Red Wanting Blue bringing road-honed sound 'home' to BG

Columbus-based band Red Wanting Blue will play the Clazel on Friday night. 

Red Wanting Blue is playing downtown Bowling Green's Clazel at 8 p.m. this evening, but on his way into town, lead singer Scott Terry gave a quick interview.

Red Wanting Blue is a band that's honed its sound on the road. With a new album coming in July, a 20th anniversary live concert film and album and a new label, this is a shorter tour that has them putting together the show that they've always wanted.

"It was kismet, a simple twist of fate," Terry said about joining with their new label, Thirty Tigers. "In 2016 we took time off the road, which we had never done before, and created some of the best work we've ever done with the band. Then they told us we'd been doing this for 20 years, so we did the live album in Columbus." With the new studio album in post-production, the guys decided to get back on the road.

"The road has taught me a lot of things," Terry said. "I think when you've decided to make a career as a traveling band, you're already, automatically, volunteering to live on the fringe of society ... there's living in an in-between way. I used to get anxiety attacks, heart palpitations, if I was in the same place for too long," he said.

"Over the last year and a half, being able to step off the road and work and being able to have some different life experiences, it's created a real turning of the corner. It's created a turning of the corner in the way we used to do things and the way we made this interesting record. I feel there's been a real maturing since the last album till now," Terry said.

Red Wanting Blue has made 10 records in 20 years, and made appearances on David Letterman, VH1's "Morning Buzz Live" and NPR's "Mountain Stage." Terry talked about the creative process being different with this album.

"Getting a chance to step away makes it easier to identify and look at it from a different angle ... we're rewriting the rules," said Terry.

They will also be playing favorites, like "Black Canyon."

"That's a perfect song inspired on the road by the road. I was driving early. It was one of those moments. The sign said 'out to the right is Snake River and to the left is Black Canyon ... It's our meeting our maker on the road. Which is a fear all bands have, when you've traveled as much as we have. It sounded romantic. The country's such an amazing place. That's why I like being on the road."

Playing BG is something of a homecoming for the band. They formed in Athens at Ohio University and are still based in Columbus. However, guitarist Eric Reed Hall Jr. was a Bowling Green State University music major.

"Did you graduate?" asked Terry of his bandmate. "No, the road made him graduate. His diploma is the road. He took an internship and he's still in it."

They're just starting to play two songs from the new album, "High and Dry" and "Younger Years." Right now, those songs are only on the "RWB20: Live at Lincoln Theater" album, "as sort of a tease," Terry said.

Asked about his inspirations, Terry said, "If I had to put a record on the top of the pile, it would be Sugar's 'Copper Blue.' I love that album. It was a great record. I'm a real Bob Mould fan."

"I'm a self-admitted lover and collector of eight-track tapes. I'm a bit of an audiophile. Love vinyl. The whole band, we collect music from all eras. I'm a bit of a geek for eight-track tapes. My latest score, I was able to get Tom Waits' 'Small Change' record, the 1976 album on eight track. I've got it on every other format ... Glen Miller, 1940s music seems to calm me when we get in some really intense traffic ... There's a band called 'War on Drugs,' that's some of my favorite night music, when I'm driving. We listen to everything the little kids are listening to, to old Yazoo blues recordings."

"When I think of Bowling Green. I think of Pisanello's, and stuffed breadsticks ... Mr. Spots and the Corner (Grill) diner. At some point we outgrew Howard's Club H, but I remember feeling really great when the bar told us, 'you broke the record for most booze sold, outselling David Allan Coe.' At the time, I had no idea how amazing that was," Terry said.

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