The Red Alert
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The Red Alert

Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States | SELF

Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States | SELF
Band Rock


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"The Red Alert: All In The Family"

May 12th, 2006

“I’ve played the drums since as far back as I can remember, and my dad owns a recording studio, so I’ve been around music all my life,” says Hank Hanewinkel III (lead singer, guitar, piano) of The Red Alert. “I’ve played guitar since I was about 10, and then I’ve always played in talent shows and various events,” he relays, talking about his early experiences with music.

Winner of the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus Battle of the High School Bands for the Tulsa, Okla., region, The Red Alert is a youthfully infused revival of The White Stripes, paired with an original energetic flare. The two members of The Red Alert, Hank and his sister, Christy Hanewinkel, are now competing as finalists in the National Battle of the Bands Championship, after their triumph at their hometown battle. The winner of the National Battle of the Bands Championship receives a tour spot on this summer’s Vans Warped Tour, and in the midst of wrapping up the school year, the two siblings wait anxiously for the gamut of shows and events that the upcoming weeks and months hold in store for them.

In addition to playing the drums for his high school’s jazz band, seventeen year old Hank plays the trumpet for the school’s concert band, and rocks the piano and guitar in The Red Alert, with fifth-grader Christy thrashing away on the drums. With their father, Hank II, owning his own recording studio and label—Carondelet Records, and the two being exposed to music of all genres at young ages, it seems only natural that making music would seep into the souls of these young performers.

Beginning the band after seeing a White Stripes show in Oklahoma City, The Red Alert—first known as The Red Stripes—quickly began to draw attention to themselves, “After she saw Meg (drummer for The White Stripes), she wanted to learn. So I taught her a bunch of their songs, and we started out as a White Stripes cover band called The Red Stripes. And we built up a bunch of fame here around town doing the covers, and eventually we felt we needed to do an original album, so we went in and recorded one. Did all of our own stuff, and so now we’re pushing that,” Hank explains.

Mixing a lot of hard work with a knack for imagination, the mighty duo set out to record their debut original album Put On Your Game Face, featuring the catchy track “For One Man,” and the pulsing anthem “Game Face.” “The recording experience was a lot of fun, and a lot of hard work,” Hank says. “Probably one of the most fun moments in the studio was when we were recording ’Game Face,’ and at the very end of it we had a bunch of people yelling ’go on out and put on your game face,’ because it’s the title of the album, but it was around the time of Halloween and Christy and I both had stick on mustaches on. So it was us with these stick on mustaches on and she has this big pirate hat on, and we’re all dressed up like pirates running around recording the song, it was really funny.”

Being brother and sister definitely can bring about moments of chaos, but Hank and Christy get along admirably considering how much time they spend together rehearsing every day after school and spending weekends doing as many shows as they can, all the while living in the same house. With hopes of making music a full-time thing, Hank looks ahead to his college aspirations approaching quickly this fall and his plans to begin recording classes at a local community college, where he can acquire the resources and knowledge to hit the music industry from multiple angles.

“Christy and I have been playing together since June of 2003,” Hank states, “That’s when we started doing The White Stripes thing. She was 8, and I taught her all of the songs we did on our CD, and all The White Stripes songs. Within, like, three weeks, she had learned them perfect. I was really surprised at how fast she caught on, and she’s just gotten better and better since then.”

Taking their influences from The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The White Stripes and The Monkees, The Red Alert only continues to make a name for themselves in the Midwest amongst friends and peers. Being a bit below the mean age, Hank says Christy never has a problem fitting in with the crowd because “they all love her.” And, huge shows aside, Christy says, “it only gets overwhelming when I have a lot of homework.”

Rocking Cain’s Ballroom quite frequently, at one point this spring The Red Alert was set to open for The Subways at Cain’s. Unfortunately the show had to be postponed because Billy of The Subways was on leave due to the discovery of nodules on his vocal chords. The Red Alert isn’t discouraged though, as the U.S. Tour for The Subways is in the process of being rescheduled, and until then, The Subways will remain on The Red Alert’s Top 8 on their MySpace page.

When recalling the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus Battle of the Bands, Hank says, “It was a lot of fun; and it was all kids my age too. To get the music out to all of those kids—it was really cool to see the turnout for a bunch of high school kids.” Christy adds, “I really enjoyed playing with all of the other bands, and winning was especially cool.”

“[Music is] my passion, and it’s what I want to do with the rest of my life,” Hank honestly admits. “I’ve always been around music, and I think that with one song you can change the world. To be able to get to people through music… I’d like someday, hopefully soon, to see people singing the lyrics back to me as I’m singing—that would be the greatest thing ever,” he concludes passing the phone to Christy, who says, “I’m just hoping someday our music will inspire someone to play a musical instrument, or help them get through something difficult in their life.”

