Redwater RoJo
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Redwater RoJo


Band Rock


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"Redwater RoJo"

A listener taking a spin through this 12-track disc by Cleveland's Redwater Rojo could be forgiven for thinking he was listening to a newly unearthed effort by a band from Florida or Georgia circa 1974. With somewhat less guitar flash than those two- and three-guitarist bands, the quartet will put you in mind of Southern rockers like the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Molly Hatchett, with that same mix of country-fried road-house rockers and blues-drenched power ballads. Redwater Rojo kicks off the disc with a hard-driving pair of the former, "Who Am I" and "Don't Mind," before unspooling "The Last Time," the first of perhaps a few too many of the latter. For a local band that doesn't have a big label breathing down its neck for a single, it seems odd that the disc is so heavy on ballads, ranging from the bare-bones acoustic "What If" to epic ballads like "Contry [sic] Song Bye Bye." - Anastasia Pantsios

- Cleveland Free Times

"Cleveland’s Redwater RoJo Rocks Out to Benefit Coats for Kids Foundation"

Cleveland’s Redwater RoJo Rocks Out to Benefit Coats for Kids Foundation

Up-and-coming Cleveland band, Redwater RoJo is seeking to establish themselves as rockers who care by taking the stage for before Christmas for the Coats for Kids Foundation Inc. (CFK).

The doors open for this much-anticipated event at 8:30 pm Thursday, December 20th at the Grog Shop in Cleveland, OH, where all profits will go to CFK. Admission is free with the donation of a new winter coat. Without a donation, tickets are $6 (21+ crowd) or $8 (under 21). Additionally, all proceeds from Redwater RoJo CD sales will go to CFK.

Meyers wants to use his band's talent to help others less fortunate, especially kids in his hometown. “We're lucky to be in this unique position that allows us to help those in need while doing what we enjoy most,” Meyers said. “We want to do everything we can to collect coats and donations for this terrific charity.”

Redwater RoJo was formed by Cleveland natives, Jason Meyers (lead vocals, guitar) and Joe Romito (lead guitar) in 2005. The addition of Joe Wheelock (bass) and Matt Vertock (drums) in 2006 completed the strong line-up. Redwater RoJo’s down home rock and roll is a scarcity in Cleveland, where metal is king. Redwater RoJo’s mojo delivers live performances that leave the audience wanting more.

For CFK, this is a year of many firsts, from having their first town-wide coat drive, to their first wine tasting fundraiser, and even being added as a part of Second Life on the Internet. "This is also the first time that musicians have reached out to us,” said Paul Darby, co-founder of CFK. “We are overjoyed."

Meyers says this won't be the last time Redwater RoJo pairs with charities such as CFK. “I’m hoping to strike a chord with local musicians,” said Meyers. “Our goal is to inspire others in the area to give back to their community this holiday season and beyond.”

For more information please contact Jason Meyers at 216-870-2254 or visit: - Coats for Kids FOUNDATION

"Redwater RoJo finds appreciative audience"

