An octet from Petersburg, Virginia that formed in 1972 at Virginia State College, Trussel took their name from a railroad bridge near the school that was actually a tressle bridge, but they changed the spelling, so the name really has no meaning. The self-contained funk band consisted of Ronald Smith (drums), Michael Gray (lead guitar/songwriter), Larry Tynes (lead vocals and keyboards), Bill McGee (trumpet/songwriter), Hannon B. Lane (guitar, keyboards, trombone and saxophone), H. Lorenzo Maclin (bass and vocals), Lenwood Jones (saxophone, vocals, and keyboards), and Michael Spratley (lead vocals and baritone sax). McGee came from Atlanta, Georgia and played with Hellaphanalia, a band that evolved into Brick ("Dazz"). Initially, they played scot free at a snack shop, calling themselves the Snack Shop Band. Their first two recordings, "Bicentennial Boogie" and "Beautiful People," were products of their own Bridge That Gap Records, both received a little air play in the Petersburg area but not much anywhere else. Industrious guys, they also had their own record store and music publishing company. The most eventful thing to happen between 1972-1979, however, was a stint as Evelyn "Champagne" King's backing band in 1979. In 1980, they released their only album, Love Injection, produced by Allan Richardson and Fred Wesley, on Elektra Records. It featured the funkers "Big City Rocker," "Love Injection," "Gone for the Weekend," and some sweet ballads. UniDisc Records reissued the LP on CD in 1994.
by Andrew Hamilton