Red Meat's Music is Rare - and Well Done

By Karen Shamban

The blogger has questions; San Francisco-based country band Red Meat has answers. Although we forgot to ask how they got their band name, dang it.
Read on and enjoy the honesty and insight.

Q. What do you like best about performing in front of a live audience?
A. Probably just having fun and entertaining the audience. We've been together for almost two decades, and in that time we've played for crowds of five people, and for crowds of more than 15,000. Both are equally important to us, and just as fun. We turn Jill and Smelley loose on the between-songs repartee, and let the songs shine through. On the best night, we feed on the audience's love and vice-versa. It's emotional vampirism of the best sort. [Blogger's note: now that whole "red meat" thing is starting to make sense ...]

Q. Do you prefer smaller, intimate venues or larger, louder ones? Why?
A. We love both. Whether it's a chance to connect with a small room or huge audience, we always try to hit 'em between the eyes!

Q. What about your fans surprises you?
A. Since we've been together for so long, we're pretty much on our third generation of fans now. We're excited that the Bakersfield sound has that same effect on the new, younger fans as it did on the punk rockers that we played to 20 years ago. And we still see them at our shows too!

Q. What about your live act surprises your fans?
A. For people who haven't seen Red Meat before, they may be dragged to a show thinking they don't like country music. But they're surprised to hear it done in a way that excites them so much. We get a lot of first-timers coming up to us after a performance and asking, "Wait, THAT'S what country music can sound like?"

Q. There are going to be a lot of technical people (you could call them geeks) in the Oracle crowd - what are they going to love about your performance?
A. Just what everyone loves about a Red Meat show - the chance to drink beer, dance, get rowdy, and have a great time.

Q. Have you been on tour recently? If so, what do you like about touring, and what do you dislike?
A. Actually, we're going to be coming off the road immediately into the Oracle OpenWorld Music Festival, having just played some Texas dates. On tour, we love playing for fans who don't get to see us as often as our California fans do. And food. Most of our conversations in the van center around food.

Q. Ever think about playing another kind of music? If so, what, and why?
A. Our tastes and influences in the band run all over the place. Obviously we love the Bakersfield artists - Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Dwight Yoakam - but we love other types of roots music as well, along with the Beatles, NRBQ, MC5, punk/new wave, and countless bar bands that we've had the privilege of playing with through the years. But as far as playing a different kind of music as Red Meat? Nah. We love what we're doing.

Q. What are the top three things people should know about your music?
A1. Country music, done right, has unlimited soul.
A2. Red Meat is a modern band, playing original material, with a great debt to the Bakersfield sound of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard.
A3. It's FUN.

More details on the Festival and the band:

Oracle OpenWorld Music Festival

Red Meat


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