Redwater RoJo finds appreciative audience

Published: Wednesday, February 25, 2009

By John Benson
The band’s latest album, ‘The Wait,’ is a departure from its debut effort.
Having just played a gig at Cedars last month, Redwater RoJo members — Jason Meyers (vocals and guitar), Joe Wheelock (bass), Joseph Romito (guitar) and Derek Desko (drums) — are looking forward to returning to their newfound Youngstown audience with a Friday show at Barley’s.
“We really like playing in Youngstown; the crowd is great,” Wheelock said. “It seems to me that there’s a really nice music scene and that the people who live in Youngstown like to go see live rock ’n’ roll. You can’t argue with that. It’s like Detroit — when they see a good band they respond to it. That is always something you want to have in a city you’re going to play.
“We’ve been finding ways to get our music on the radio there. We’ve been played on 93.3 [WNCD-FM], and we’re starting to build a fan base. So it can only get better. We’re talking about a working-class band from Cleveland that’s going to play for working-class people in Youngstown. We just happened to be finding success not that far away from home.”
Any success or current momentum of the band is tied directly to its latest effort, “The Wait,” which found the group working with producer John Guggenheim. The album results paint the quartet in a different light from its 2007 self-titled debut.
“Guggenheim really helped take what we were already doing and shape it into something that was more focused,” Wheelock said. “We’re not talking about a change in sound, we’re talking about a refinement of what we had. I think you’ve got a tighter approach on all of the material. Before we met Guggenheim, we were the same band playing the same songs. He said to us, ‘What can we do to take these songs and make them the best they can be and to continue to build upon what you guys have going for you?’”
Wheelock said that on “The Wait” the band maintains its pop sensibilities yet has taken on a harder edge, featuring an aggressive rhythm section and a distorted guitar sound.
“There’s a little bit more dissonance in the music,” Wheelock said. “It’s not your typical three-chord song. It’s definitely moving more toward a modern sound. You could say we’re incorporating influences from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and bands like Muse, where if you looked at our last album, you might say Lynyrd Skynyrd and Mott the Hoople. Where we have our influences, and out of those we’re building something new.”
If the band is focused on its new album, the bassist said the ante has definitely been upped with the outfit’s live show. At a recent CD release show for “The Wait,” Wheelock said the power of the new and improved Redwater RoJo was apparent from the crowd’s reaction.
“I had people tell us they liked it better live than they did on the record, and that they loved the record,” Wheelock said. “So the level of intuitiveness and communication musically through the songs we’re playing is really at a peak. I don’t think we’ve been better live ever.” - The Youngstown Vindicator

"coolcleveland album review"

The Wait
Redwater RoJo

What is it about Cleveland that produces such great roots-rock outfits? When you combine the Midwestern sensibilities with Rustbelt weariness and good, old-fashioned Northeast Ohio tenacity like Redwater RoJo does, it isn't any wonder. Led by founders Jason Meyers (vocals/guitars) and Joe Romito (lead guitar), the group's fondness for roots and blues music combines with those aforementioned traits to great some well-crafted, intuitive rock and roll that really couldn't have come from anywhere else in the country. They refer to themselves as "eclectic... an unholy cross between the Black Crowes and the Stooges." I'm not sure that fits necessarily, but leather-jacketed, roadhouse-lovin' rockers who dig the Crowes and like their tunes "whiskey-soaked" will find plenty to love on their seven-song EP, The Wait.

Cuts like "Flip the Switch," "Boots On" and the so-appropriate anthem "Lit n' Hollerin'" are like a revelatory ride through the best of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Molly Hatchet, with one foot squarely planted in old fashioned R&B and delta blues. With bandmates Joe Wheelock (bass) and Derek Desko (drums) offering a sturdy bottom end to Meyers' songcraft, RoJo can be introspective and bombastic and "old-fashioned" (in the sense that radio listeners used to experience this kind of rock and roll all the time). If there's a drawback to The Wait, it's that it's too short. With six originals and a "radio edit" of "Flip the Switch" at the end, it'll leave you hungry. But the first rule of showbiz (and good marketing) is always leave 'em wanting more. Mission accomplished, gents.

Redwater RoJo will perform songs from The Wait EP with headliners Gaslight Anthem this Tuesday, March 31st at the Agora. Score details at

From Cool Cleveland Managing Editor Peter Chakerian


"Red Water Rojo debut album has roots in a dream"

Friday, December 14, 2007John BensonSpecial to The Plain Dealer
Red Water Rojo, countrified rock

Hometown: Solon.

Years performing: 2½.
Day gig: professional musician, music teacher, bartender, cook, waiter.

You can't deny the power of the subconscious. And when you're a musician, that means if and when you dream up a melody, you better get out of bed and put it down on paper. Such was the experience for Red Water Rojo singer-guitarist Jason Meyers, who crafted the acoustic track "Country Bye Bye" late one night. "Lyrically, the song is simple," said Meyers, a 1999 Solon High School graduate. "It came to me in a dream. I was sleeping next to my girlfriend, this melody was in my head and I said, Wait a minute. What's going on?' It hit me, the one line from the song, If all you ask of me is everything I can't compromise/Then consider this your country song bye-bye.' And then I looked at her and said, This isn't good.' But I saved our talk for later and went to my guitar and finished the song that morning." Suffice it to say, the girl is out of his life but the song remains one of his favorites and is the cornerstone to Red Water Rojo's debut effort, which was released this summer. The quartet -- Meyers, Joe Romito (guitar, vocals), Matthew Vertock (drums) and Joe Wheelock (bass) -- is scheduled to headline a benefit show at 9 p.m. Thursday at the Grog Shop, 2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights. Silverspine and The Goods are also on the bill. Tickets are $6 (donate a new coat, gently used blanket or sleeping bag and get in free). Call 216-321-5588.

