it’s a stomping matter: bluegrass in Beijing with the Redbucks
It’s 11:00 p.m on a mild September Wednesday evening and I’m sipping on a white russian in a bricked building while listening to “man of constant sorrow” belted out by a the live band and looking looking at the dance floor where there’s some serious stomping action taking place. I hear the bartender’s voice with a hint of a French accent asking another customer what they need. “whiskey coke” is the answer!
For a second there, I feel like I’m deep somewhere in the bayou, in the swamps of Louisiana or somewhere else deep in the bible belt, Southern USA… but I am not!
The stomping audience is definitely not wearing overalls, some of them don’t even speak English! They’re mostly youngish, early twenties wearing gen-x punky clothing and they’re mostly Chinese! Yes, the scene takes place in Beijing, Capital of the PRC, home of Peking Opera and the Peking Duck.
The Band playing is called “The Redbucks”! I’ve seen them before a few times when they had no name and when they had different names… armed with banjo, mandolin, fiddle, guitars and upright bass! Some of them even have a genuine southern twang and they got the audience hopping, stomping and jumping!
That night was my second time at 2Kolegas in a week as I had gone there before to catch Black Cat Bone the previous saturday. No offense to Black Cat Bone who are still my favorite laowai outfit, but the crowd on that wednesday for The Redbucks was a lot livelier and more involved! Sure, saturday’s rain didn’t help but that’s what it is.
The Redbucks managed to keep the crowd stomping and clapping through 3 blistering, high energy sets with a collections of oldies but goodies and then some more. They did a few covers of country classics hillbilly style including Dolly Parton’s Jolene and Hank Williams’ whiskey river just to name a few
The Redbucks are:
Jimmy Yeehaw, Two-Sheds Jackson, Uncle Luke, Dumpy Loves, Daisy Sweetgrass, Amy Spice
You can listen to some Redbucks songs on their myspace page at http://www.myspace.com/theredbucks and keep an eye out for upcoming interviews with some of the band members.
Upcoming gigs include: