Just when you think there's nothing new in folk, along comes the New York-based Red Rooster to blow you away.
Red Rooster isn't a new band but you'd never know that by the way they mix electronica with folk, alt-country and some rock to offer a fresh sound.
"I was just continuing to focus the theme, bringing the kind of urban element together with the more rural and traditional," said lead vocalist Jay Erickson, who produced the record. "We started to do some of that with the last album and this took it further and refined it."
It's been a decade since Erickson co-founded the band with Nat Zilkha, who handles lead guitar for the band. Although the music scene has changed dramatically in that time making it increasingly difficult for bands to emerge, the two have steadfastly followed their own artistic vision.
In the recently released album "Walk," that means grabbing some electronica and mixing it with folk. What's great is that the guys do this with just enough finesse to make the sound interesting without overwhelming. And for those that prefer their folk straight, "Walk" provides plenty of that as evidenced on the tracks "Bluebird" and "Leaves in Autumn."
"[We enjoy] mingling the traditional sounds with the new sounds," said Zilkha. "Jay brought a lot of that together on this new album which is what made me happy ... [but] from a production standpoint we never felt the underlying story being told was sacrificed in trying to create a new sound."
Still, the idea of a new sound was something appealing from an artistic standpoint to everyone in the band. And why not?
As arguably one of folks' most unsung jam bands -- they currently have eight members and various guests during any given concert -- they certainly have the wealth of instrumentation -- horn, trumpet, accordion, pedal steel guitar -- to create some richly textured sounds. What makes the band standout is the elements fit naturally together. Add a sifting of both male and female vocals and you have a sound that is both rare and comfortable.
"The arrangements are organic," said Zilkha. "Some of what you hear on the stage is different than what you hear on the album. The sound is almost modular in that way. ...That's one of the things I find most exciting and fun about this music."
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