Taking their passion for music and their enthusiasm for playing, Hank and Christy gear up for what hopes to be an eventful summer for The Red Alert, as their live show goes on the road. Be sure to add them on MySpace, and for more up-to-date information, please visit or

Thanks Hank and Christy!!

By Amanda Andreen -

"Still Red Hot: The Winner of Last Years Battle is Back!"

March 2nd, 2007

Sound the alarm — the Red Alert is back.For those of you who didn’t tune in to last year’s battle, the Red Alert is made up of siblings Christy Hanewinkel on drums and Hank Hanewinkel III on guitar. They started out as the Red Stripes when Hank was 14 and Christy was just 8, having been inspired by a White Stripes show in Oklahoma City.The Red Stripes was a cover band that covered — you guessed it — White Stripes songs. The young performers had a lot of success as the Red Stripes, opening for the likes of Norman-based band the Starlight Mints, winning the Rising Star award at the Tulsa World’s 2004 Spot Music Awards and playing at Freaker’s Ball.But it was as the Red Alert, a band with all original songs, that the duo broke into a dead run for success, recording an album with Valcour Sound called “Put on Your Game Face” in 2005 and winning Satellite’s Battle of the Bands in 2006.The Red Alert is a rock band with some serious guitar action and, despite the fact that Christy is only in the sixth grade, the drums to back it up. Although they began with White Stripes covers, the duo’s music isn’t a carbon copy of their original namesake.They tout a brilliant blend of the likes of Modest Mouse,Brand New, Oasis and Wilco. If you haven’t heard the band’s music, you should head on over to the Red Alert Web site at its musical prowess and energetic stage show, the Red Alert won Satellite’s battle and moved on to compete in — and win — the John Lennon Song-writing Contests’ National High School Battle of the Bands. The band’s reward was a slot on last year’s Warped Tour in Dallas.In August, the band playedthree shows in St. Louis, includ-ing a TV appearance on “Show Me St. Louis” and an in-store show at a record shop.

Back in Tulsa they played Freaker’s Ball for the third year in a row, won Artist of the Year and Album of the Year at the Spot Music Awards, had a couple of shows in November and— to no surprise — decided to relax come December.“We basically played every other week from April to November in 2006,” explained Hank in a recent interview.“But we haven’t had a show in a while, and this year’s battle will be the first time in a few months that we play. We’re really excited about it.”It’s a little bit like returning to their roots for Hank and Christy. They’ve been across America and now they’re coming back to where it all started —the Cain’s stage. The pressure’s off since they aren’t competing in this year’s battle, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be slacking.“I definitely think that Satellite’s battle helped us get to where we are today,” said Hank. “We have a new six-song EP coming out called ‘ExtendedPlay,’ and we’ll be selling it at the show, and we just hope everyone likes our new songs. We can’t wait to see this year’s bands.”

Tracy Pfeiffer - Tulsa World

"Service Notice"

March 14th, 2007

Just in case you haven't been keeping track of the progress that sibling act The Red Alert has been making over the past year, let me give you a quick update.

After releasing the debut CD, Put On Your Game Face, in December 2005 as The Red Alert (eschewing their previous, Red Stripes moniker and White Stripes covers in the process), the band went on to make waves on multiple levels. The band not only won the local leg of the John Lennon Education Tour Bus Battle of the Bands, but proceeded as a national Battle of the Bands winner as well.

The summer of '06 included a spot on the Dallas stop of the Warped Tour in July and three St. Louis shows in August, including a local TV appearance. The young Hanewinkels also won the first annual "Debbie Campbell Young Musicians Award" from the Reaching Hands Foundation in 2006 and Christy made an encore appearance in the Tulsa PAC's HOPE Divas benefit concert in October.

This weekend the creative process comes full circle as The Red Alert releases its new six-song CD, the appropriately titled Extended Play. The release party will be held on Saturday night, March 17, at the Cain's Ballroom and this year's Satellite High School Battle of the Bands winner will be opening the show, hot off the heels of last week's battle, which included an appearance by The Red Alert as the previous year's champs.

If you're expecting more guitar lines derivative of The White Stripes, you haven't been keeping up with young Hank's songwriting skills as of late. Extended Play boasts 6 tunes, 3 penned by Hank III and three composed by the pair's production-whiz father, commonly known as Hank Charles. All six tunes are tightly wrapped pop-nuggets that spotlight the band's tight playing and knack for a great hook.

Christy's young voice continues to mature nicely and shines on "Only Want Loving" and "Feather in the Wind" without stealing all of the disc's thunder. Together, the young duo marries garage rock and pop-punk intensity with a compositional maturity beyond their years.

