Red Red is an interesting international, stylistically-blended, blues-centered band, led by a multi-instrumentalist from Ohio, comprising top blues, jazz, and roots players from Belgium, adding the turntable-work and sampling courtesy of DJ Courtasock. On the band’s Instagram page, they call themselves “psychedelic turntable blues rock from Belgium,” but certainly don’t let any of those words scare you. However, if even one of those words interests you, definitely check out Red Red.
This two-sided single, Red Red’s first for Naked, begins with “Long Black Train,” a rollicking, energetic blues romp that’s supports raspy blues vocals by leveraging a broad range of instruments dancing around its steady rhythm. It’s a catchy, memorable number, with DJ Courtasock’s work mostly just nibbling around the edges and adding some seriously cool scratchwork to augment the rhythm. The ’70s rock influences the band touts, meanwhile, come through strongest during a mid-song instrumental stretch, but other than a little psychedelic twang, I’d identify it as more as blues-rock with perhaps some classic Southern rock mixed in. And overall, if I had to position this entire song, I’d classify it seriously rockin’ blues.
The “B” side of the single, the band’s rendition of traditional American roots number “In the Pines” has the same insistent edge you’ll hear on “Long Black Train,” but it has a haunting overtone, and the sampling in the song is a lot more apparent. Some of the roaring audio echo adds a truly unique vibe to this track. While “Long Black Train” is very clearly the radio-ready single, it really is cool to pair it with “In the Pines” as a two-song auditory blues treat. I’m looking forward to hearing what Red Red has in store for us next.