They can make a whole song out of two major chords. This means that something very entertaining must also be going on simultaneously. Not that it happens all the time in the Red Wanting Blue songbook, but two major chords can sap a band’s ability to remain interesting. This is where Scott Terry comes in. As RWB’s front man and occasional guitarist, Terry is not so over-the-top as he is a pent-up frenzy of energy. When he sings, he looks as if about to rupture a throat artery. You feel his inner whup-ass wanting to come out in a song. That it never does is not meant as criticism. Many other middle-of-the-road one-hit-wonder bands such as Hootie and the Blowfish have had huge pop-music careers by mining a similar vein: that the singer should sound as if on the edge of an emotional breakdown of some kind. Otherwise, Red Wanting Blue seems like a band of decent enough guys without vices or even the thought of, say, smashing up a hotel television set.
RWB is a Colombus, Ohio, band with a 20-year history and thousands of road shows under their belt. They have released nine full-length CDs to date, including last year’s From the Vanishing Point. A band with zero in the way of radio support or chart-toppers, they are still waiting for that breakout album to arrive. So is their label and management, the same group that handles Coldplay and Dave Matthews.
Red Wanting Blue, by the way, is not a political concept. “It means going after something you weren’t meant to be,” Terry once told an interviewer. Might this be the underlying story of Red Wanting Blue and their deserved fame? Perhaps. But for those days when you really need a feel-good song? This band is the hot ticket.
The Darrows also perform.
Red Wanting Blue: the Griffin, Thursday, January 10, 7:30 p.m. 619-684-1816. $10 advance/$12 door