The Root In Fluents
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The Root In Fluents

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | SELF

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | SELF
Band Rock Blues

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"Center Stage: Root In Fluents"

The short story on The Root In Fluents is that they’re a young, blues/rock band from Winnipeg, MB Canada. Their debut album, Red River Flu, was recorded and written over the course of 3 years, and released March 2011. Simple, yes, but it doesn’t come close to telling you what you should know about RIF.

For instance, their music is not average or common. It’s heavily layered, with touches of clean complexity. The members; Kevin Johnson (lead vocals/guitar), Anton Cenerini (lead guitar/backing vocals), Nelson Sprout (bass/backing vocals), and Lee Galinaitis (drums/percussion/keys/mandolin/backing vocals) are also influenced by folk, progressive, and funk fusion, putting themselves on a level all their own. This kind of blended sound, one can imagine, is best appreciated when performed live. And as luck would have it, that’s precisely how RIF feels as well.

Live instrumentation is the dominating force that drives their music, especially since their acts on stage have earned them substantial recognition from the beginning of their career. Even though blues is their foundation, RIF have a ton of influences from Eric Clapton, to Led Zeppelin, to Cream, to The Black Keys. They also have a soft spot for The Allman Brothers Band.

“After we’ve matured more as musicians, we’ve discovered that nothing feels better for us than covering The Allman Brothers Band. They have major influence on our song-writing, and their songs showed us how to bring our live jams to the next level.”

Along with the variety of musical direction, there is diversity with style for each member.

Bass player Nelson is into jazz fusion and often comes up with complicated riffs and layered songs.

Lead singer Kevin likes hard rock mixed with a simplistic writing approach that resembles that of the Black Crowes or the Beatles.

Lead guitarist Anton prefers to show his musicianship, and just sticks to the music without occupying himself with the small details of song-writing.

Drummer Lee listens to music for its production value, so he likes both the simple and complicated tunes, and has the best production insight.

So how did this band come together in the first place? They didn’t all meet in the same lunch period or run in a similar crowd. Instead, Nelson and Anton were childhood best friends, and after learning to play guitar from his dad, Anton convinced Nelson to play too, and learn bass while they were in high school.

Later on at a house party, Anton picked up a guitar for the crowd, and Lee, already an experienced musician, heard him, grabbed a guitar, and joined in. The brief jam session went very well because Lee was invited again, but to play on drums, as Anton told him “I come with a bass player”. After the three played together, Lee dropped out of the band he was with to commit to the newly formed trio.

After years of playing together, doing mostly classic rock and blues covers, Kevin aka Kaje, came in. Nelson met Kevin through a mutual friend and invited him to sing with the band one night at a downtown bar, The Pony Corral. A number of Sunday night performances at Pony Corral later – while underage – it was official; RIF was born.

Fast forward to 2008, and the band was accepted into the Young Performers Program at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, a training and performance program that offers workshops and mentoring with professional musicians. They were lucky enough to be paired with musician/songwriter Andrew Whiteman (Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, Broken Social Scene, Apostle of Hustle). Whiteman had a significant and positive impact on the guys.

According to Kevin, “He asked us to play and he basically sat there like a producer. At the time we were still just a jam band and he threw us a serious wake up call: To make it as a musician you need you write original music. This seemingly simple message hit us hard.”

RIF clearly took Whiteman‘s advice and guidance to heart, and carried it with them after applying to compete in Minnedosa’s Rockin’ The Fields battle of the bands in 2009. After playing a show at the contest they won a second playing spot at the festival, and had the opportunity to open for Edgar Winter, a pretty big deal for upcoming artists.

“Edgar Winter is an incredible singer and musician. So it was inspiring to play before him” says Nelson.

One thing RIF has done that’s like a lot of bands though, is have a unique little story behind their name. It’s unusual, and makes perfect sense at the same time.

“The name sounds like ‘root influence’ to symbolize that we’re really like musical projections of our primal influences” explains Lee.

