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Red Wanting Blue

Kristi Kates - August 6th, 2010
Red Wanting Blue: Has Designs on Union Street
By Kristi Kates
“We have performed in Traverse City only once before, and fell in love
with the town,” Red Wanting Blue singer/guitarist Scott Terry says.
“This time it won’t be in the middle of winter, which we are excited
about.”
Red Wanting Blue, whose 2008 indie album, These Magnificent Miles, was
just re-released nationally via their new label home at Fanatic
(EMI/Caroline) Records, have spent a good portion of the past 10 years
trekking their well-honed blend of Americana and rock music back and
forth across the country.
That effort has paid off so far in the simple fact that they’ve
managed this long on their own - and quite well, thank you - without
major label support. But with the arrival of their new contract with
Fanatic, a label that’s focused more on the music than simply on the
financial bottom line, they’ll benefit even more via the extra
exposure.

HUES OF THE FUTURE
“I don’t believe that labels will ever be obsolete, but their roles
will be redefined,” Terry says in response to being asked about the
band’s transfer from long-time indie to newbie label band. “Hopefully,
this will push them back into the world of artist development - where
labels believed in their bands and stuck by them.”
There’s a lot for Fanatic to believe in where Red Wanting Blue is
concerned. RWB, as they’re dubbed by fans, have released eight albums
to date, and have shared stages with 311, The Roots, Robert Randolph,
and N.E.R.D., among others. Their following, especially in major
cities like New York and Chicago, just keeps growing, and Terry
expects that the band’s dedication to touring, especially with the
added help of the label, will help solidify that process.
“The reason we signed with Fanatic is that they have what I hope to be
the blueprints to the new paradigm of music in the 21st Century,” he
explains, “they share our belief in the ‘mom and pop’ way of doing
things. We have survived for this long being independent because we
never stopped touring - we never had the luxury to stop. We have been
circling this great country of ours in the bar and club ‘trenches’ for
over a decade just trying to stay alive.
“Indie bands are like sharks,” he declares, “if they stop moving, they die.”

SHADES OF SOUND
Formed in Ohio in 1996 and now making Columbus, Ohio their base,
founding member Terry is joined in his ever-moving “indie-band
project” by bandmates Mark McCullough on bass/vocals, Greg Rahm on
guitar/keys/vocals, Dean Anshutz on drums, and Eric Hall on
guitars/mandolin/vocals. As Terry explains, their sound is tough to
define in detail, but is partly inspired by the likes of Willie
Nelson, Tom Waits, The Band, and Townes Van Zandt.
“I feel like I’m too close (to our sound) to describe it with any sort
of accuracy, you know?” he says, “but I would use words like honest,
heartfelt, melodic, and road-worn. Our producer describes us as a
‘savory plate of Americana.’”
Recorded at Sonic Lounge Studios in Columbus, Ohio, Red Wanting Blue’s
... Miles album was produced by Ryan Adams/Willie Nelson collaborator
Jamie Candiloro, with engineering by Dror Mohar. The combo of
behind-the-boards talent and the location itself, Terry says, is part
of what made both the sessions and the album itself great.
“The studio itself is amazing,” he continues. “I encourage all
musicians to consider working there. It’s the best bang for the buck
in the country, and Jamie’s production style and process was great to
work with. We didn’t know what songs were going to be on the album, or
what we’d be recording from one day to the next in an effort to keep
things fresh, so it was a very organic process.”

TINTS OF PERSEVERANCE
And as for that unusual - and colorful - name, Terry has an
explanation for that, too.
“The name was pulled from the wreckage of some of my earliest
writing,” he says, “in its context it read, ’…and far too often we’ve
been finding ourselves riding red, wanting blue.’ I chose red and blue
because they are primary colors - one can never be the other - and
colors are some of the most potent emotional images we have. We
literally use color to describe the way we feel. The name’s a lot like
’the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence’ - only
there’s always another fence.”
And those ‘other fences’ and bigger goals are what Red Wanting Blue
keep pursuing as their career grows, albeit with a determination to do
things their own way, even if it takes them a little longer. To them,
the integrity of their music is well worth the wait.
“If we were characters of Greek mythology, we’d be Sisyphus pushing
the stone up the hill, only to have it roll down again and again.
Maybe it’s a defeatist attitude, maybe it’s perseverance. They say the
definition of ‘crazy’ is when you do the same thing over and over
again and expect different results,” Terry smiles, “I call that
dreaming and being in a band.”

Red Wanting Blue will be performing at Union Street Station in
Traverse City on Saturday, September 11 at 9 p.m.
More info on the band may be found at www.myspace.com/redwantingblue -
and their album may be purchased at redwantingblue.bigcartel.com.

 
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