Saturday night's CD release party is the only all-ages St. Patrick's Day party in town and tickets are only $5 at the door. Of course, Extended Play will be available for purchase at the show and will be carried locally at Borders and Starship Records and Tapes

Even if you aren't under 21, you can't beat a good $5 rock show! Not only can you get your rock fix, but there will still be time after the show to roll over to Arnie's to salute the holiday in true Irish fashion. Who has to choose?

Gary Hizer - Urban Tulsa Weekly

"Red Dawn"

June 16th, 2006

Christy Hanewinkel will play the Vans Warped Tour this summer to a packed crowd of screaming fans — after she gets home from
Vacation Bible School. The 11-year-old drummer, who with her older brother, Hank III, makes up local power duo Red Alert, might be young enough for day camp, but she is not to be underestimated.
Noted for her precise sense of timing and rhythm, it may be fitting that Christy was the first to learn
this week that the band won the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus Battle of the High School Bands.
“I was still asleep and Christy ran upstairs and came into my room and jumped on me and woke
me up and said, ‘We won! We won!’ ” Hank said. A recent Broken Arrow Senior High School graduate, Hank was only 14 when he talked
Christy into playing the drums. Eight years old at the time, she proved to be a veritable sponge, learning about 25 different songs in
three weeks. Their first CD, a White Stripes cover album, soon followed, and the duo called themselves the
Red Stripes. But by now most Tulsans who follow the local music scene already know the rest of the story of the band’s rise to musical
prominence — how Hank and
Christy went on to play to sold out
audiences all over the state, won the Satellite Battle of the Bands as the Red Alert this February, and went on to compete
in the national contest against 11
other bands in an online voting
battle.Victorius,Red Alert will play
in Dallas at the July 1 stop on
the Vans Warped Tour. The
prize is exciting in its own right,
but the brother and sister hope
it leads to more than just a day
of fun memories.
“I know it’s a big thing,”
Christy said. “A lot of people are
going to be there, and I think it
would be neat to have a big
crowd if we draw some attention
over to the stage where we’ll
play.“We really hope there’s going
to be someone there that will
notice us and maybe someone
from a label that we can get
signed to” — her voice dropped
to a whisper — “and become big
and famous!”
The idea isn’t too far-fetched.
Hank and Christy, both extremely
good-natured and witty, have
already reached their fair share
of milestones in the Tulsa area,
and the only place to go now is
beyond local borders.
“I want to start taking our music
outside of the state to showcase
it to other people,” said
Hank, who plans to devote himself
full-time to the band for the
present. “We’re going to have a
few tricks up our sleeve, a few
covers we’re going to play, and
hopefully somebody will hear it
and be like, ‘Hey, we need to
check out where that’s coming
from.’ ”
Despite their growing popularity,
the two remain level-headed.
Christy, who said she was nervous
at the inception of the
group because of her young age,
is still only gradually accepting
her status as a local musical fixture.
“I knew (when the band started)
that I was so young, and I
wasn’t so confident about my
drumming yet,” she said. “I am
more confident now, but I think
I did all right back then.”
She only recently chose to
temper her quiet persona with a
surprising example of audience
“The first time I have ever
talked to the audience was at
the Battle of the Bands,” Christy
said. “I guess I said the right
things because I got a big response.”
Still, the two agree that although
Christy’s age sets the
group apart, it by no means defines
their potential to grow even
after she gets older.
“I try to show off her young
age a lot because (she is) brave
enough to go up in front of that
many people and play,” Hank
said. “We’re not trying to use
her age or anything as a gimmick.
I mean, it does help. It
draws people in, but once they
start hearing the music, they
start liking the music, and that’s
what we want to achieve is getting
more people to like our music.”
While it may be unusual for a
brother and sister six years
apart to collaborate so well, the
Hanewinkels say the band has
helped their relationships with
each other and the rest of their
“We’re all about family,” said
Hank, and he should know. Although
Christy and Hank are
each other’s only siblings, their
father, Hank II, is the oldest of
nine children and has 96 first
cousins. Dad also is a musician
and owner of Valcour Studios,
and their mom, Tina, never
misses a show. That makes for a
lot of supportive relatives and
one big musical heritage.
“Almost every Hanewinkel
plays an instrument,” Hank III
said. “Our uncle Phillip has been
playing bass with us since we
started doing originals — and
(Hank II) will be playing with
us. A bunch of the family will be
going (to Dallas) with us.”
As for Christy, Hank said he
respects her talent and enjoys
their close relationship.
“She’s never been the little kid
you just want to cram your fist
into their face for taking the last
ice cream cone or something
like that,” he said. “She’s never
been a nasty little punk.”
Christy begged to differ.
“I might take the last ice
cream cone,” she admitted.
And although they’re prepping
for their biggest gig yet, these
two, who have played Cain’s ballroom
more times than most performers
twice their age, say they
still spend their time doing everyday
activities around the
house — and in some cases, indulging
in a little retrospection.
“ ‘Power Rangers’ is the bomb;
it’s still the bomb,” Hank asserted
after his family exposed his
guilty TV secret. “Seriously, almost
every morning this senior
year, I’d sit and eat my Lucky
Charms and watch ‘Power Rangers.’
I’m dead serious.”
They may be on their way to
forming a musical dynasty, but if
the present is any indicator of
the future, they’ll stay themselves
— because that’s the way
they want it.

