The Jason Leroy Band/Scarlet Runner
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The Jason Leroy Band/Scarlet Runner

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An Album Of The Total Conviction Of The Power Of Music! January 26, 2013
By JAMES MCCORMICK
Format:Audio CD|Amazon Verified Purchase5 Stars = Masterpiece

Fabulous sophomore effort from brothers Christensen, Jason (18) on guitar, vocals & writing. Jack (16) on bass & backing vocals, & their next door neighbor Luke Rathe on drums. All from the small Iowa town of Gilbertville, population, around 500!

"Departure" is a showcase for Jason Christensen's considerable talents, "Jimi Hendrix Electric Guitar Competition" national runner up at 16, & 2012 grand national finalist, "The Guitar Center Battle of the Blues" guitar competition!" A funky, soulful, heavy blues rock album, Jason's smooth as silk soulful vocals, & his raging Hendrix, SRV, influenced guitar, with a little King's X added to the mix, dominate this album. Killer songs abound here, with the funky "Wrong Side" starting out thing's. "Crazy Chimpanzee" & "Soul Blanket" are so radio friendly, they should've been hits! The roaring heavy blues, rock, funk of "Grinder," "State of Affairs," & "Who's In Charge," make your ear hairs stand on end, as your eardrums pulse to the killer groves, frosted on top by fierce guitar work & a ace rhythm section! But of all the great music on this disc, the real triumph in my opinion here is, "Praise You," a better song, you'd be hard to find, with delicate deep bluesy guitar lines from the soul , turning into a full throttle assault, complimented by a great powerful vocal performance with meaningful lyrics, sung with total conviction of it's subject's content!

Yes, it's hard to believe that these three young musicians were writing & performing music, well beyond their years! To bad this album is so hard to find, but if you do find it, buy it, for it's rare treasure that will repay you time & time again with the gift that never stops giving, masterful music!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rocks hard with a lot of soul October 26, 2005
By Dona Mari
Format:Audio CDI saw the band play about 7 years ago in Iowa. It was amazing. They had a great stage presence. This CD brings everything they do so well right through your stereo. Hendrix would be proud.
- Amazon


5.0 out of 5 stars Why?, March 31, 2012
By M.M.J. (Deutschland) - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Groove Thang (Audio CD)
Why? Why is it? Why is it, SCARLET RUNNER is not on Top of the Billboard Blues-Charts?
Why is it, Joe Bonamassa -to whom I'm very much addicted to- is getting his well deserved good critics and SARLET RUNNER is not?
Why is it, nobody in the bigger music business realizes it?

Forgive me: I just don`t know. Again: I just don`t know. Lord have mercy! This music, this art of funky bluesing is just major league.

There is blues-rock at it`s best -I may say in maximum excellency-, threre are excellent vocals, there are superb songs.

Again: This is major-league.

Just believe it! Help other customers find the most helpful reviews
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4.0 out of 5 stars Unique vibe, January 21, 2012
By E. Rob Stirton "Dei Amores" (Brighton, MI United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME) Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Groove Thang (Audio CD)
This Scarlet Runner's cd is a nice blend of savvy blues licks and demonstrates a band that is 'tight' (a good thang). This is original blues music at its best. Help other customers find the most helpful reviews
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Wait For Number 2!!!, February 17, 2010
By Michael S. Tracy (Burlington, CT, USA) - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Groove Thang (Audio CD)
I can't remember where I got turned onto this disc, maybe Joe Bonamassa's web site, but people were raving about it so I decided to go and buy it. Well, this is the first review I have done on Amazon and it's because this disc kicks total butt. I have had it for over a year now and any time a song from it comes up on my i-pod, I play it. Great grooves, very funky, excellent production, OUTSTANDING guitar work and overall just a VERY solid effort. Can't wait for the second one....please?!! Help other customers find the most helpful reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SRV / Hendrix, February 15, 2010
By QC Blues (Quad Cities) - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Groove Thang (Audio CD)
For those who tirelessly search for music following in the footsteps of Hendrix and SRV, this CD is for you. Enjoy. Help other customers find the most helpful reviews
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars new discovered..., December 11, 2009
By David Pelleman (Berryville, VA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME) Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Groove Thang (Audio CD)
...Just recently discovered this gem while trying to get my Doyle Bramhall II, Chris Duarte, etc. fix on. THIS is an AWESOME record! Production is outstanding the Strat guitar tones are rich and fat!! Highly recommend!! Help other customers find the most helpful reviews
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most exciting new blues rock band, January 18, 2008
By grooveyard gary (illinois) - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Groove Thang (Audio CD)
Another great signing by my favorite record label.Scarlet Runner is a guitar driven bliss of blues rock and funk.some of the very tastiest playing,fresh and exciting.The covers of Use Me Up and Dimples really spice things up.The cover of Who Knows/Power of soul with guest Craig Erickson would make Jimi proud.There are also enough great originals here too.Another 5 star cd unless I could add more stars.If you like heavy bkues rock and like a little funk thrown in get this cd. Help other customers find the most helpful reviews
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- Amazon


