Red

origin of the species

Karl and Chris met when they both joined the same band in 1994 (Gigi Spacheem, a rock band masterminded by drummer Mike Santa.) When Spacheem failed to make the history they thought it was destined for, the band went their separate ways. A few years later, Karl and Chris both found themselves between bands”, and decided to try to start something again. After going through about 10 drummers with no success, it was decided that perhaps RED was meant to be a duo. (For and explanation of the name, see the article titled, “Hey, why are you guys called RED?)
So they picked some songs, (Fleetwood Mac’sGold Dust Woman and Blind Faith’s Can’t Find My Way Home were thefirst two) and began to create a sound. The first gig was a New Year’sEve party in a basement. They showed up with bubbling deluded enthusiasm, a HUGEPA system, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, a guitar synthesizer, electricmandolins, electric violins, a six-string bass and an ENORMOUS bass amp. Yes,it was the debut of an acoustic duo that took up more floor space and requiredmore electricity than most full-size rock bands. The sound was impressiveand unique, and the technology allowed them to pull off songs that most fullbands couldn’t do without backing tracks.
All of the electronics and sound reinforcementwere nice, but proved to be a) gimmicky and b) back-breaking. It wasn’tlong before Karl and Chris figured out that what sounded best and what audiencesresponded to the most were the stripped down, simple acoustic tunes. Before long,RED was playing all over Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
  Their first big break came in the summerof 1999, when they landed a regular gig at the Rieglesville Hotel in Rieglesville,PA. Playing the same place a minimum of once per month meant that they had tokeep learning new songs and making the old ones more interesting to keep fromboring the regulars.
    In 2001, they recorded an album of original material calledOracle, which yielded the show-stopping favorite, Magic Ship.
    Since then, they have played a variety of venues includingBodle’s Opera House in Chester, NY, and the Charter in Beaver Creek, CO.
    For the past two years, RED has been the “houseband” onFriday nights in the Grille at the BearCreek Mountain Resort in Macungie, PA. It has been a tremendous opportunityto build a following and play in a relaxed, friendly, smoke-free atmosphere thatallows them to really stretch themselves as musicians. From those gigs have comea bunch of private parties and a great many shows at the new Coca Cola Park inAllentown during the IronPigs games. They even make it down to Reading a couple times a year to play at the ReadingPhillies stadium, also. The baseball gigs keep them very busy in the summer, and for thewinter they are working on finding a few more regular jobs in just the right places. Watch this space for updates.

      THEN THERE WERE THREE!! Over the years a variety of drummers have tried to sit in with the duo, always with limited success. Karl and Chris have developed the arrangements of most of the songs in a way that can be frustrating to anyone trying to play along. Then came Ian Frey. He came to watch the group at about a dozen shows before even suggesting that he sit in. When he finally did, he knew the arrangements as well if not better than Karl and Chris did. His special selection of hand drums and his ear for composition add an enormous amount to the sound of what Karl calls, “the most over-staffed acoustic duo in the world. With Ian’s schedule, he can’t make it to every show, but there is always that little bit of extra fun to be had when he’s there.