by Malisa Morsman - Tulsa World

"Warped Reality: The Red Alert Conquers Vans Warped Tour"

July 7th, 2007

hen the Red Alert began to perform last Saturday
at the Vans Warped Tour in Dallas,
there was no one watching except family.
Throngs of people under the Texas sun
continued to move past the stage and
toward chilled water and other concerts,
ignoring Hank and Christy Hanewinkel.
But as the guitar riffs started, the drums began to
pound and Hank’s voice filled the loudspeakers, the concertgoers
who had been filing onward began to slow
Some even stopped and bounced on the balls of their
feet to the beat of the music. Two teenage girls began to
jump up and down, enthusiastically lapping up not only
the rock music but also the energy emanating from the
The Red Alert had caught their attention.
The Tulsa-based brother-and-sister band of Hank, a
17-year-old high school graduate, and Christy, an 11-
year-old sixth-grader, was playing on an entirely different
stage, both literally and figuratively.
The winners of Satellite’s Battle of the Bands in February
went on to claim the national title (the John Lennon
Educational Tour Bus High School Battle of the Bands, to
be precise) in online voting, earning the chance to perform
at the notoriously hardcore, punk-rock Vans Warped
concert when it arrived in Dallas.
But as the tough-looking crowd quickly filled the Dallas
Smirnoff Music Center, anxiety seemed to be all but
wiped from the Hanewinkels’ faces.
“Play the show today, and that’s it,” Hank said before
Hardly so.
Although the record deal they had dreamed of receiving
that day didn’t transpire, they had witnessed a taste
of, hopefully, what is to come.
Appearing as two of the younger — if not youngest —
performers on the circuit, in addition to being fervent
music fans (Hank kept a list of performances to see on
the back of a Wal-Mart receipt), the Red Alert was clearly
different from the other bands.
Christy, who played to a sold-out Cain’s Ballroom at 9
years of age, appeared to be, at first glance, a budding
diva. She was clad in head-to-toe black with a firm hand
on a Fiji Water bottle, a brand popular with celebrities.
But her large rhinestone-lined sunglasses were, she
soon revealed, from Accessory City, her lacy spaghetti strap top was bought at Kohl’s
(one of her favorite stores), her
Limited Too gaucho pants were
a splurge, and the only label on
her lace shoes was that of Payless.
And when Hank teased her
about her “expensive water,”
Christy shyly yet boldly responded,
“It only cost $1.35!”
These kids (as they must be
labeled) at a notoriously hardcore
rock show are like fish out
of water.
Many of the other bands already
had built a reputation
both within the music industry
and among fans nationwide, and
had countless fans gathered and
waiting with bated breath.
Meanwhile, the Red Alert was
unknown in this city far from its
home base in Tulsa, where the
siblings have been lapping up
awards and recognition almost
since the time air filled their
But the Hanewinkel charm
still spanned state borders.
Jonathon Long from Granberry,
Texas, was one of the first to
approach the Red Alert merchandise
table (run by the Hanewinkel’s
mom, Tina).
To him, there was no question
about picking up a CD.
“I love music. (I wanted) to
help them out and to support
music,” Long said.
And that’s all Hank — who
wished that “the music we wrote
is being played in cars and
houses that aren’t ours” — really
hoped for.
“Their stage presence was really
good. They’re getting the
audience into it,” said Shawnee
Partain, 18, of Pourlesch, Texas,
who was one of the girls bouncing
up and down in front of the
And the elder part of the Red
Alert scooped up some Texas
“I thought Hank was adorable,”
Brittney Grieger, 19, of
Burleson, added.
It was, admittedly, a different
crowd from what the Hanewinkels
are used to. Brightly colored
mohawks, some 9 inches
tall, appeared to be the hair
choice of the day, but pink Kate
Spade purses mixed with red
bags depicting Chinese Communist
Party founder Mao Zedong.
Screaming, followed by a tirade
of expletives, seemed to be
some of the more common lyrics
from Warped bands.
Yet, despite the hard-to-please
crowd, the scorching heat and
the tucked-away stage, the Red
Alert played on — very well, in
fact — displaying the talent that
has them drawing notice from
seasoned professionals.
“They have energy. Everyone
likes them. They’re talented and
professional, and that’s reflected
in their music. Age means nothing.
I’d definitely put them in
the top (of the Battle of the
Bands musicians),” said Jacob
Voelzke, a staffer aboard the
traveling John Lennon Educational
Tour Bus, who has
worked with seasoned bands
such as the Black-Eyed Peas.
Despite these Oklahoma
teens’ good-natured personalities,
the inner rock star in Christy
couldn’t help but emerge at the
end of the Red Alert’s four-song
set, by which time she and
Hank had drawn in a crowd of
about 100.
“Rock on!” she exclaimed for
the John Lennon Educational
Tour Bus camera as she contorted
her hand into an (obscenityfree)
rocker-like gesture.
And she already had a demand.
“I’m going to get a Sno-Cone,”
she said happily before putting
her sunglasses on and walking
off into the Texas sun.

