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items tagged with Redstone Room

Attention Grabber: Fitz & the Tantrums, February 7 at the Redstone Room
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2011-01-19 11:25:30

Fitz & the Tantrums. Photo by Alicia Rose.There are breakup songs and breakup albums, and then there’s Fitz & the Tantrums – a breakup band.

Singer/songwriter Michael Fitzpatrick will be bringing his soul six-piece to the Redstone Room on February 7, and the group’s music is as infectious as its origin story is serendipitous. Esquire last year named Fitz & the Tantrums one of its “10 SXSW Bands to Add to Your iPod Now,” and that’s just one of the accolades the band has acquired in its two-year existence.


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Anything but Simple: Monte Montgomery, November 17 at the Redstone Room
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2010-11-10 11:00:23

Monte Montgomery. Photo by Jens Christensen.Monte Montgomery’s guitar-playing is so distinctive, dexterous, and seemingly ingrained that it sounds like he might have had the instrument in his cradle. So it’s surprising that he could have just as easily played the trumpet.

His first instruments were trumpet and piano, and he said he only took the guitar seriously “when I no longer had a piano or a trumpet at my disposal, and my Mom had an extra guitar. That’s what I had. I often joke about, ‘Mom, what would have happened if we hadn’t lost that trumpet?’ ... I think fate had other things in store for me.”

He’s similarly matter-of-fact about his decision to abandon electric guitar for an acoustic. “I could do a lot of things on acoustic I was relying on electric for,” he said in a phone interview earlier this week. “So why not leave the extra guitar at home and the additional two heavy amps I was carrying around for my electric, and just play acoustic? It really was kind of just that simple.”

The playing by Montgomery, who will be performing at the Redstone Room on November 17, is anything but simple. In 2004, Guitar Player magazine named him one of the 50 greatest guitar players of all time, and he’s been called the acoustic Hendrix.


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Fully Invested: Band of Heathens, November 4 at the Redstone Room
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2010-11-02 13:54:11

Band of Heathens

The opening track of the Band of Heathens’ One Foot in the Ether is classic electric alt-country, but a listener unfamiliar with the Texas quintet would be wise to withhold judgment or expectations. “L.A. County Blues” casually segues into soft harmonies recalling the 1970s in “Say,” and then “Shine a Light” digs heavily into soulful, organ-heavy gospel.

That diversity of styles befits a group with three primary songwriters who each play multiple instruments, but it also reflects an understanding of the essential similarities shared by different branches of roots music.

“I’ve never seen blues music or soul music being very far away from country music or bluegrass,” singer/songwriter Ed Jurdi said in a recent phone interview promoting the Band of Heathens’ November 4 performance at the Redstone Room. “The approach is slightly different in terms of who’s singing the song and what they sound like.”

Songwriters Jurdi, Gordy Quist, and Colin Brooks – with bassist Seth Whitney and drummer John Chipman – are celebrating the fifth anniversary of their band this month, yet rather than settling on a sound, Band of Heathens has embraced a stylistic sloppiness.


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Bursting Through: Lissie, October 16 at the Redstone Room
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2010-10-07 11:21:34
Lissie. Photo by Valerie Phillips.

(Note: This show was canceled on October 14 and will be rescheduled.)

When Rock Island native Lissie Maurus performed in the Quad Cities in November, she had just released the EP Why You Runnin’, and it seemed to promise that more aching folk would follow.

Three of the EP’s five songs (“Little Lovin’,” “Everywhere I Go,” and “Oh Mississippi”) made the cut on the full-length Catching a Tiger, but only the first of those – with its escalating, building soul – foreshadowed her album’s stunning pop path.

There’s no doubt that Lissie is a strong singer, with a throaty voice full of color and conviction and frayed around the edges. But good folk music requires sterling wordplay, and I worried that Maurus might not yet have the songwriting chops to carry a record of lightly adorned songs, even with her considerable pipes.

So Catching a Tiger – released in August – is a major and welcome surprise. A handful of producers and co-writers developed tracks around Maurus’ voice, and she takes flight within the dynamic tunes. I heard Cat Power and Neko Case in the spare arrangement of her EP, but Catching a Tiger finds her in the smartly fleshed-out company of Tori Amos and Fiona Apple; the aural richness augments and supports fundamentally strong material.


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Jazz Singer Praises Polyrhythms
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Letters to the Editor

2010-09-28 21:38:18

I am writing in praise of Nate Lawrence and Polyrhythms. Polyrhythms is a Quad Cities organization dedicated to bringing jazz music to their community, not only through live performance, but also with workshops for non-musicians and musicians alike. These events take place the third Sunday of every month at the state-of-the-art Redstone Room inside the beautiful new River Music Experience building, which serves as a museum/classroom/performance space for American music (with an emphasis on jazz music that came up the Mississippi River).

I am a jazz vocalist based in Chicago. Last Sunday, I had the great fortune of performing for the Quad Cities community as part of Polyrhythms' Third Sunday Jazz program. The experience was very rewarding because of the combination of the performance and the workshop.


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