- The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Redwater RoJo Rocks Coats for Kids"

Holiday Guide

Redwater RoJo Rocks Coats for Kids What do charities have in common with local music? Up-and-coming Cleveland band, Redwater RoJo takes the stage for the Coats for Kids Foundation Thu 12/20 at 8:30PM at the Grog Shop. All proceeds go to CFK; admission is no charge with the donation of a new coat or blanket. Additionally, all proceeds from Redwater RoJo CD sales will go to CFK.


"The Cleveland Plain Dealer"

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Redwater RoJo in the Cleveland Plain Dealer


Red Water Rojo
Genre: Country-fried rock
Hometown: Kent
Years performing: 3.5
Day gigs: professional musician, business consultant, property manager and music teacher

With its new EP "The Wait," Kent-based act Red Water Rojo -- Joe Wheelock (bass), Joseph Romito (guitar), Jason Meyers (vocals and guitar) and Derek Desko (drums) -- has ventured into new, albeit familiar, territory. "We do move in a different direction production-wise on this EP, but it's also a little bit heavier, which is a good indication of where we're going," said Cleveland Heights resident Meyers.

"We definitely have that country-blues influence, but we're not Southern rock. " Meyers said a current band favorite from the new effort is "See Me," which lyrically shows off the band's introspective side. The Red Water Rojo CD Release Party takes place at 8:30 p.m.Friday at the Beachland Tavern, 15711 Waterloo Rd., Cleveland. Also on the bill are Beardo Bandini, DJ $crilla and Guggy's Rock-n-Roll 101. Tickets are $8. Call 216-383-1124. - The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"RoJo Rising"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rojo Rising
Local Band Adopts A Heavier Sound On The Wait
By Jeff Niesel

Given that his dad is a jazz musician and his mom teaches classical piano at the Cleveland Institute of Music, it's no surprise Redwater RoJo singer-guitarist Jason Meyers became a musician.

"Most kids grew up on Sesame Street and cartoons, but I grew up on Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, Buddy Guy, and the whole jazz and blues thing," he says. "I've always had a deep admiration for that."

Yet Meyers has an annual ritual that goes beyond the call of duty. Every year, he heads down south to visit the grave(s) of Robert Johnson (since no one knows exactly where the blues musician was buried, three different "graves" mark the spot, and Meyers stops at all of them).

"I had one of those moments where I was sitting in front of the grave, and I knew I had to get back into music and I wasn't sure how," says Meyers via phone as he braves a winter storm driving to Kent for band practice.

As soon as he saw the sun set on the Mississippi River, he knew what to do. "I was on the Mississippi Delta, and the graveyard had 30 or 40 handwritten wooden plots, and the grass was kind of long. The sun shone on the river and created a red reflection," he recalls. "I decided I would go back to Cleveland and call my band Redwater RoJo. Redwater for the river and RoJo for Robert Johnson."

He formed the band in 2005 with guitarist Joe Romito (they both attended Solon High School, but they didn't know each other at the time) and a different rhythm section. The group has since gone through several mutations both before and after releasing its self-titled debut in 2007. Meyers says he's happy with the way the lineup has shaken out.

"Our guitar player Joe [Romito] is hardcore into blues. He loves Buddy Guy and Freddie King. Joe [Wheelock], our bassist, can play anything. He's good. You put all that together with our new drummer Derek Desko, who is big into metal, and you get Redwater Rojo."