by Nancy Chen - Tulsa World

"Red Alert: Tulsa-area sibs endear themselves to idols"

December 16th, 2005

Sitting on a barricade outside the Fox Theatre in St. Louis as the clock neared midnight, Christy Hanewinkel, 10, of Broken Arrow had pulled a long day. Christy and her Red Alert bandmate/brother Hank, 17, had driven with their father to the "gateway city" in late August to see the White Stripes, the duo whose music the siblings covered with frightening precision when they called themselves the Red Stripes.

They worked hard that day, tracking down Jack and Meg White's road manager and giving him a copy of their covers album, "Red Blood Cells," produced by their father, Hank Charles Hanewinkel. That afternoon, before the Whites took the stage, Jack and Meg apparently spent some time listening to note-perfect renditions of White Stripes songs such as "Seven Nation Army," "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" and "The Hardest Button to Button," because guitarist Hank and drummer Christy got their best acknowledgment yet from the stage.

"When the lights would shine on us, Dad would lift Christy up, and she'd wave to Jack," said Hank, who had bought fourth-row orchestra seats two days before the show. "He saw her, laughed and threw his head back.

"So after the show, we were back at the merch table, and the road manager came up and said, 'Hey, Jack and Meg listened to your CD before they went on, and they just thought it was great.' Jack really wanted to hear 'In the Cold, Cold Night,' and he said the production was great on it. That was a big thumbs-up for Dad, coming from Jack White."

Later that night at the barricade, Christy finally got her chance to meet her musical hero.

"He came over and said, 'Hi honey, I saw you up on your daddy's shoulders,'" Hank said. "He was really nice, and as he was walking away from the barricade going back to the bus, Christy was still sitting on the railing. He said, 'Careful sweetie -- don't fall off.' Christy was really excited that he called her 'honey' and 'sweetie.'"

"It was shocking," said drummer Christy, who turned 11 Monday. "Especially when I got the two 'honeys' and the 'sweetie' from Jack. I was sitting on that rail -- I could barely stand because my legs were shaking so bad. It all just passed really fast. I had just met my idol."

Hank and Christy formed the Red Stripes shortly after seeing the White Stripes at their 2003 show in the Coca-Cola Bricktown Events Center. Then they recorded "Red Blood Cells" in three days. The brother and sister attracted attention quickly and were asked by The Starlight Mints to open for them in 2004. Then, when Hank and Christy were scheduled to open for Dallas' Happy Bullets last year at Opolis, the duo had become such a sensation that the show was "flipped." Hank and Christy became the headliners, and the show sold out.

A year and a half later, Hank and Christy have changed the name of their band to The Red Alert. They will celebrate the completion of their first disc of original songs, "Put on Your Game Face," with a CD release party Sunday at Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa.

Hank, who goes by "Hank III" or, to combat any confusion, "The Real Hank III," said the name change was crucial at a time when he and Christy are moving forward with their sound.

"We all felt that we needed to change the name, because the Red Stripes is too associated with the White Stripes," he said. "If we wanted this to go further than Oklahoma, we needed to change the name. And we are hoping."

This time, The Red Alert recorded over the course of three months, and the songwriting is up to par with Hank's powerful blues riffing and Christy's pounding rhythms. There are still heavy overtones of the White Stripes, but the siblings aren't exactly running away from their key influence on "Game Face."

"I enjoy 'Oklahoma Sweetheart Blues,' and I was going for that old blues riff," Hank said. "Inspired by the White Stripes, of course, because Jack is such a fan of Robert Johnson and all the blues guys. 'Game Face' is the first one we wrote, and I felt from the beginning that it was the first track on the CD and the first single if we put out a single."

