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Dead Letter Society popular local band

May 5, 2011
They call their music “Rock and Roll with Guaranteed Delivery.” Sounds a bit like mailing a priority package at the Post Office with the guaranteed delivery.

But the guaranteed delivery is generated because the Dead Letter Society Band

is one of Southwest Florida’s hottest bands and its members are all employees of the U.S. Postal Service.

Three work out of the Lehigh Acres Post Office and one works as a clerk at the Bonita Springs Post Office.

They have performed for several Lehigh Acres clubs and organizations and have recently even played in Bonita.

If you’ve been to the any of their gigs, you know how popular the band is. They play great dance music from the 50s to the 80s, guaranteed delivery!” said Tom Owens, the lead guitarist and vocalist, he’s originally from Roxborough, Pa., and works at the Lehigh Post Office as a supervisor.

Others in the band include Adam Feist, guitar and vocals, originally from Wayne Pa., and he works at the Bonita Springs Post Office, Frank Lonabaugh, bass and vocals, originally from Ridley Park, Pa., who works at the Lehigh Acres Post Office as a city carrier, and John Hemphill, who plays drums and sings and is originally from Newark, Del. He is a city carrier at the Lehigh Acres Post Office, too.

They like to say they are the Philly boys but even they come from nearby areas, they each have different musical taste and influences and when you bring it all together, there is their own unique sound.

Special attention is paid to performing classic dance rock n roll with a bit of disco and funk thrown in and when you listen to this group, you will want to get up and shake it and dance, followers of the band say.

Getting the band together was all Tom Owen’s idea. He had played for more than 15 years with a Philly area band called X-Calibur. He transferred to Florida with the Postal Service and kept his interest in music, eventually playing with Adam Feist, one of the four, in a band they called White Socks & Flip Flops. Owens said the band members moved on but Tom still wanted to play.

Tom Owens, John Hemphill and Frank Lonabaugh were fellow employees at the Lehigh Acres Post Office for years, each didn’t know the other had musical talent and had played with bands.

When Tom Ownes found out about John and Frank’s musical background, they went to work to convince them that they come out of their musical retirement and form their own band.

They admit that it took some time and some convincing because both Frank and John had not played in a band in more than twenty years.

So as the story goes, Tom was busy recruiting Adam who was quietly working in Bonita to help him get the new guys back up and running again.

But as the others found out Owens can be very persuasive who won’t take no for an answer and the others will tell you that Tom was and continues to be the heart and soul of the band.

With some real coaxing, they started playing together and collaborated on an original tune for a John Lennon song contest. Friends say it was then that they realized there was a special energy, a special sound and a friendship between the men and the Dead Letter Society was born.

These guys have plenty of gigs and are very popular in the Lehigh Acres community and they are branching out to other venues. The songs they chose for the bad to play represent an overlap of these various tastes and influences from each with special attention to performing classic dance rock n roll with some disco and funk thrown in.

Those who have heard the Dead Letter Society perform say they are all enthusiastic and know they will hear tunes they know and love to party with.

Their music is influenced by the Philly area dance clubs from the late 60s to the early 90s.

They know the music well of Elvis Presley, Boy Dylan, Tom Petty, the Commodores, the Temptations, the Beatles, the Stones, the Boxtops, Doobie Brothers, Bob Segar and many, many more. These guys also remember to include a few slow dance numbers so you can get a rest.

In 2010 Kenny Ferauff, who believe it or not, also works at the Lehigh Acres Post office as a city carrier, and his wife, Wendy asked them to play at their Homestead Sports Pub in the Lehigh Towne Center, on the corner of Alabama Rd., across the street from Walgreens.

That was their first official gig and the rest is history. They have become one of the more popular bands in Lehigh.

They still play regularly at the Homestead Sports Pub and at the Lehigh Moose Lodge and the Eagles Club’s new digs on Williams Rd. They’ve favorites at the Elks Lodge in Fort Myers and are now branching into Bonita Springs, having just performed at the Moose Lodge in Bonita. A few weeks ago, they performed at The Stage, a popular Bonita Beach Road club.

Lots of people call them the DLS Band and they devote their energy at benefits, too to help out. One was at the Orioles Club in Fort Myers for an injured soldier, Corey Kent, and the other was held at the Microtel Inn & Suites in Lehigh for a local man who was suffering a serious illness.

You can find them on Facebook as the Dead letter Society Florida and their schedules are located there. There are also pictures that taken from each gig. You can also listen to their video and if you search you will find the band on Don’t confuse them though with a group from the United Kingdom.

They are open to future gigs and if your club is planning a special affair or a benefit given them a call. Frank Lonabaugh can be reached at 368-8449 or you can call Tom Owens at 218-9028.

Article Photos

Dead Letter Society Band at one of its recent gigs. All the members of the band – Tom Owens, Adam Feist, Frank Lonabaugh and John Hemphill all work for the U.S. Postal Service with three working out of the Lehigh Post Office. They are from left to right, Adam Feist, John Hemphill, tom Owens and Frank Lonabaugh.



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