“Also, in Winnipeg, we face several floods from the Red River every spring. We like the ‘In Fluents‘ play on words because of its allusion to tree roots being in the high flow of the river. Metaphorically, we are the root in the stream of music,” Anton includes.

This is a personal theme with the guys; having well thought out and creative concepts, - eburban.com Hyde Walker


"Red River Flu Album Review"

The Root In Fluents aren’t called a “musician’s band” for nothing.

If there’s anything that one would notice from listening to this band’s debut, it’s that they’re very, very, very technically proficient. The blues-rock/hard rock sound that this band produces is top-notch and sounds like something one might hear from a 70's rock band at the top of their game.

This album is chock-full of awesome guitar solos, group vocals and good old-fashioned rock and roll.

The album begins with “Beguiled Ambiguity” which immediately shows the listener what this band is all about. It uses interesting percussion in addition to the drums and introduces lead singer Kevin Johnson’s half-yelling vocals, as well as their killer solos.

By the time the band moves onto “Electricutie” the band is in top form. This song in particular has that same rock vibe, but this time with group vocals somewhat reminiscent of a barbershop quartet. Fantastic stuff.

“Things Will Never Change” has a pretty cool history behind it. Andrew Whiteman of Broken Social Scene and Apostle of Hustle mentored the group for a short time and guided them on this track. You can hear a bit of Whiteman’s quirkiness even though he himself doesn’t appear on the track. It makes for an interesting reference point.

“Rockin’ Daddy” is pretty self-explanatory- it’s a pure dose of rock n’ roll. “The Rain Came” showcases the more mellow, blues-y side of the band just in case you thought they were all about the rock and guitar solos.

Over the course of the band’s 12 songs you will be banging your head and admiring the work put into some of the guitar solos (the band’s Bandcamp page says that Johnson’s vocals are outlined by them). If there’s any criticism I’d give it’s only that sometimes the band is too proficient, mainly on their two instrumental pieces, “Shots For Confidence” and “Man or Machine.” While music enthusiasts will enjoy the numbers for the amazing work, those looking for a more casual listen may find it difficult to grasp.

That aside, this is an absolutely stellar debut from a very young band. If this is what a band sounds like in its 20's, I can scarcely imagine what they’ll sound like 10 or 20 years down the road.

The album can be listened to or downloaded over at their Bandcamp page.

Top Tracks: “Beguiled Ambiguity”; “Electricutie”; “The Rain Came”

Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good) +*swoop* - Grayowl Point


"Red River Flu Album Review"

The Root In Fluents aren’t called a “musician’s band” for nothing.

If there’s anything that one would notice from listening to this band’s debut, it’s that they’re very, very, very technically proficient. The blues-rock/hard rock sound that this band produces is top-notch and sounds like something one might hear from a 70's rock band at the top of their game.

This album is chock-full of awesome guitar solos, group vocals and good old-fashioned rock and roll.

The album begins with “Beguiled Ambiguity” which immediately shows the listener what this band is all about. It uses interesting percussion in addition to the drums and introduces lead singer Kevin Johnson’s half-yelling vocals, as well as their killer solos.

By the time the band moves onto “Electricutie” the band is in top form. This song in particular has that same rock vibe, but this time with group vocals somewhat reminiscent of a barbershop quartet. Fantastic stuff.

“Things Will Never Change” has a pretty cool history behind it. Andrew Whiteman of Broken Social Scene and Apostle of Hustle mentored the group for a short time and guided them on this track. You can hear a bit of Whiteman’s quirkiness even though he himself doesn’t appear on the track. It makes for an interesting reference point.

“Rockin’ Daddy” is pretty self-explanatory- it’s a pure dose of rock n’ roll. “The Rain Came” showcases the more mellow, blues-y side of the band just in case you thought they were all about the rock and guitar solos.

Over the course of the band’s 12 songs you will be banging your head and admiring the work put into some of the guitar solos (the band’s Bandcamp page says that Johnson’s vocals are outlined by them). If there’s any criticism I’d give it’s only that sometimes the band is too proficient, mainly on their two instrumental pieces, “Shots For Confidence” and “Man or Machine.” While music enthusiasts will enjoy the numbers for the amazing work, those looking for a more casual listen may find it difficult to grasp.