Christy sings on two songs, the slow ballad "Don't Wake Me Up" and the riff-rocking "Dark Eyes," and her vocals have deepened since she first sang the Stripes' "In the Cold, Cold Night." Their producer/father said he saw talent early in his son, but his daughter's drumming and singing ability was the real shocker.

"With little Hank, it wasn't a surprise because he'd been doing it since he was in diapers," said Hanewinkel, who runs Tulsa's Valcour Sound studio, where "Game Face" was recorded. "We have video of him with a Binky in his mouth and nothing on but a diaper and headphones, playing along with my brother on a second set of drums, so that's all he's ever done. With Christy, it was a little more of a surprise: You have to have meter and timing, and she just had that built in."

At their CD release party, The Red Alert will play all 11 tracks from "Game Face," then will play one hour of White Stripes songs. Although The Red Alert hopes to carve out its own identity and shop around for a record deal, Hank still has dreams of a certain world-class collaboration.

"I'd definitely like a chance to get them the new CD and talk to them a bit, see how they like the album," he said. "And I'd like to play with Jack. It would be an honor."

by George Lang - The Daily Oklahoman

"Not The Same Stripes (10/2009)"

Any preconceived notions you might have about The Red Alert can officially be set aside. Young, kitschy, absorbed by their influences? Those might have applied before, but the band has emerged fully realized with the release of Audible Frequencies.

No longer just a White Stripes tribute band (directly or indirectly), the group shows incredible growth in musicianship and songwriting while displaying a new maturity in its sound and style.

Now that's not to mislead you. Yes, the original duo is now older--but far from old. Guitarist/vocalist Hank Hanewinkle III has just broken from his teenage years and is toiling away at both work and music, part of which has undoubtedly added to his maturity.

Younger sister Kristy is now 14 and a high school freshman, so worldly concerns aren't overbearing on these two. On the other hand, it's no longer a duo of cute youngsters charming the audience. In fact, the group is no longer a duo. Officially augmented by bassist Philip Hanewinkle (their uncle), who stepped in as the group emerged as The Red Alert as opposed to The Red Stripes, the trio has developed a strong chemistry during the past three years.

That maturity is obvious, not just in the Hanewinkles' ages but also in their music. Yes, impressions of Jack White still abound (from White Stripes to Raconteurs and all his other stops in between), but the group has expanded its palette. By admission, Hank stated that he's been largely influenced by bands such as Arctic Monkeys, Elvis Costello and The Kills; beyond that, hints of Smashing Pumpkins, Green Day, Garbage and Butch Vig also simmer below the surface.

From the very beginning of the new disc, it's obvious something has changed. When "A Dream Inside" hits, it hits big: swirling effects, churning guitars and a huge, thundering bass line. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the kids have left the garage (although the garage rock might not leave them, at least not completely). For the most part, the whole album is big, loud and raucous--all in a snarling, joyous way.

By admission, this disc has been a long time coming. According to Hank, the group started writing in late 2007 and entered the studio for its first sessions in early 2008. Working largely around father and producer Hank (Hanewinkle II) Charles' available time, progress was slow and sporadic at first, but as October arrived, found itself making major progress in the studio, wrapping up the majority of the work in the first half of this year.

With the final touches finished in early September, the band has emerged with Audible Frequencies, and it's been well worth the wait. The group has made huge leaps in its songwriting. "I'll still write a song and present it to the band," said the younger of the two Hanks, "but a lot of the time, it's really a group effort."

"The music really came together differently than it did on the first one.
Because the first time, the songs were already written and they were so heavily influenced by The White Stripes. This time, the songs came from Hank and Kristy and I just jamming," said Philip.

Even when addressing the band wearing its influences on its sleeve, Hank is very open. "Dad will say that the first Red Alert album wasn't so influenced by the White Stripes, but I think it was totally influenced by them. Even when we were writing and recording, we were still playing as The Red Stripes.

"Looking back, though, I think it makes the transition flow well, though, from where we were to where we are now," Hank said.

Although it's been a lengthy wait since the band's last disc, the six song Extended Play disc, which was recorded in November of 2006 and released in March 2007, it's not like the band members haven't stayed busy.

Aside from the extended recording sessions, Hank III has continued to hone his musical skills. He's playing in both No Ghosts and Fiawna Forte's band with Phil, filling in on drums in Callupsie (after Liz Wattoff broke her hand) and more recently filling the drum slot in a recently reformed And There Stand Empires. Ultimately, Hank and Phil agree that it helped not only build Hank's playing chops, but ultimately affected the band's sound and songwriting.

"When I started playing with No Ghosts, I started using more delay pedals," Hank said. "I integrated using more effects as we wrote this album, and it helped me come up with some different sounds. Had I not, I don't think these would have been the same songs."

