The Redwoods Revue

Dani Bell And The Tarantist

Western-tinged rockers Dani Bell & the Tarantist is yet another band championed by local star Alfred Howard, who performs with the group and signed them to the label he co-owns, Redwoods Music. Singer Dani Bell (Boychick) is frequently backed by the same players from Birdy Bardot (another Howard production).

"My father was the worship leader at a church when I was growing up, so there was always instruments to play in our home," says Bell. "I’m self-taught for the most part, aside from my father or friends giving me a few pointers. I moved to San Diego in 2005 but didn’t start performing live here until 2013."

Their dreamy psychedelic/soul sound was showcased on a debut full-length called Dark West, released in 2015. The band's videos feature them wearing commedia dell’arte-style masks.

The Midnight Pine

Timbre has always been a signature component of The Midnight Pine's spectral recordings and live shows. Shelbi Bennett's velvety smooth voice floats over spatial western blues, faintly augmented by home-made instruments and whirring, vaporous backgrounds. With it's third, eponymous record, The Midnight Pine turns up its sound, delivering almost sculptural renderings that veer into alt country and soul, reveling in instrument textures and harmonies that feel as vital to the songs as the compositions themselves.

Jake Najor and the Moment of Truth

Birdy Bardot

Emily Reilly -- aka Birdy Bardot -- is known from multiple incarnations of the New Kinetics and all-female rockers the Rosalyns (alongside Anja Stax/Diabolik from the Loons, Lety Beers from the Schitzophonics, Diana Death from Chinese Rocks, and Amy Gore from the Gore Gore Girls). Her debut solo album was recorded in collaboration with Al Howard (Heavy Guilt, Midnight Pine) and released digitally and on CD in summer 2015 on the Redwoods Music label (headed by Heavy Guilt’s Josh Rice and Transfer's Matt Molarius). A vinyl edition was released a few months later.

“Al’s the most brilliant lyricist I know of,” Bardot told the Reader. “He has this knack for just honing in on a simple emotion or state of mind and creating huge, beautiful imagery to add to the story. Al and I would work on melodies together...ideas for songs, just kind of for the fun of it. After we had a few down, we knew we wanted them to come to fruition as finished songs.”

The self-titled Birdy Bardot album also features Jake Najor (Taurus Authority), Matt Molarius (Transfer, the Midnight Pine), Daniel Cervantes (Creature & the Woods, Mrs. Henry), and Al Howard's Heavy Guilt bandmates Jason Littlefield and Josh Rice.

In concert, she's frequently backed by players like Howard, Rice, Littlefield, Molarius, Cervantes, and Najor, as well as fellow players from the Redwoods Collective roster. Not that things always go smoothly. "We did play the Del Mar Fair once," Bardot recalled for the Reader. "It wasn't awful, but when you see someone watching your set while trying to deep throat a turkey leg, you inevitably question why you're there. But we did get to collectively see Brian Wilson play Pet Sounds for free, so that's not really a terrible gig."

The Birdy Bardot II full-length was released in June 2017 via the Redwoods Music label, preceded by a single for “Fortune.” Says Howard, “I wanna say there's something more significant than this being our sophomore effort, but that's pretty much the aim. And we all love Zeppelin and have lofty goals. I like McCartney II also.”

The album is very informed by Howard's “swap meet hustle. We used a lot of '80s keyboards, but didn't aim at '80s tones. We'd run them through unusual amps and get some really fresh sounds we hadn't obtained on any of our albums prior.”

“Every member brought at least one song to the table. This is probably the most collaborative Redwoods album to date. Most of the songs were lyrics first. Then, we’d flesh out melodic ideas with Birdy and one musician and, once we had a batch of songs, we’d start recording it with the band, getting their first feel for them with the mics running. You’re hearing the songs explored in their most nascent forms and developed in the studio.”

Over the course of 2017, members of Birdy Bardot also performed on releases from fellow Redwoods Collective artists Rebecca Jade & the Cold Fact and Dani Bell & the Tarantist. The band also played that summer's BottleRock and In-Ko-Pah festivals.

Three-time San Diego Music Award winner Low Volts is giving the music world a much needed shock to the heart with his fuzzed-out, one-man, dirty blues-rock n’ soul performances. Armed with only a gritty old slide-guitar, thunderous kick drum laden with tambourines and dark, howling vocals, Low Volts creates a thick and swampy sound equivalent to the force of a four-piece band. Having performed to a sold out crowd at The Ryman, nationally touring with Brian Setzer, and landing songs in the smash comedy Super Troopers 2 alongside Eagles of Death Metal, Low Volts is on a steady path of rock and roll righteousness.

Great-grandson of a traveling gospel singer who was framed for murder and sentenced to the ELECTRIC CHAIR, Low Volts would not exist today if it wasn’t for a key witness that helped pardon his distant kin in the final hours of his uncertain fate. Doc wrote and published a book about his story titled 'Up From The Depths' "The Miracle That Saved Me from the Electric Chair". This is the story that inspired the stage moniker 'LOW VOLTS'.


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