I’m sure it happens in every city. A band comes along, has a sort of sound, and makes a small ripple in the music community. They graduate from open stages and start playing real gigs in local clubs. Then, the press gets their filthy little paws on the whole thing. After all, the clubs buy ads. Or they are perspective customers. So, some lowly reporter or intern gets sent out to cover a show for the privilege of drinking beer from dirty taps and getting the soles of their shoes sticky. The crowd is sparse, the opening act an abomination, and the main act, the one the poor reporter was sent to cover, turns out to be mediocre at best. So, the poor journalist is in a quandary. The club buys ads, so to say the band sucks isn’t an option. Can’t bite the hand that feeds you. So, the writer begins to grab at straws. Suddenly, the band gets compared to The Black Keys, The White Stripes, Blue Cheer, and they are on their way. The club is happy, the paper is happy, the band is happy. Everybody is happy except for the poor saps that get sucked into going to see the band on the basis of a less-than-truthful review.
And this has been standard practice in Pittsburgh for years. But, you’ll notice, the great ones from the area get compared to no one. They stand on their own and bring the crowds because of what they have to offer.
So, let’s, you and I, talk about Blue Redshift. Comprised of Jake Breiding (guitar), Gedeliah Aronson (guitar), Arnold Staggz (sax), Thomas Brophy (bass), and Nathan Capenos (drums), these boys are a rarity. Listening to their newly-released CD entitled "Street", one is compelled to draw comparisons to well-known artists. But, that’s very hard to do. This is because Blue Redshift stands on their own. Comparisons to established, national acts are simply not necessary. Totally instrumental, Street is incredibly lyrical without the benefit of actual lyrics. Who the hell needs a singer with a band of this caliber? It’s not like singers ever haul gear anyway.
So, if we’re not making comparisons how can I convey the spirit of this band, of this cd? Hmmmm . . . we’re on shaky ground here. Ok, here goes . . . they sound nothing like Jeff Beck, but if you love Blow by Blow, you’ll understand this recording. They sound nothing like Phish, but if you love the whimsy and interplay of the band, you’ll dig this CD. Michael Bloomfield and Al Kooper? Blue Redshift sound nothing like that, but . . . .
And, they absolutely sound nothing like Miles Davis, but if Bitches Brew, or Kind of Blue give you some joy, chances are these boys will too.
You like Gov’t Mule? Well, the band sounds nothing like them either. But they have that biting, attention-grabbing rhythm section that sucks you in from the get-go, allows the melodies to soar.
Ok, enough of the non-comparisons.
Blue Redshift has been on a sort of a hiatus, working on recordings, working on new material, and have plans to take it back out to do more shows in a month or so. And get this—I have no idea how one can buy a copy of the CD. Thus far, they’ve been giving them away at shows. Imagine that. Musicians giving music away.
We will keep you posted, let you know where and when you can see Blue Redshift. Keep an eye on these guys. Great things may follow.