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"'Girly' Band Fights Stigma"

by Jacqueline Davidson

"We aren’t raging girl-powerites, and we aren’t posable Barbies," says Maria Carter, guitarist and co-front woman for local indie-folk group redboy.

"We’re musicians."

Considering four of the five members of redboy are in fact female, it’s surprising that the band lacks the “girl power” persona associated with most bands of similar ratios.

“It’s not about girls being better than boys or vice-versa,” Carter says. “We don’t believe the difference in our sexes should separate us.”

Redboy’s story began in the summer of 2003 when Carter met fellow co-front woman Meredith McCall.

That evening, she dreamt they were in a band together.

In the dream, her women’s studies professor said, “Red because we’re guilty and can’t conceal it. Boy because we’re not, and we won’t become it,” giving the band its name.

“When I woke up, I wrote everything down,” Carter says. “Gradually, Mer and I began to think it would be a good idea for us to play together.”

Redboy, which has been playing shows in Gainesville since October, will be sharing the stage with Alaco Affair (Indie-acoustic) and Mercy (solo female acoustic indie) Saturday at Faces for $5.

Mercy, also founder of female musician collective Tomboy Entertainment, is “a very intimate songwriter, and her voice is beautiful,” Carter says.

“Try getting a crowd out to see women play guitar and you’ll understand what I mean,” she says. “It seems like we have to be twice as good and twice as engaging onstage to get the audience to listen.”

Redboy’s influences range from Nirvana to Ani DiFranco, making their sound what best is described as ‘a mix.’ McCall even grew up in an acapella church.

“More than anything, we just want to share our passion with the audience,” Carter says. - The Independent Florida Alligator


"Score One for the Women's Team"

by Emily Seawell

Soul seduced grunge Friday night as years of Gainesville girl-rock culminated in redboy, the finest female-fronted flame The Shamrock has seen since Steph Taylor booked her flight to Berklee.

And these redboys just may burn hotter.

Driven by the persistent percussive guitar of respective earlier efforts Little Astronaut and Kate's Love, Maria Carter and Meredith McCall combine in a flash of say-it-like-you-mean-it rock, McCall's relaxed jazz approach tempering Carter's gritty guitar leads.

Add in the meticulously accurate rhythm duo of bassist Denise Burnsed and drummer T.J. Baker, augmented by overlays from classically trained violinist Anne Peters, and Gainesville's take on heartfelt acoustic hard rock covers all the bases.

Not bad for their first show.

Those keeping count may remember redboy’s appearance at fall 2004’s Gainesville Pride Festival, but the latest incarnation of the band was born just a week and a half ago, when Baker, formerly of Kate's Love, took the drums from Tobin Wagstaff.

And although Carter admitted she’d like her group’s execution to be tighter (what musician wouldn’t?), the Shamrock crowd of close to 100 didn’t seem to mind. The corps of women in the front few rows knew the words to all of the songs, didn’t hesitate to shout out requests and even let loose on vocalizing their enthusiasm for certain aspects of the female anatomy.

P.S., redboy will grace Gainesville's V.A.G.I.N.A. Fest Feb. 10.

As the night wore on and early alcohol wore off, the band turned introspective, Carter and McCall straddling stools in an acoustic face-off center stage, their vocal harmony floating atop an intimate atmosphere rife with sexual tension.

Then the frontwomen flexed their versatility, swapping guitars for bongos and guitars for more guitars as the band fickly shifted among the stadium rock of crowd favorite “Not Over,” the rambunctiously flirty spoken-word of “Stupidest Girl in the World” and the jazzy Spanish-style seduction of “Evil Man.”

No big deal.

What's next for redboy isn't completely clear. After appearing at V-Fest in February, the group heads down to Dade City March 12 for the Sawmill Spring Fling. Other dates are in the works but haven’t been confirmed, including a show with Maxwell Edison expected for March or April.

As for playing opener to national act Tegan and Sarah, rumored to be en route to UF for Pride Awareness
Month, Carter kept her comment coy:

“I heard that rumor, too – I hope it comes true.”

For the latest on redboy, including show dates and downloads, visit www.redboymusic.com. - Gainesville.com (The Gainesville Sun Online)


"On The First Take"

by June Cappiello

It's 10:30 a.m. on a sizzling, mid-summer Wednesday, and the five members of local band redboy are already hard at work.

They're recording their first album as a band at Sound Mind Studio in Daytona while I tag along to watch.

The mood is chipper despite the hour, and the band is in place to record its rhythm section - acoustic and electric guitar, bass and drums - which will be layered with vocals and violin (and a gong) in subsequent recording sessions.