That aside, this is an absolutely stellar debut from a very young band. If this is what a band sounds like in its 20's, I can scarcely imagine what they’ll sound like 10 or 20 years down the road.

The album can be listened to or downloaded over at their Bandcamp page.

Top Tracks: “Beguiled Ambiguity”; “Electricutie”; “The Rain Came”

Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good) +*swoop* - Grayowl Point


Discography

Red River Flu, 2011

Photos

Bio

About The RIF:

“The short story on The Root In Fluents is that they’re a young, blues/rock band from Winnipeg, MB Canada. Their debut album, Red River Flu, was recorded and written over the course of 3 years, and released March 2011. Simple, yes, but it doesn’t come close to telling you what you should know about The RIF.

For instance, their music is not average or common. It’s heavily layered, with touches of clean complexity. The members are also influenced by folk, progressive, and funk fusion, putting themselves on a level all their own. This kind of blended sound, one can imagine, is best appreciated when performed live. And as luck would have it, that’s precisely how the RIF feels as well.

Live instrumentation is the dominating force that drives their music, especially since their acts on stage have earned them substantial recognition from the beginning of their career… Their approach to their work is refreshing, as they explain the reasons behind their focus on live music,
"The live show lets us bring our studio songs to the next level, where we can extend solos, break down at times, do whatever we feel. Playing live is an emotional and physical release like no other, for all of us."

There’s a certain level of maturity these young artists have already reached that could be enviable. Music is a clear and simple concept for them, one they thoroughly understand, and can easily express.

Newcomers, naturally, have something to prove. So when boldness and the fire of unconventionality translate into a genuine way of just being musicians, and one not meant to leave false impressions or sell you on a rehearsed image, it counts for a hell of a lot.”

-Hyde Walker, Everything But Urban

About Red River Flu:

“The Root In Fluents aren’t called a “musician’s band” for nothing.

If there’s anything that one would notice from listening to this band’s debut, it’s that they’re very, very, very technically proficient. The blues-rock/hard rock sound that this band produces is top-notch and sounds like something one might hear from a 70's rock band at the top of their game.

This album is chock-full of awesome guitar solos, group vocals and good old-fashioned rock and roll.”

-Michael, Grayowl Point

Other Accomplishments:

In 2008, The Winnipeg Folk Festival accepted The Root In Fluents into the highly competitive Young Performers Program with their first original, “Breakin’ at 12”. This paired the band with Andrew Whiteman (Broken Social Scene, Apostle of Hustle) as their mentor, who provided indispensable performance advice and assisted them with their next original “Things Will Never Change”.

In 2009, The RIF were selected by leading radio station Power 97 as a top 4 out of 75 unsigned acts in Winnipeg (Rocking the 204 contest). This landed daily summer airplay of the hard rockin’ “Wet Whistle”, with that track earning a top 100 spot in the year's airplay. The contest also earned the band a 30 minute set in front of thousands at the Canada Day Celebration at The Forks, Winnipeg.

Another competition was won that same summer and The Root In Fluents earned 2 playing spots at the legendary Minnedosa Rockin the Fields festival, where they got to open for legends such as Edgar Winter and Sweet. Radio station 92.9 Kick FM (Red River College) also picked up "Wet Whistle" from a Manitoba Music compilation album where it charted in the top 10 position for several weeks.

Red River Flu was officially released a year later, followed by a Western Canadian tour. The highlight concert of the tour was to open the 2011 Great Woods Music Festival in Beausejour, Manitoba.

Current Endeavors:

The RIF continue to play live shows around Manitoba and have began writing their follow-up album. Three new songs have been recorded at Bedside Studios with the help of engineer Mike Pascucci, with several other songs in the works. The band is also planning a Youtube music video to be filmed in the spring of 2014 with the assistance of Jesse Pelletier, who will also support the band with online promotion and other PR.

Influences:
The Allman Brothers,The Black Crowes, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Beatles