While the first album was more ballad-driven, the group takes a heavier approach on The Wait. That's apparent from the opening track, "Flip the Switch," a barnburner that finds Meyers snarling, "fuck you for being so beautiful/fuck you for just being you." It sounds like an unholy cross between the Black Crowes and the Stooges. "See Me" has Charlie Daniels-like swagger (but without the race-baiting), and the title track features some Stevie Ray-like guitar work. Even ballads like "Baby Be" and "Boots On" have an edge to them.

"Half the songs that come out of me Travis Tritt could play, and the other half Rage Against the Machine could play," says Meyers. "We just wanted to make this album heavier."

To accomplish that, they recorded at C-Town Sound with producer John Guggenheim.

"He's worked with a lot of R&B guys and with the Jack Fords, and that's why we wanted to work with him," says Meyers. "We love John. He's so energetic. It's the difference between a good record and a bad record. We wanted to pick somebody who could bring out the best of us. He worked us and was honest, and we loved every minute of it, even when he yelled at us."

Meyers says the band's aspirations are little more than to be a working bar band - something he says is well within reach.

"It's our ambition to make music as our life," says Meyers. "I was doing that for all of 2007. I was able to teach and work with the band. We played over 80 shows. We want to make a living, one step at a time." - Cleveland Scene magazine

"Jim Benson/92.3 f.m. Cleveland reviews"

Jan. '09

The second release from these guys goes farther than their first effort! And the first one got our attention fast. While the title track may be a little softer than I want these boys to rock, it still has a flare on its own. But the no hold bars effort to a band with an Americana feel,”The Wait” succeeds when it rocks straight forward. Jason Meyer’s vocals fit perfectly with the tunes. Out standing rockers ( and I mean raise your fist way up in the air) ‘Flip the Switch’ and ‘Lit ‘n’ Hollerin’ make this cd worth picking up on there own. If you havent seen or heard this band, make that a New Years resolution!
jim benson - Jim Benson


EP "The Wait" released January 23, 2009
First single "Flip The Switch" in rotation at Radio 92.3 WKRK, 88.7 WJCU
Released self titled full length debut c.d. in May 2007
Released radio single "Don't Mind" in May 2006



From the Depths of the Rust Belt

Redwater RoJo was formed by Jason Meyers (lead vocals,
guitar) and Joe Romito (lead guitar) in 2005. Their
mutual admiration for the greats- Freddie King, Robert
Johnson, and Lynyrd Skynyrd- was essential in the
birth of Redwater RoJo’s patented brew of
whiskey-drenched, down home rock and roll.

The eclectic sounds of Redwater RoJo are rare in
Cleveland, where metal is king. From
hard-hitting numbers, such as ‘Picture of a Memory’
and ‘The Wait’, to reflective tunes like ‘Your
Yesterday’ and ‘Country Song Bye-Bye’, Jason Meyers’
lyrics draw the listener in and give them something
worth holding on to. The addition of Joe Wheelock
(bass, 2006) and Derek Desko (drums, 2008) completed the
line-up. Redwater RoJo’s live shows are always the
best ticket in town on any given night, delivering a
live performance that will brings the crowd back for

Redwater RoJo has been building a solid fan base the
old-fashioned way: one fan at a time. Their dedicated
fans have followed them from gig to gig, from dive
bars to concert halls. Cleveland’s radio stations,
such as the legendary 100.7 WMMS, have been giving
them radio support as well, which is rare for a local
band these days. Due to overwhelming demand, Redwater
RoJo released their self-titled debut in May of 2007.

Their follow up, titled The Wait, was released in January 2009.
The Wait is a great collection of original music
that represents the band as it is today, as well as
giving the listener an idea of good things to come.

Electrifying live performances, solid original music…
Redwater RoJo carries on the proud tradition of the
greats that they admire. The best is yet to come.

Nominated best rock band in Cleveland by the Cleveland Free Times-Jan.'08

Nominated best rock band in Cleveland by the Cleveland Scene magazine-Jan. '09

Cross Canadian Ragweed March '07
Chris Janson June '07
Will Hoge June '07
Days of the New July '07
Monte Montgomery Nov. '07
Saving Jane May '08
Seven Mary Three Aug. '08
Sponge Aug. '08
The Gaslight Anthem March '09