"Just make sure I'm louder than [Maria]," Meredith McCall jokes to producer Mark Ignoffo from the recording booth.

But game faces are on and it's all business when the tape starts rolling. The song they're playing is the incredibly catchy "It's In Your Head."

And as McCall sings, "Please stop wasting my precious time," it's clear the band hasn't wasted any time either.

After having just formed in January, redboy, the merger of the now-defunct Kate's Love and singer/songwriter Maria Carter, already has a distinct indie/folk rock sound of its own.

And though "It's In Your Head" took three takes to get right, the next two songs were virtually flawless after only the first take.

"It never really happens like this," bassist Denise Burnsed says of the efficiency of this session.

The band prepared for this day by mapping out measures, setting the tempos to each song and working on precision during its practices before recording, which is making for a smoother recording process.

What's impressive is redboy has two lead singers, Carter and McCall, who have control over the songs they write. Finding a balance of power should be difficult and could create some tension in a new band.

Apparently, this band doesn't have that problem. Such tight performances and such visible chemistry between the band members are testaments to what the Gainesville music scene has to offer. Perhaps it's because all the members have the same mindset.

"I'd like to not have to have a day job," violinist Anne Peters says about her goals for the band, which was followed by a collective "Mmmhmm" of approval from the other members. But for now, the band is concentrating on its upcoming release and creating a fan base in Florida.

Meanwhile, in the control room, Ignoffo looks like a mix between a conductor and a surgeon, turning knobs, pushing buttons and putting the many years of production experience under his belt to good use.

With just a flick of a knob, Ignoffo makes slight blemishes in a recording disappear, whether it's an off note or someone's finger getting caught on a string.

"You are amazing," Peters says in awe.

"Twenty-three years of practice," Ignoffo replies.

The band is in luck to have Ignoffo, an old friend of Burnsed; he has detached himself from recording and mixing of late to focus on production, but returned to the studio as a favor to the band.

When the last chord is played, and music fades to silence, McCall looks like she's trying to hold in a laugh. She's barefoot, as is Burnsed.

It's an element you won't notice when you hear the final product, but it adds to the comfortable air exchanged among everyone in the studio.

The album is set for release Sept. 9 at redboy's CD release party at the Shamrock Pub at 1017 W University Ave. But if you really can't wait to hear them play, then check them out in Jacksonville at A.J.'s Bar on Aug. 6. - The Independent Florida Alligator


"redboy"

by Jennifer Wester

I recently had the pleasure and privilege of spending the day with the fabulous local band redboy. These people are not only attractive, funny, and intelligent, they are also incredibly talented. If any of you have not experienced redboy, then you are missing out on a quality band. Five musically gifted people comprise redboy.

Maria Carter contributes vocals and guitar, as well as writing many of the song lyrics. She’s been writing songs since she was 10 years old and her talent is undeniable. She’s fronted four bands and produced a wonderful solo album entitled The Red Wine Acoustic Sessions. But don’t let this gamine fool you with her innocent look. Her strength and intensity will get you where it counts and you’ll find it difficult to look away while she’s performing.

Meredith McCall adds another dimension to the group. She provides vocals, writes song lyrics, and plays the guitar and the drums. Many of you may recognize Meredith from her previous incarnation as the front woman for Kate’s Love. Her charmingly brash but laidback style is a perfect compliment to Maria’s fervor. Their trade off on lead vocals keeps you guessing and very well entertained.

The beautiful Anne Peters, also formerly of Kate’s Love, brings an unexpected touch to the band’s harmony with her haunting violin accompaniments. This amazing talent has been playing violin since she was 3 years old and has traveled throughout Europe with the Preucil School of Music Orchestra. One could easily say that the loveliness of Anne’s melodies is rivaled only by her appearance and demeanor.

The distinguished and dedicated Denise Burnsed supplies bass and sultry back-up vocals to further accent redboy’s sound. She’s a Gainesville regular who’s played with numerous bands in the past, including Kate’s Love, Flash Silvermoon, Nancy Luca, and Jane Yi. Denise loves playing with redboy and she admits that “this is the most fun I’ve had playing music in a long time.” Throughout the performance, this sexy bass player will keep you grounded and enthralled.

The final and newest member of the band is T.J. Baker, the delectable drummer. He’s been playing the drums for 11 years and most recently was a member of a group called Nemo. While necessity dictates that the drums be placed, almost hidden, in the back, T.J.’s talent certainly brings him to the forefront. His occasional drum solo is thrilling and will have you begging for more.