Neither the band or the majority of the expectant music fans knew quite what to expect when Scarlet Runner of Gilbertville, IA made the jaunt east to Mendota, IL on April Fool's Day. The three piece band won the house over with their energetic performance and Jason Christensen, lead singer and guitarist, felt "a lot of love" from Frizol's patrons directed towards Scarlet Runner.
The band opened with Let Me Be from the South Chain Gang CD released in '96 while an exuberant patron attempted to do headstands directly in front of Jason. Despite this minor "sideshow," the band played on with Me Tied from the Departure CD released in '98 and Someday, a new original piece. The first set also included The Gospel of St. Thomas (new original), Hurt and Pain, State of Affairs ( both from Departure) and covers by Chris Duarte, Freddy King, Herbie Hancock, and Kings X. The band which includes Jack Christensen (Jason's brother) on bass/ backing vocals and Jeremy Ackley on drums was fine tuning the house into their hands.

The second set featured mostly original songs and started with a new one called WETV. Crazy Chimpanzee from Departure followed. See You Cry, a crowd favorite, from South Chain Gang really got the house's attention. Big Legged Woman (Freddy King), The Ballad of the Incredible Shrinking Man, Holding On (both new), Soul Blanket (Departure), and the new Song For Murron continued to rave the mood in Frizol's. The set concluded with a raucous interpretation of the Beatles' classic Come Together. The crowd was hooked by this point.

Ackley's drumming and aura were getting the close up attention of a lady patron at this juncture and there were even a few more head stands, but the band went on without a hitch. The smokin' final set opened with Muddy Waters's Champaign and Reefer. The new original Without You kept things rockin'. The band concluded the fine show with three covers: Hey Joe (Hendrix), Lucy in The Sky With Diamonds (Beatles), and Hendrix's Are You Experienced? . The crowd's answer to the Scarlet Runner experience was to be impressed by this fine band with blues licks woven into their rock sound.

Scarlet Runner's live show does an excellent job of mixing songs from their two recordings, new originals, and covers which displayed the variety of musical influences that they have. Playing music live appears to be a blast for them. Jason Christensen does a fine job as lead singer and plays impressive lead guitar. Jack Christensen supplies key backing vocals and bounces around exuberantly while banging the bass lines. Drummer Jeremy Ackley, recent replacement for Luke Rathe who performed on the two recordings, fits in well with his new band. This young band works hard to develop their talent. Look for bright things from them in the future and check them out when they come to your area. They will be back at Frizol's Tavern in Mendota, IL on May 27.

Scarlet Runner has a nice website (www.scarletrunner.com) that lists their show dates. CDs and shirts can be purchased via the website, also. Email Jason Christensen (jason@scarletrunner.com) with further questions.



- Live Review


The Grooveyard has never shied away from their love and admiration for all things Hendrix. What they've found in Scarlet Runner is a regional wonder kid, Jason Leroy who channels the true Hendrix spirit in both vocal and guitar chops. The band is Leroy (guitar/vocals), Jack Christensen (bass), with Luke Rathe and Jeremy Ackley sharing drum duties. By the third cut on this, the band's third outing, they reach their apex in "Manic Depression" where they blaze through a vicious rendition of the classic. Their tribute goes on to include label mate Craig Erickson who lends a hand (and voice) on the lesser known Hendrix original "Who Knows.. Power of Soul" as well as the title-track "Groove Thang". Both offer a radiant raw, visceral attack that is more street blues than slick showmanship. Of the disc's 14 numbers, all but four are original yet the covers are just as gritty and inspiring. Often the sound is akin to early Stevie Ray Vaughan with even John Lee Hooker's "Dimples" packed with swagger and menace.

A clear favorite is the southern-styled funk of "Wrong Side" as it hangs on to a seductive bass / drum backbeat while blazing away on the guitar. Leroy's soulful voice captures elements of Stevie Wonder and Bill Withers with the sex appeal of Al Jarreau as he sings, "things are never easy when you're from the wrong side." The hair-raising solo toward the end is worth the price of admission alone! A sonic swath of heavy guitar riffing ignite songs like the metallic "Grinder," the progressive, almost psychedelic "State of Affairs" and the modern rock rumbler "Crazy Chimpanzee." There's also plenty of roadhouse rock in "Peace O' Mine," "Let Me Be" and the foot-tapping "Take the Fall." where the guitar effects add a dynamic cosmic dimension. The stripped down Bill Withers hit "Use Me Up" toward the end of the disc is a study in groove, funk and soulful expression – something Scarlet Runner do very well.