The only instances where Hank III and the band's matured songwriting skills are not directly reflected on the new disc are in the four tracks which Kristy sings, all of which were written by Hank Charles. "I tried to write a couple of songs for her to sing, but the lyrics were kind of obscure. She actually wrote the vocal melodies for them," he said.

Ultimately, however, they decided to forgo those tunes as he revealed they weren't really capable of writing songs that a 14-year-old girl would be able to relate to.

As a result, the band dipped into Hank Charles' catalogue of songs, picking a handful that proved a more appropriate fit for Kristy's vocals.

"It just makes more sense to go with a more straight forward approach, with a more classic sound and structure," Philip explained. "Until she's ready to blow us away with some songs that's she's writing and not shared with us yet, it just makes sense to go with a more universal approach."

Ultimately, the long wait and extended writing period proved to be rewarding for both the band and listeners. "I think the songs sound the way they do because we took our time and didn't set any deadlines," Hank said. "I'm really happy with how it sounds and happy with it as a whole."

The CD release party for Audible Frequencies will be held Fri., Oct. 2, at The Marquee with Crocodile, from Oklahoma City, opening the show. During the show, The Four Fiddlers of the Apocalypse (Karen Naifeh-Harmon, Tony Clyde, Kathy Rad and Jody Naifeh), will be appearing as special guests during the band's set to augment the arrangements.

"They played on the album and added so much to 'By the Pale Moonlight'" and 'And I Fell,'" Hank shared. "It's just a blast to hear what they did because our dad did the arrangements and Karen transcribed them for the group."

Even though The Four Fiddlers could have understandably passed on performing with the band this weekend (it's Karen's mom and viola player Jody Naifeh's birthdays), the quartet will be appearing anyway, as per Jody's preference. Undoubtedly it will add to an already special night.

If you haven't heard The Red Alert within the last year, you will surely be surprised. This will be something of a coming out party for the band as it opens the next chapter of its story, so you won't want to miss it. Tickets are only $5, and the show is scheduled to start at 8pm. - Urban Tulsa Weekly

"Tuned To A Higher 'Frequency' (10/2009)"

When the Hanewinkels aren't nation-trotting, meeting and greeting everyone from Jack White — and members of his new band, the Dead Weather — to Paul McCartney's drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. and guitarist Brian Ray well, the Red Alert is busy working — and playing. Music, that is.

As the band gears up for its second full-length album release, "Audible Frequency," on Friday at the Marquee in Tulsa, the musicians keep busy. Very busy.

Hank, when not playing guitar or singing, is custom-designing concert tour posters for bands such as the Kills, Modest Mouse and Wilco. Sister Christy, 14, is a freshman at Broken Arrow North Intermediate High School.

When she's not blasting bombast from behind her drum kit or belting her trademark vocals, she's no slacker. She recently was awarded Student of the Year, and like her brother, she excels in art.

"My favorite classes are English and advanced art," she said quietly while sitting in a coffee shop on a rainy Tulsa evening.)

Uncle Phillip, on bass and vocals, 31, can also be heard performing with any number of local bands around town. For these rockers, making music is certainly a family affair.

"We're constantly doing something ," said Hank, "and that something always seems to be music-related."

Stars and Stripes:

Hank and Christy's father and producer, Hank Charles, can be found at his Tulsa studio, Valcour Sound, working with any number of musicians, from John Moreland and the Black Gold Band to Brandon Clark to Sam & the Stylees and Crooked X.

That's a lot of name-dropping. It's also a whole lot of work.

Sometime in 2003, an 8-year-old Christy and 14-year-old Hank saw the White Stripes in Oklahoma City. The pair were inspired by the "brother-sister" (actually, former husband-and-wife) setup and they started their own band: the Red Stripes.

They covered their idols. Before long, however, the siblings started writing their own music.

The duo got their first big break at a Satellite Battle of the Bands, hosted by the Tulsa World, in 2006. But two months before that, they received a standing ovation at the Tulsa World's Spot Music Awards show. (They won "Artist of the Year" that year.)

The reaction from peers at the battle of the bands might be the best "career moment" to date, said Christy. Hundreds of rabid young high school fans screamed for them. They won. From there, they landed a spot on the prestigious Vans Warped Tour.

"That was one of our all-time favorite shows," Christy said. Her voice echoes softly in the coffee shop where we met to talk. Thunder boomed outside and record rainfall poured down Cherry Street as all of Red Alert leaned in to be heard. Excitement dripped from Christy and Hank's voices.

"This new music really shows how far we've come," said Christy. Gone are the days of the "Hey look! They're kids!" novelty, she said.

Hank agreed with a laugh. " And it doesn't sound like the White Stripes any more."

'Face'...the music
The pair recorded "Audible Frequency" — the follow-up to 2005's "Put on Your Game Face" — over several years.

