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Jammin' with Red Beards Revenge

This month’s new band (to us at least) search led us to the always awesome Knotty Pine to check out Red Beard’s Revenge. RBR is unconventional, original, talented, off the wall, heavily bearded (1/2 of them anyway) and look fine in flannel. Many bars simply refuse to book bands that play original music, especially if it’s a light hearted folk rock genre band. Not the Pine though. They book what’s good and on that merit alone I put Red Beard’s Revenge on my list of “To See” for this November issue.
Singer/guitarist James Funk, aka ‘Red Beard’ (2 Days Away, The Burn Brothers). Guitarist Jason Gay aka Newky Stapleton (Lens Lounge, The Stapletons), Bassist Jason Wilcoxon (Len’s Lounge, Headphone) and Drummer Daniel Mark Baechie make up the Red Beard’s Revenge line up. The biggest beard is on the bass, with singer Funk following behind scruffily. The shaved ladies sit alongside and in the back. Enough with the jokes already, get to the band man!
Some say Red Beard is akin to Levon Helm, Merle Haggard or Shooter Jennings. Other liken them to Dallas Moore. I hear shades of them all, along with a little Tom Snyder, Paul Thorn and even a dash of Johnny Cash (the Joaquin years). In fact I’d love to hear a Bearded version of Cocaine Blues. But as I said, throughout the time I was there a cover was not played.
Tunes range from a fast country diddy (Country Blues), a slick pickin’ Paul Thorn-esque (Ola My Dear Senorita), some melancholy folk (MIssing You), a lonesome bluegrassy ballad of sorts (You be my Bonnie) and even a Bob Cushing style in your face folk song (Everyone’s Envy). Bob would work well with these guys, and probably has. If not, he should sometime.
One difference I see in the west vs east thing is more local singer songwriters and original bands have the opportunities to do their thing in the westside on a regular basis. In the east they want to hear radio hit stuff (WEBN or B105) and/or hip hop. Sort of commercial in the east. I dig the indie rock the westies seem to support.
Red Beard’s Revenge would fit well in any venue east or west as long as there were patrons who just like good music. Original or otherwise. I can see the fit with Dallas Moore, Bob Cushing, a plethora of slamgrass bands and damn near everyone who played one of the late great Wang Dang Doodles. If you don’t know what that is that sucks because otherwise you’d understand just who and what Red Beard Revenge really is and I’d be done now. But if not, just go check it out. It’s a good time with good tunes. NKU should be ashamed if they don’t add them in their mix (not that they haven’t, I’ve never heard NKU play them though).
Look for Red Beard’s Revenge first release, titled, “Jim, Jimmy, James”. Check them out at and features five audio tracks and a video.




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