Todd K. Smith (The Cutting Edge) (September 2008)




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Jason Leroy and his posse turn up the heat on Scarlet Runner's latest release, "Groove Thang." If you're in the mood for some classic, sweetspicyhot stratified riffage sprayed over simmering, slow cooked, driving grooves with a double dose of feel, you came to the right party. These guys are prime-cut purveyors of tight, upbeat, hard-edged electric swamp-foot bluesy soul. They know what they like, they know who they are and they know what to do. No trend junkies or fanboys allowed at this feelgood blowout. There's nothing pretentious or contrived on these tracks...they fit like that beat-up leather jacket you've had since you-don't-know-when...you don't wear it, it wears you. Like that jacket, the grooves, riffs, solos and stories in Scarlet Runner's closet are well worn, familiar and fit like a glove. You won't find plodding, grundgy feels or depressing, disjointed lyrics or jigsaw puzzle arrangements - Scarlet Runner is all about the "Groove Thang." Period. Let Jason and his friends take you to that old, familiar place you've always wanted to get back to, but always seemed to get sidetracked along the way. Well, the wait is over. Welcome home.

JIMMY RYAN (TRUTH SQUAD) (02.08)
- Many


“… guitarist, Jason Christensen. A soulful voice and incredible guitar licks, not to mention a great stage presence, had me watching intently.” – Backstage Pass, Omaha, NE

“Scarlet Runner has placed itself squarely in the same constellation with predecessors such as Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan.” – Cedar Rapids Gazette, Cedar Rapids, IA

“Recently, Jason Christensen won the Regional Jimi Hendrix Guitar Competition … I have a sneaking suspicion he may walk away with the title hands down.”
– Twin Cities Blues News

“Stevie Ray Vaughan would be 42 this year if he lived, and we’re now seeing a generation of young blues players young enough to be his kids working their own variations on Vaughan’s distinctive style. Scarlet Runner is no exception. The trio isn’t afraid to tackle serious subjects – the title track is an earnest enough lament for the prisoners – and play a cover like “Manic Depression” with a passion that belies their years.” – Blues Access

“Jason Christensen won the Regional Jimi Hendrix Guitar Competition held at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago … It ain’t no fluke! He truly is a scorcher!” – The Blues Cryer - Newsletter of the Central Iowa Blues Society
- Multiple


Scarlet Runner
@ the Blues Saloon, December 7, 1996
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Talk about electricity! This blues/rock power trio from Iowa made its debut Minnesota performance at the Blues Saloon in December...and boy were they cookin'. If you like your blues loud and rockin', along the lines of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Chris Duarte, Buddy Guy and Albert King, you'll love Scarlet Runner.

The band is made up of brothers Jason and Jack Christensen on guitar and bass and Luke Rathe on drums. Jason and Luke are 17 year old seniors in high school and Jack is a mere 15 year old freshman. Don't let the age fool you. These guys can play the blues with a maturity well beyond their years. Jason Christensen is another blistering blues guitar prodigy whose guitar playing can be described in one word -- phenomenal! He also has a soulful blues voice and the group's song writing skills are already evident from the work on their first CD called South Chain Gang.


Messin' With The Kid got the night off on a fine blues note. It was followed with Stevie Ray Vaughan's Pride And Joy and an original Outta Time featuring some Texas blues guitar and a good sounding soul influenced voice. Got A Real Bad Feeling featured outstanding work by the band on a slower blues number. Jason still fired off some sizzling blues riffs that were right on target. Hoochie Coochie Man featured the good humor that the band displayed all night with a very nice rendition of the song and some altered lyrics -- "...now I'm a man, four years under 21..." It's nice to see these young performers not taking themselves too seriously but still having a respect for the music.


One of the highlights of the night was the two Hendrix numbers Manic Depression and Dylan's All Along The Watchtower. If you had your eyes closed you could almost imagine Jimi Hendrix was in the room playing. He had all the Hendrix flourish -- he has studied well. My son, after hearing Jason play, said he is the Hendrix of the 90's. I don't know if I would go that far but Jason certainly has something special there. Another highlight for me was his version of Freddie King's Hide Away. On Hide Away, Jason had the song stone cold, right down to the Peter Gunn segment. Then he made the song all his own and took it off into the stratosphere with some amazing guitar playing.


