Red on Red Records Summer Showcase
Craft Food Halls, Lexington, MA
All words and photos by Eric Law
Revolution Hall in Lexington
As live music (indoors and outdoors) begins to ramp up again I had been anxiously
awaiting Red On Red Records Summer Showcase. Held in partnership
with Craft Food Halls in Lexington, MA, in the parking lot
of Revolution Hall, this all-day outdoor music festival featured 10 of Boston’s
hottest bands, including seasoned veterans and a couple of debuts.
Set to run from noon to eight, everything went pretty much as scheduled. It was
hot out, but there were enough trees to catch some shade under, or you could hang
out inside Revolution Hall to cool down and enjoy a cold beverage or have some
Red On Red Records is the label set up and run by Justine
Covault. The roster of bands she’s quickly assembled is nothing
short of amazing! She said there were 200 tickets sold in advance. People were
coming and going all day, so it was hard to say how many walk-ups there were
but there were never more than 150 there at any time. What we got was a solid
8 hours of rockin’ good times.
Justine's Black Threads
Kicking things off at 12:20 was Justine’s Black Threads.
This trio shows off Justine’s love for old time country music. Featuring
Justine on acoustic guitar and vocals, Johnny Sciascia on standup
bass and vocals, and Jimmy Scoppa on electric guitar. They
did a mix of originals and covers of Hank Williams and the Everly Brothers,
among others, all wearing shades and looking and sounding great. What a way
to kick things off.
Next up were The Daylillies. Their bandcamp page says “composed
of living relics of Boston rock and roll history, including ex-members of the
Fast Easy Women, Mistle Thrush, Reverse, PermaFrost & the Feather Lungs.”
Led by Laura England Klain on vocals and Ad Frank
on guitar, they delivered a set of pop songs that hit the spot.
Keyboards were prominent throughout . I heard more than one person
say Ad Frank should be called, Ab Frank.
Next up making their debut, were, Jacklights. You’d
never know it was their first show in front of people. Led by Nilagia
McCoy on guitar and vocals. Their set of melodic punk was super fun
and I look forward to seeing them in a club cranking out a full set. Look for
the 5 song EP, “Drift” due out shortly on Red On Red Records.
Each band was playing short sets, 6 to 10 songs. Always leaving the crowd wanting
Next to hit the stage was, The Chelsea Curve. This trio led
by Linda Pardee is one of Boston’s best kept secrets
… That needs to change!! Smart, catchy songs are what you are always going
to get from these guys. I wanted them to go on longer but there were five more
bands to go.
Devil Love led by Pete Buzzelle followed.
This five piece brings the pop/rock. A sweet version of the Greg Kihn’s,
“The Breakup Song” is included in their set.
Justine and the Unclean
Next; Justine and the Unclean. Red On Red Records head honcho
and her crew never fail to deliver the goods. They get better and better with
every release and every show. You want rock? Then these gals and guys are for
you. Their 9 song set included all their hits like, “Scorpion Bowl To
Go” and “Rock And Roll Blackmail”. You know a band is rockin’
hard when they bring up a guest just to play cowbell on a song, which is what
they did for their song “Vengeance”. Joining the Unclean as ace
supreme cowbell player was Lynda Mandolyn (Tiger Bomb, Crystal
Canyon, Lee & Lynda). Can you say F-U-N??!!
Andrea Gillis Band
Just when you think you can’t be rocked any harder, on comes, the Andrea
Gillis Band to prove that wrong. Andrea has been rockin’ stages
for as long as I can remember and she never fails to assemble a band that takes
no prisoners. There are some people who are just born to ROCK. Andrea is one
of those people and rock she does.
Lee Harrington & Lynda Mandolyn
Up next, the second debut of the day. Billed as Lee Harrington and
Lynda Mandolyn. Earlier in the week, the video for their single, “Real
Love” was released. Written by Lee, “Real Love” is power pop
gem. Hearing it and seeing the video made everyone very excited to see them
perform it live and hear what else they have up their sleeves. They did not
disappoint! Their three song set left us all wanting more!!! They did “Real
Love”, another original that Lynda wrote called, “Sweet Child”
and ended with a blistering version of the Cars, “Dangerous Types”.
WOW! Looking forward to hearing more from these two!!! Side note - Lee was playing
guitar, who knew! Side note #2 - Linda Pardee was on bass!!
After a short break, Linnea’s Garden took the stage.
They describe themselves as “peri-apocalyptic glam punk that you can dance
to”. Super fun and dancing was done. With their colorful clothes and colorful
hair this trio brought it! Check out their debut EP, “Nowhere Friday Night”
on Red On Red Records, of course! You can find them on all the social media
platforms. Keep an eye and ear open for these guys.
The last band to hit the stage was Cold Expectations. These
guys/gals have been around for about 5 years. Back when they started they were
doing country style stuff. They have morphed now into the jangly indie rock
kinda thing. They busted out a killer version of Frida’s (ABBA), “I
Know There’s Something Going On” that had everyone smiling and dancing.
Stop Super Jam
Before they left the stage, they reminded us to stick around for the WhistleStop
super jam on the feel-good song of the summer, “Queen
Of The Drive-In”. Due to a death in the family, Simone
Burke (Kid Gulliver) was not there to sing this earworm.
Lynda Mandolyn stepped up and filled for Simone.
We all missed seeing Kid Gulliver play and especially missed Simone
belting out this one.
What a great way to end this day of non-stop fun. Kudos to Justine
for creating Red On Red Records. Her great taste in
music is reflected in all the bands on only the best little label in Boston!!
Looking forward to more Red On Red Record showcases as this was a complete and
Tom Baker, Justine Covault and Janet
Wayne Viens, Tommy Wilson
and Bill Jordan
Wayne and Jim Janota
McCoy - Jacklights
Bean Pardee - Chelsea Curve
Tim Gillis - Chelsea Curve
- Chelsea Curve
Janota - Justine and the Unclean
Janet Egan King - Justine
and the Unclean
Charles Hanen - Justine and the Unclean
Justine and the Unclean with Lynda
Mandolyn on cowbell
Gillis - Andrea Gillis Band
Gibbs - Andrea Gillis Band
Ed Valauskas - Andrea
and Lynda - Lee
Harrington & Lynda Mandolyn
Harrington - Lee
Harrington & Lynda Mandolyn
Harrington & Lynda Mandolyn
- Cold Expectations
and JoEllen - WhistleStop Super Jam
Linnea Herzog - WhistleStop Super Jam