“There’s nothing quite as Pacific Northwestern as Olympia’s teen fiddle-and-folk band, REDS Band. With no shortage of musical talent, REDS perform a mix of original, popular and traditional music across Washington state, using the bodhran, cello, fiddle, guitar, and mandolin.” ~ Christina Butcher – Oly Arts
REDS Band Debut Album Review from The Living Tradition Magazine, UK Take two sets of brothers, Dante and Eros Faulk, and River and Sage Scheuerell, shake up the initial letters of their first names, and you get the origin of the band’s name. REDS hail from Olympia in Washington State, where they have established themselves throughout the area as up-and-coming players of fiddle-based music, having turned towards traditional music after earlier forays in contemporary and classical. River plays fiddle, mandolin and bouzouki; Eros, fiddle, foot and shruti box; Dante, cello and bodhran; and Sage, guitar. This instrumentation allows them to vary the depth and timbre of their music, which they interpret with a maturity beyond their years. Their arrangements are well thought out, with good interplay between all the instruments.
The selection of music on show is also well-balanced, with a mixture of well-known Irish session tunes, Scottish and Québecois numbers and journeys into Scandinavian parts as well. Not to forget the home-based American music, either! Regardless of the tunes’ origins, the lads tackle them all with brio and verve, and their current level of playing makes me sure that they are going to evolve into an extremely enthusiastic and competent outfit indeed. REDS play with lots and lots of energy, yet still manage to keep control of the music, which they treat with respect as they stamp their own take on it. Definitely a band to look out for in future years. Gordon Potter
RED Band Debut Album Review from Irish Music Magazine A young band from the USA, two sets of brothers and a bag full of talent: River Scheuerell (fiddle, mandolin and bouzouki), Sage Scheuerell (guitar), Eros Faulk (fiddle and shruti box) and Dante Faulk (cello and bodhrán). They play acoustic instruments, and they are exploring three distinct styles of music: Celtic, Scandinavian and American Old Timey. Their influences include Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas. The album opens with Lus na mBanrion, learned from a Lúnasa recording; here the cello opens the action with a moody prelude before the ensemble shifts into top gear. This approach is repeated on the Celtic numbers, a slow burn beginning, before bursting into flames as the melodies progress. Irish tunes such as Dick Cosgroves and Tuttles have a raw edge to them, the fiddle is organic and honest, on Sporting Paddy we get the un-planed timber of the raw bar, the tune stripped down to its fundamentals.
The Scandinavian material is another kind of fiddling altogether. It has an accent all of its own, even on Engelska fran Korpo, which began life as an English country dance. There’s much trilling on the fiddle in Trettondedagsmarschen, written by Anders Olsson and learned from Alasdair Fraser, the set rounded off with a Shetland tune they had from Natalie Haas. Then there are American tunes; these are lively, optimistic sunny pieces, such as Little Mert named in honour of a cactus is full of choppy mandolin licks. The lads close out the album with a three tune selection of Salt Spring, Le Persuadeur and the Highlander’s Farewell. It’s fast, furious and full of invention, the old timey mandolin shines and the Quebecois tune is perfect for dancing. A young band looking in three musical directions and the view from each is certainly interesting. Seán Laffey