The lead track from that first CD, "Game Face," was played at every home Broken Arrow High School home football games "forever," said Hank. This year, it was also the highly visible song to the Tulsa World's Sports Extra promotions.

The lyrics may be about pounding through an unhappy relationship, but "it's always been associated with sports," said Hank.

The trio's newest, "Audible Frequency" vibrates with inspiration. The all-original tracks — 12 of them — sparkle with pop-rock fervor.

"My influences have expanded, and now everyone's big and bombastic," said Hank. And the live shows run the gamut, from the Cain's Ballroom to parades to Tulsa Performing Arts Center and even the upcoming opening of the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center and perhaps even a tour with good friends The Kills.

"I really want to tour," said Hank. "I want to play music for a living for the rest of my life — and there are lots of ways to make that work."
- Tulsa World

"Newest Release Propels Group Forward (10/2009)"

Replete with power chords, sunny pop-laden vocals, garage guitar solos, pristine harmonies, hand claps and even a string section, “Audible Frequency” is so much larger than the sum of its parts. Its distinctive and eclectic blend of pop and rock harkens Cheap Trick and the White Stripes and the Beatles and even the Mamas & the Papas.

Christy Hanewinkel’s vocals echo the delicate and flirty — and deceivingly passionate — fervor that dances underneath, much like Blondie or Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes, or Belinda Carlisle at the height of the Go-Go’s era.

“Memories Made & Money Spent” bounces with bass and poppy, retro-spectacular vocal harmonies. Hank Hanewinkel’s vocals in “On Top of the World” dart between sparkling powerpop and irony-weighted angst. “A Dream Inside” evokes some of the brightest, most jangly moments in popular music history — all it lacks, perhaps, is a prominent tambourine, but that comes in on the following rocker “Forget Me.”

Guitars pounce and writhe through all 12 tracks. Taken on the whole, the Red Alert’s second full-length album liberates the young act from its teen novelty past and propels it into the now — and on into a future loaded with credibility and accomplishment. - Tulsa World


•"Put On Your Game Face" (LP) - December 2005
•"Extended Play" (EP) - March 2007
•"Audible Frequency" (LP) - October 2009



On June 27th, 2003 fourteen year old Hank Hanewinkel III, and his little sister, eight year old Christy Hanewinkel talked their parents into driving them to Oklahoma City from Tulsa to see the White Stripes. Hank had been playing drums since he was in diapers and guitar for several years but Christy wasn't motivated until she saw Meg White pound the drumkit that night.

Within 3 and a half weeks Hank taught Christy to play 20 White Stripes songs and talked his father Hank Charles into recording them at his studio, Valcour Sound. Things happened fairly quickly after that. Radio airplay on the Edge Homegroan show, and RSU Radio. They opened for the Starlight Mints in Tulsa and played Freakers Ball at the Historical Cain's Ballroom. They received huge ovations at both shows and also in Oklahoma City at the Opolis (owned by Andy Nunez of Starlight Mints). The Daily Oklahoman did a cover story on them and they were on the OKC Channel 9 news at 6 and 10 that evening. All this led to a Spot Award Rising Star nomination in 2004 which they won from the Tulsa World. The night of the awards they performed a medley that left the sold out Cains crowd on their feet for a long ovation!

In 2005 they played exciting shows all over Oklahoma including an opening slot for national act Silvertide at Cains. They played to a packed house at Lemmons club in St. Louis and later in August they met the White Stripes.

Having performed as the "Red Stripes" and knowing a cover band can only go so far, they changed their name to the Red Alert, and released an all original album in December 2005 titled "Put On Your Game Face." In February 2006, they won the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus Battle of the Bands at Cains Ballroom. This led to them being chosen National Battle of the Bands winners. After releasing "Put On Your Game Face", their uncle Phillip joined the band playing bass guitar. The band played numerous shows including the Warped Tour in Dallas in July and in August three shows in St. Louis including a network TV Appearance on "Show Me St.Louis". In October 2006 the Red Alert snagged the Spot Awards for "Artist of the Year", and "Album of the Year".

In February 2007, the bands music video was featured in the DVD-ROM in the book "Come Together: the Official John Lennon Educational Tour Bus Guide to Music and Video". In March 2007 the band released a six song EP entitled "Extended Play", and played many shows throughout the year. In October 2007, the band won "Best Rock Act" from the Tulsa World Spot Music Awards.

Most of 2008/2009 was spent writing and recording their next full length album, as well as playing shows, and testing new material on their audiences. On October 2nd, 2009, the band released their 2nd full length "Audible Frequency." They finished out 2009 playing many shows, and have kicked 2010 off to a great start. The band has already played at South By Southwest 2010 and they have plans to tour this year.