Luke and Jack provided a solid rhythm for Jason's fine guitar work. Jason has all the tricks down too... playing behind the neck... with his teeth... behind his back... a walk in the audience...! Recently Jason Christensen won the regional Jimi Hendrix Guitar Competition and will be playing for the national title in Madison Square Garden in April. I have a sneaking suspicion he may walk away with that title hands down.


If you want to see a rising young blues trio and another young guitar prodigy who is on the verge of national acclaim, be sure to show up at the Blues Saloon on February 7, 1997 for their return engagement. You better arrive early if you want a seat.
Keep The Blues Alive!


- Twin Cities Blues News


Discography

1. "South Chain Gang" 1996 - Self released
2. "Departure" 1998 - Self released - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppzzE0ArzgE
3. "Astro-nauts" EP 2005 - Self released
4. "Groovethang" 2007 - Grooveyard Records - http://www.grooveyardrecords.com/groovethang-.html
5. New album coming out in 2013 for Grooveyard Records

Photos

Bio

Video of Jason Leroy's grand national finalist performance, "The Guitar Center Battle of the Blues" at Club Nokia in L.A. -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SDJ1IfYpCc

In 1994 at the tender age of fifteen and thirteen, brothers Christensen, Jason on guitar and Jack on bass, formed the blues/rock Power trio Scarlet Runner with their next door neighbor Luke Rathe (15) in the small town of Gilbertville, Iowa. Jason and Jack were inspired by their father John, who had a large blues and rock record collection, and they grew up with their father’s love of the music.

It was evident early on that Jason was very gifted as a guitarist and vocalist, and he led Scarlet Runner on the road to national acclaim. During the first year, Scarlet Runner played in front of large festival crowds and opened outdoors for the likes of The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Wadena Rock Festival, and King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, AR, playing in front of thousands. The next year Jason entered the Jimi Hendrix Electric Guitar Competition, sponsored by the Hendrix estate via a demo of Manic Depression. He was selected for the Midwest regional competition held at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago, where Jason won to a standing ovation and was presented a guitar from Jimi’s father! He then went to the national competition in Seattle (Hendrix’s hometown) and was national runner up! All this at the tender age of 16!

Back in their home state of Iowa during the next couple of years, Scarlet Runner won the Dubuque Thunderfest Battle of the Bands, in which over thirty bands from a tri-state area competed! They were voted three years in a row best rock and blues band in the “Cedar Valley” by readers of the Waterloo Courier. In this time they put out two CD’s, South Chain Gang and Departure. These albums got extensive air play regionally, as well as on the nationally syndicated Blues Deluxe radio program, with over two hundred stations subscribing to it across the country at that time! Scarlet Runner was also Musicians Magazines semi-finalist “Best Unsigned Band in America” two years in a row, and held similar honors with Mars Music “Big Deal Search!” They performed Rock Fest in Wisconsin with the likes of ZZ Top, REO Speedwagon, Loverboy, Boston, Kansas, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the Guess Who! They opened single concerts for the likes of B.B, King, Koko Taylor, Pat Benatar, and Storyville, just to mention a few.

In 2002 Scarlet Runner disbanded, but not before playing in 22 states at such world famous night clubs as The Grand Emporium, Kansas City, The Green Parrot, Key West, The Cabooze & Blues Saloon, Minneapolis, The Zoo Bar, Lincoln, Freebird Café, Jacksonville Beach, and The Cubby Bear North, Chicago, were just a few among many.

After disbanding, Jason Christensen spent three years on the east coast touring with drummer Jason Patterson of Cry of Love (Warner Bros) and Chris Duarte. Patterson then got the drummers spot with Corrosion of Conformity and left for a world tour supporting Motorhead. Jason then decided to return to Iowa and his roots. He reformed Scarlet Runner with his brother Jack and drummer Jeremy Ackley. News of their reunion spread fast, as the amount of dates and fan excitement over their reunion escalated at a tremendous pace! Soon the band was performing 150 plus dates a year!

In 2012, Jason Leroy Christensen entered "the Guitar Center Battle of the Blues." This was a competition held in 231 stores nationwide, with over 7000 contestants entering. Jason won the local Cedar Rapids store competition, then went on to the Twin Cities and won the regional. He then went to Chicago to compete in the "North Central Division Championship," and won that. He went on to be one of six grand national finalist in Los Angles at Club Nokia!

Scarlet Runner has put out a third CD on Grooveyard Records (www.grooveyardrecords.com ), "Groove Thang," to national and international acclaim! There are plans for a new Grooveyard Records Release in 2013, under the Jason Leroy name! Jason Leroy Christensen has years and miles of experience behind him, much more so than his young age belies, and is ready once again, to tackle the blues/ rock music world!