Red Wanting Blue: Columbus’ Hidden Gem
That honesty extends beyond just the lyrics. It’s how RWB have carried themselves as a group. From 2001 to 2008, RWB put out four more studio albums, one live album, and constantly toured with no backing from a label of any sort. Not that they weren’t offered deals. They were just never offered a deal they were comfortable with. They stuck to their guns, and built their fan base by touring relentlessly behind albums like 2003’s Souvenirs of City Life, and 2004’s critically acclaimed Pride: The Cold Lover. It wasn’t till last year that they signed with Fanatic Records and its “mom and pop” attitude. Considering how much RWB accomplished on their own, what would they do with proper label backing? Well RWB did what they always do. After Fanatic Records re-released their 2008 album, These Magnificent Miles, RWB toured relentlessly gathering more fans with each stop along the way.
That leads us up to the present. RWB have come out of the studio with, From The Vanishing Point, another batch of anthems set for
release on January 10th, 2012. To give the fans a taste of what they are in store for, RWB are once again back on the road. Last week, they treated Columbus to not simply a concert, but an event at the Newport, for those fans that have been there throughout the years to support them. The first set (Yes, I did say “first” set) was their upcoming album in its entirety along with a video shoot. Starting 13 days before the show, the band streamed a track from the new album each day leading up to the show. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that some of the fans were singing the new songs’ lyrics back to the band, but to have that many singing back shows the hunger RWB’s fans have to get some new songs. It also takes “just a bit” of confidence on RWB’s part to play a whole set of brand new songs, and not only be certain the fans will love them, but also that they can pull every song off live. Which being the road tested band they are is what they did. The slow building rocker, “Dinosaur,” built to back to back guitar solos by Eric Hall that culminated into a roar from the crowd, and Terry jumping around with a big smile at song’s end, indicating the band knew they just nailed the hell out of it. I know “Audition,” with drummer Dean Anshutz providing a shuffle back beat, is the lead single. Still, “White Snow” with its strong melody, the bouncy fan favorite “Walking Shoes, or the destined classic “Love Remains,” would all be great lead singles. Hearing the whole new album live it’s clear these songs progress the band to new territories, but still sounds familiar and worn in. The second set was packed with fan favorites like “U.S. Bumper Sticker,” “The
World is Over,” and every mom’s favorite “You’re My Las Vegas.” The crowd sang every lyric to every song. They cheered each opening lick in anticipation that their “other” favorite song was coming. Bassist, Mark McCullough’s face was a constant grin as he took in the audience. Just behind me I noticed two ladies in their 60’s singing along and dancing around to “Finger in the Air.” It’s at this point that I made up the goofy term “sweet spot music” to describe this band. I could have brought my 65 year old father or my 12 year old niece, and they would have had the same smile everyone else did as they left the Newport. That night RWB two sets for a combined 25 songs and still left the crowd wanting more.
So that is Red Wanting Blue: A hard working band from Columbus who play honest rock and roll that will be stuck in your head for days (or weeks). If they don’t hit your town on this tour, don’t worry. Go buy their albums and prepare. More likely than not, Red Wanting Blue will be hitting your town soon. That’s just what they do.
Bradford Iten; Columbus Wired [cincopa AUAA-uqQmr6o]