Loafing with positive subversion in mind

Bartholomew Ryan, an Irish musician/songwriter based in Lisbon, cites more than your average list of influences on his work. Hearing a track by The Velvet Underground in Oliver Stone’s movie, The Doors, while he was growing up near Dublin made him want to learn the guitar – okay, nothing too bizarre there – but then Czech author Milan Kundera enters the arena, credited with providing the perfect name for Ryan’s prospective band, the Loafing Heroes. Joining the dramatis personae along the way is a cast of characters as diverse as Søren Kierkegaard and Roger Casement, Herman Melville, Brian Eno and Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa. Perhaps it’s safe to say, then, that Bartholomew Ryan is not your average frontman.

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Belle sings out her need to make music

She’s come a long way. Young Mary Kay made her stage debut as a Munchkin in a local production of The Wizard of Oz in her home town of Waunakee in Wisconsin when just a kid of five or six years (she's the Munchkin in the middle). She immediately fell for the lure of the spotlights and wanted more. “I was bitten by the bug,” she says. Since then everything has changed. For starters she no longer lives in the US but in Spain, in Lugones. For seconds she’s grown somewhat in stature: that cute little Munchkin now fronts Asturian band Memphis Belle, one of the area’s most popular groups who perform what they call “vintage pop soul”. No trace of Munchkin there, then. Their mix of original material and covers, with sounds coming in from rock and swing and all genres in between, has brought them critical acclaim on stage and successes in the region’s major music competitions.

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Blogmeister tunes in with head and heart

David Mainwood is a man with something to say. That’s not always a recommendation to anyone to listen – plenty of people just like the sound of their own voices - but in this case it is: David Mainwood is a man with something to say that is actually worth listening to. A teacher by profession, he is known to swap the metaphorical mortarboard for a perky little trilby-esque number and take on the persona of a music pundit, one who knows his stuff. He not only knows what he likes but he’s also interested in analysing why he likes it – how the different instruments work and weave together in combinations which sometimes make his spirits soar, his emotions erupt. It’s a fruitful combination. He gets it all down in his music blog, which is well respected by his many followers, revered by some.

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Ripe to the taste

It seems you can take the band out of Texas but you can’t take Texas out of the band. “Country music is in our blood.” Confirmed. Maybe not the first thing you expect to hear on a wet afternoon in Gijón but not so strange when you’re talking to Jake Garcia, singer with The Ripe, three quarters of whom come from Austin, Texas. The band have just completed a tour of Spain with an informal midday gig at Toma 3.
“It’s been a great if somewhat low-key tour,” the fourth quarter of the band, guitarist and Gijón’s own Jorge Muño-Cobo Gonzalez a.k.a Jorge Explosion, enthused after the gig.

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Carrying the blues - up front and personal

Singer Bryan Bone pictured in the red house.

ANYONE at a Blues Sherpas gig who is watching as well as listening and irresistibly jigging about to the sounds will soon recognise that front-man Bryan Bone is one of the best on the circuit. Not only does he do a great job belting out the classics in their repertoire but he also works very hard: that’s part of a front-man’s job, to work the audience, and this guy knows how to do just that. Even when he’s not actually singing, his fully-involved performance helps give the band a buzz. He creates that personal communication with the crowd that’s crucial to everyone’s enjoyment of a great gig.

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Out of the flying van and into the fire

The Godfathers' Peter Coyne in action at the Acapulco, Gijón.

‘EVERY day’s a thrill when you’re living like me.’ No matter that they spend maybe ten hours on the road for days at a time getting from city to city, gig to gig, the lyrics in ‘Cause I Said So say it all about The Godfathers and the blood-red rock’n’roll still coursing through their veins after 30 years in the business.

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About

Red House Work is the body of music, songs and videos written and produced by the band, Red House, based in Pinzales, Gijón. Here we also give you a flavour of our cultural and musical interests and those of others. Contact us on: redhousepostbox@gmail.com

Red House Work es el conjunto de la música, las canciones y los vídeos escritos y producidos por el grupo Red House, con base en el pueblo de Pinzales, Gijón. En esta web os ofrecemos también una muestra de nuestros gustos culturales y musicales y los de otra gente afín a nuestro proyecto. Podéis contactar con nosotros a través de:redhousepostbox@gmail.com