Red Wanting Blue with Liz Brasher - 6/19/18Tuesday, June 19 2018 6:00 PM Doors / 8:00 PM Start / Ends 10:00 PM (ESTIMATED ENDING TIME)
- Front Premier
- Bar Stool
Red Wanting Blue with Liz Brasher - 6/19/18
at City Winery Washington DC
- 6:00 PM
- 8:00 PM
- 10:00 PM (ESTIMATED ENDING TIME)
- Front Premier
- Bar Stool
RED WANTING BLUE
Hailed as “Midwestern rock heroes” by American Songwriter, Red Wanting Blue has spent the last twenty years establishing themselves as one of the indie world’s most enduring and self-sufficient acts, notching appearances everywhere from Letterman to NPR and reaching #3 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, all while operating largely outside the confines of the traditional music industry. For their powerful new album, ‘The Wanting,’ the band handed production duties over to acclaimed singer/songwriter Will Hoge, who helped them create their most ambitious, fully realized collection yet. Recorded in Nashville, TN, the record draws on many of the group’s traditional strengths—indelible melodies, infectious hooks, explosive performances—even as the making of it pushed them far outside their comfort zone and forced them to take an unprecedented, nearly year-long break from touring.
Alternately triumphant and melancholic, the songs on ‘The Wanting’ are both muscular and nuanced, with frontman Scott Terry’s epic, heartfelt vocals soaring above the band’s gritty brand of driving rock and roll. The record opens with the rousing “High and Dry,” a feel-good rocker that also serves as something of a mission statement for a fiercely independent group that’s as much a band as they are a family, with Terry singing, “I want to stand on my own two feet again / And when I mess up / That’s when I hope my friends will pick me up.” On “Ulysses,” the band channels early Phil Collins with pulsing synths and larger-than-life drums, while the tender “Glass House” crescendos from a delicate whisper to a triumphant roar, and the dreamy “I’ve Got A Feeling It Hurts” calls to mind the hypnotic drive of REM mixed with a touch of Jayhawks jangle.
“This is really the most collaborative album our band has ever made,” Terry says of the wide range of influences. “It’s the first record where every member contributed to the writing, and I feel like we all matured as artists because of it.”
Over the course of ten previous studio albums, Red Wanting Blue brought their passionate, unforgettable live show to every city and town that would have them, blazing their own distinctive trail through the American heartland as they built up the kind of fanatically dedicated audiences normally reserved for arena acts. In 2016, they celebrated with a 20th anniversary retrospective album/concert film entitled ‘RWB20 Live at Lincoln Theater,’ which captured the band in all their glory at a sold-out hometown show in Columbus, OH.
Red Wanting Blue is:
Scott Terry (Vocals, Tenor Guitar, Ukulele)
Mark McCullough (Bass, Chapman Stick, Vocals)
Greg Rahm (Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals)
Eric Hall (Guitar, Lap Steel, Vocals)
Dean Anshutz (Drums & Percussion)
Liz Brasher makes her own kind of southern music — one that's caught halfway between the garage, the church, the bar, and the bedroom. She's a soul singer. A guitar-playing rocker. A one-woman girl group. A gospel revivalist who sings the praises of secular bands like the Box Tops.
It's a diverse sound rooted in the influence of Brasher's two homes: her adopted hometown of Memphis, where she recorded her debut LP, Painted Image, for Fat Possum Records; and her childhood stomping grounds in rural North Carolina, where she was raised in a musical, multi-ethnic household.
"I'm half Dominican, half Italian, and also Southern," says the songwriter, who grew up singing Baptist hymns in an all-Spanish church. "It's a different type of southerner, and that's why the music I make sounds like a different type of the south. By nature, I'm mixed. That's been my whole life — having to reconcile two different cultures, or the religious and secular world, or the different genres that have all influenced me. From the time I was born, I realized I was going to be a big mix."
Brasher's musical horizons expanded as she grew older. Raised on everything from the spirituals of Mahalia Jackson and harmony-heavy hooks of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, she moved to Chicago during her late teens. There, as a college student living far north of the Mason-Dixon line, she gained a new appreciation for the sound of her southern roots. She dove deep into the early icons of American music, from Stephen Foster to Delta Blues heavyweights like Geeshie Wiley and Leadbelly. That led to an appreciation for latter-day pioneers like Bob Dylan and the Staple Singers, two acts that modernized old-school American traditions to suit a new generation. Inspired, Brasher taught herself to play guitar, then began writing songs shortly thereafter.
After a move to Atlanta brought her back south, Brasher began playing shows, fronting her lean, three-piece live band — later championed by Rolling Stone as a "soul power trio" — for the first time. A love for the music of the 1950s and 1960s eventually convinced her to relocate to Memphis, where labels like Stax and Sun Records had shaped popular music during the previous century. She felt at home there. Like her, Memphis was a melting pot of influences, its internal soundtrack filled with music that crossed generation gaps and genre lines. Perhaps it's no surprise, then, that her songwriting flourished in the new town, inspiring the material that appeared on Brasher's Outcast EP — released in April 2018, not longer after her acclaimed appearance at SXSW — and that summer's full-length album, Painted Image.