust to be there for the whole package - that’s where the word ‘trust’ came in,” Long said.

The second part of the name came out of a nickname given to Arceo by a friend.

“She called her Linda Palomino,” Long said. “Palomino means ‘dove’ in Spanish, and Linda means beautiful.”

Long used to joke that if she was ever called up accept a Grammy award, she would accidentally say Lucy Palomino instead of Linda Arceo. From there, Trusting Lucy became the name of the group.

“Lucy became an identity of the band,” Long said. “She got her own identity.”

The duo, sometimes back by a six-man band, other times playing acoustic, do four or five shows each month and recently released their first album, “It’ll Be Fine.”

What makes the two-disc release interesting is that one CD is of the group playing with a band, and the second CD is the same songs played on acoustic guitar.

“That was Linda’s idea,” Long said. “We have a fan base for the acoustic music and also for the band.”

The album took nearly six months to create, but the Arceo and Long said it was a test to see if they could work together.

“If you can’t get along in (the studio), it won’t work,” Arceo said. “We were driving up and down the coast every weekend (to the studio in Hollywood). We were with each other almost 24 hours a day.”

The band practices together at Long’s Gilroy home, where she moved six years ago. She works at JL Ranch. Meanwhile, Arceo works for the county of Monterey as a management analyst.

“The 8-to-5 job makes it possible for me to do this,” Arceo said.

But that isn’t the long-term goal for these two, who plan to stay together and make meaningful music.

“We hit it off really well, and we both had the same goal,” Long said. “We would love to just make a living making music. We would really love to just play, and quit our day jobs and still have a home to come back to at the end of the day.”

The two met through a mutual friend

Long, who originally is from Pleasanton, started her music career playing cover songs.

“I played in piano bars originally,” she said. “I found that I could play guitar chords on the piano and just fake it, and I made really good money playing covers, but I got burned out.”

Meanwhile, she earned an associate’s degree in music.

Arceo comes from a different school of music - her own.

“I’m self-taught,” she said. “I learned from watching my dad play music. I payed my way through college playing in bands.”

While long said she made good money playing cover tunes, it means a lot more to her to make less money playing music she wrote herself.

“We believe so much in what we are doing,” she said. “I don’t make nearly as much money playing out own stuff, but it’s so much more fulfilling.”

Arceo said that the key to their success together has been through their differing styles blending so well.

““We’ve definitely progressed together,” she said. “It’s hard to find voices that match. My stuff is more rock-oriented, and she is more ballad-oriented.

“When you have us separate, it doesn’t sound like it would match, but it does.”

Trusting Lucy’s album “It’ll Be Fine” is available by visiting www.trustinglucy.com and soon can be found in the independent section at Music For a Song at the Gilroy Outlets.

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