From Sea Chanteys to Nuts (video 1:53)

From Sea Chanteys to Nuts (video 1:53)
From Sea Chanteys to Nuts (video 1:53)
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Red Light Rodeo found the inspiration for their name… not from a brothel in Nevada…but from the observation of traffic at the intersection near the Camel. They wisely rejected one of Wes’ first ideas – Darth Vomit.

 

Wes and Zack

Wes Canter & Zack Miller

A few weeks ago, I spotlighted a Richmond rock power trio – Sportsbar Rockstar. This week it’s another one, a “bluegrass power trio,” whose power is measured not in amplification, but in attitude. Red Light Rodeo has been around for 2 years playing what they call Honk-grass – a mash up of honky tonk, bluegrass, country and some rock attitude thrown in. They opened at Ashland Coffee and Tea for The River Whyless, which was an interesting contrast in a style that builds off the same roots – Americana and bluegrass. Both bands showcased their own compositions – the River was more ethereal, the Rodeo more straight up with a nod to the wild west.

 

Wes Canter (guitar/vocal) writes all “the words” for their own songs and the whole band “comes up with the parts.” Listening to them, there are familiar melodies and themes ramped up with an edginess that brings great energy to the stage. Embracing a true passion for the music they’re making, they definitely don’t deliver the “same old same old.” “We’re not trying to get too far into the future. We want to keep to the antiquity of the music…keep that vibe alive” says Zach Hudgins (bass/vocal).

 

Wes gets inspiration for his songs from old bluegrass and gospel, as well as singer/songwriters like Townes Van Zandt, Woody Guthrie and Kris Kristofferson. “I try to find similar themes and write with the clarity of people like that.” Bandmate Zack Miller (mandolin/fiddle/vocal) says he often finds it hard to tell if a new song is one of Wes’ or a traditional one he’s adapted. “That’s about the best compliment I’ve gotten as a writer,” says Wes. He also taps into an unlikely source – sea chanteys and has convinced “the boys” to come along.

 

 

Zach Hudgins

Zach Hudgins

Nothing But the Nuts,” the EP they self-produced in Zack’s bedroom, got its name via a somewhat odorous fan at a show in Crozet. It was his one-year wedding anniversary and he was jumping around, when the band started to smell his stench. He joined them onstage, trying to sing for a bit before finally sitting down and yelling, “Whoo boys, that was nothing but the nuts! The 5 track “Nuts” (with 3 original songs) captures the raw core of the band. Rodeo’s upcoming 7” vinyl single (working title “The Birds”) is being produced in studio and will include percussion and even a Hammond B-3 organ. Playing one recording style against the other keeps the band fresh.

 

Red Light Rodeo plays regularly around town and the last Sunday of every month at Weezie’s Kitchen. As they like to say, “Hoot n’ Hollar and have a swaller!”

 

 

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO ON YOUTUBE

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