You may be wondering why a mostly girl band would call themselves redboy. In Maria’s own words, “redboy is a created category, a claimed identity where no positive identity was readily provided…red because we're guilty, and we can't conceal it, boy because we're not, and we won't become it.” When she says “guilty,” Maria’s referring to being “guilty of not being boys, of living in a world designed for someone else's success.” This creative ensemble refuses to be labeled. Their music blurs the lines to become something new and different. It’s difficult to explain – it must be experienced.

You can read more about the band’s philosophy, purchase their CDs or t-shirt, and download some of their wonderful music on the website: www.redboymusic.com. They have several upcoming shows that are sure to be captivating. I hope to see you there. - Mama Raga


"Meet the Press"


”Soul seduced grunge Friday night as years of Gainesville girl-rock culminated in redboy, the finest female-fronted flame The Shamrock has seen since Steph Taylor booked her flight to Berklee.”
Emily Seawell, The Gainesville Sun Online


“This creative ensemble refuses to be labeled. Their music blurs the lines to become something new and different. It’s difficult to explain – it must be experienced.”
Jennifer Wester, Mama Raga


“Such tight performances and such visible chemistry between the band members are testaments to what the Gainesville music scene has to offer.”
June Cappiello, The Independent Florida Alligator
- selections from the reviews below


Discography

Save Me (2005 debut album)

Second full-length album to be released September 2007!

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

An insistent acoustic guitar hook rings in the overcrowded yet silent college bar. It's soon joined by a skillful drummer playing on the off-beats and a groovy, unexpected bass line becoming an instrumental harmony. A haunting, yet aggressive violin solo lifts above the others. One of the dark-haired girls at the front of the stage opens her mouth and begins to sing.

redboy's sudden popularity among college audiences from their base in Gainesville, FL to Orlando, Tampa/St. Pete, St. Augustine and Jacksonville is a testament to the uniqueness of their sound. The band played its first show in January 2005. At their debut album release in Gainesville in September '05, they packed a local bar to standing room only and sold 70 copies of their album in a single night.

The woman who is singing is intense now, and the music is escalating to a fever pitch. At the climax, a blistering electric guitar solo tears itself away from the fingertips of the other dark-haired girl. She steps to the microphone and the two women's voices soar into a final heart-wrenching harmony.

Lead by two songsmiths, Meredith McCall and Maria Carter, redboy's live performances leave audiences stunned. In spite of the band's youth and quirky sincerity, the musicianship that they exhibit is as professional as that of a band with many times their experience. The five members' incredibly diverse musical influences and personalities, combine to create some of the most passionate, organic, and wholly independent music in their genre.

Maria Carter (lead vocals, guitars) has been writing songs since she was 10. At 23, she's come in to her own as a child of the post indie/grunge revolution. Her high-intensity performances and metaphor-packed lyrics evoke images of a younger Ani DiFranco playing punk rock. Her guitar work is a natural extension of her songwriting style: fresh, raw and full of emotion.

Meredith McCall (lead vocals, guitar, djembe) was raised in an acapella church. Both of her parents performed and traveled with a well-known gospel choir, the Crossroad Singers. She grew up singing classically, with major influences from gospel, R&B, soul and blues. The 24-year-old's songwriting style brings out the best in her rich, smoky voice and percussive, melodic guitar.

Anne Peters, 23, (violin, gong) has been playing violin since she was 3 years old, traveling all over the world with the Preucil School of Music Orchestra. She plays almost as another vocalist, giving shape to harmonies in the creation of redboy's unique sound.

Denise Burnsed (bass guitar, piano) has played in just about every kind of band imaginable, including an all-male, African-American gospel quartet. The most experienced member of the band, she excels in jazz and funk, but molds her style to better suit the undercurrent in each of Meredith's and Maria's songs. Her lines often sound like solos or electronic guitar licks, and she frequently takes listeners by surprise with the complexity of her compositions.

T.J. Baker, 22, (drums, electric piano) plays a strange, Frankenstein-like drum kit, including several percussive elements and "instruments" that many drummers would overlook (like an empty beer keg). His primary influences are from the Goth-metal genre, and he frequently jams on what he calls “internal metronome” – an amazing series of beats which he plays without keeping physical time, yet while maintaining perfect rhythm. He also writes his own music and plays bass, guitar, piano and almost anything else he picks up. Baker brings a primal element to redboy's music, creating flawless mood and emphasis. He and Burnsed comprise a rhythm section that takes redboy's music to a different sonic realm with each song.

All the members are close friends and dedicated to their craft and their fans. Every show, recording session and practice is a group endeavor, reflecting the band's sense of committment, responsibility and work ethic.

With their 2007 calendar packed with college shows and festival appearances around the state and the region, redboy's audiences can enjoy the passionate live performances and soul-stirring music that they've come to expect from this indie rock quintet's rising star.