By Dave Hoffenberg
I had the pleasure of attending this Brunch last Sunday and it is truly something special. While you enjoy the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, Rick and his bassist Heather Lynne play guitars made out of cigar boxes. Heather also plays the Thunderbox which is a cigar box drum. You get the great music you’ve always heard from Redington but now through instruments you’ve never seen. They play originals and also classic covers. I got to hear one of my favorite songs, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Ballad of Curtis Lowe,” played on a cigar box slide guitar!
Last summer Redington and The Luv boarded The Luv Bus and toured the country promoting their new album “Circus.” The Luv consists of Redington, Lynne, Drummer Blake Gowan and Frank, the dog, who is actually the brains behind the band.
Gowan also plays the Cajon, VT Mojo Stompbox, percussion and basically anything drummable. They logged 15,000 miles from Maine to California and had the honor of playing the Cigar Box Museum.
5,000 of those miles were toured with the Luv Kids, Maya Redington, Ben Redington, and Zoe McFadden who all appear on the album. Nearly three years in the making during one of the most challenging economic times has produced an album of some considerable listening weight. It was recorded at Mount Hollywood Studio in the Heart of Vermont. This is the first studio effort by Lynne and Gowan and it shows them at the top of their game with sweet bass and drum rhythms that take listeners from one end of the globe to the other. Redington, the circus ringleader, has released six albums but his newest could very well be the big show we’ve all been waiting for.
Rick started playing guitar at age 12 when he traded a hockey stick for a Sear’s electric guitar. He played around on that while listening to his idols Jerry Garcia, Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix and Django Reinhardt. He then met Cecil Ducharme, who ran a music store out of a retired Train Station in Castleton Vermont. Ducharme inspired Redington and educated him on strings. His first real guitar was a Gibson “The Paul” that was bought for him by his family as a High School Graduation present. Redington played it for many years until long after Ducharme passed away. Redington got his first paying gig at age 19, down at the Silver Club in Rutland which is now Chasers. Redington quit his job as a dishwasher at Sal’s to pursue a music career. He was attending Castleton State, studying piano and voice. That all ended after he got a call from Frank Chase who asked him to play Saturday happy hour at the Chase Lounge inside the Mountain Inn in Killington. He also started playing Friday and Saturday nights at Cascades. That is when he started bringing the Luv to Killington. It has not ended since.
Redington has met a lot of great people along the way and one of those is his good friend Chip Greeno, who was head of security at Outback Pizza. Redington had a Sunday night residency there for 15 years because of that friendship. Greeno just opened The Local which is formerly Paco’s and Jilly’s in Rutland. Redington says “I had the pleasure of playing both clubs and look forward to hosting a weekly Sunday Night residency at The Local… He definitely understands what it entails to run an amazing place. When you step into the room you will see and hear the difference! Mr. Greeno is just stepping into his first entrepreneurial experience and I am honored as a friend and artist to bring my Sunday Local’s Night Show to his Club.”
I’ve met a lot of musicians along the way and I highly recommend going to see Rick play. Whether you see him in Killington, Rutland or California, he will entertain you every time. He is a good friend and a great musician. Who else could I do an interview with at 4 a.m. and enjoy it as much as I did?
I’ll leave you with a quote from Don Hirsh, Director of the Paramount Theatre in Rutland. “A giant of a performer, Rick Redington sings with nuance and passion. His powerful voice soars above the valleys of the Green Mountains, and his virtuoso guitar playing is as smooth and velvety as the hillsides themselves.”