Red Wanting Blue poised for its big break
WANT TO GO?
Red Wanting Blue
With A Thief's Escape
WHERE: The Sound Factory, 812 Kanawha Blvd. E.
WHEN: 10 p.m. Saturday
TICKETS: Advance $10, day of show $13
INFO: 304-342-8001 or www.thesoundfactorywv.comCHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Some bands never catch a break. Others wait years. Red Wanting Blue has been waiting for nearly two decades, but success, real success, might be waiting for the band in July.
It seems like a long way away.
Meanwhile, on Saturday night, the group returns to Charleston for a show at the Sound Factory.
The Columbus-based quintet is a familiar presence in the area. Saturday is the group's second show in Charleston in less than a month and its third in the city this year.
"We did a show at the ballpark with the Power [in May]," he said and laughed. "I never seen so many foul balls in all my life. That's a place where you have to keep your wits about you at all times."
Red Wanting Blue always looks forward to coming back to Charleston. The people are friendly, and sometimes the band gets stuff. The Power show, for instance, was a good show, Terry said, but the best part was the band also picked up its latest favorite stage trinket: a Jesco White Dancing Outlaw bobblehead.
"It's actually a bobble foot," Terry corrected. "We were told they had a thousand of these made and gave them away as a promotion. They told us it was the biggest line they ever had."
Which, he could understand. It's a cool bobblefoot toy (where the legs move instead of the head), and the guys in Red Wanting Blue are fans.
"We're still hoping one day he'll show up to one of our shows."
If Jesco wants to see Red Wanting Blue, he might want to hurry. The days of the perennial do-it-yourself indie rock outfit playing small clubs could be coming to an end.
After years of sticking to the road and playing 200 nights a year, Red Wanting Blue could be poised for a real breakthrough. The band is on a respectable record label, Fanatic Records. It has a serious booking agency, Paradigm, which also books shows for Coldplay and the Dave Matthews Band. It has professional management, too.
This summer, aside from its usual collection of bar shows, the group is seeing more interest from the festival circuit. Already this year, it's played the Norman Festival in Oklahoma and the Summer Camp Festival in Illinois. In late July, it will be at the All Good Music Festival in Ohio.
On July 18, Red Wanting Blue is booked as the musical guest on "Late Night with David Letterman." The gig will put the band in front of millions of viewers.
"I'm so used to being the underdog," Terry said. "But I don't know if I can call myself that anymore."
There's no getting past the fact that getting to play on late night TV is kind of a big deal. It's a mile marker for where the band is now and where it might be going.
Terry said people have been congratulating he and his bandmates for weeks.
"It's kind of surreal," he said, particularly since nothing has really changed for Red Wanting Blue. The guys are still more or less living out of their bus and spending their downtime looking for a place to wash their clothes or a garage where they can get the bus fixed.
"We're still doing that," Terry acknowledged. "Yesterday, I was in Oregon, Ohio, trying to get to TESCO. They work on buses. Our AC went out this weekend."
Which makes playing Midwest festivals in the sun less fun.
A big break could mean no longer having to scramble so hard or spend so much time on the road. Red Wanting Blue could maybe even get a new bus or spend a few more nights in motels.
Terry seemed guarded about what he thought would happen with the Letterman appearance -- maybe nothing -- but even if the show served as the one thing that launched Red Wanting Blue into the mainstream, he hoped not too much would change. He said he'd miss the way things are.
"I think if I start getting treated nicely, I'm going to freak out," he said.
Reach Bill Lynch at email@example.com or 304-348-5195.