Tripping Scarlet
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Tripping Scarlet

Winchester, Kentucky, United States

Winchester, Kentucky, United States
Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Local band finding its place in music industry"

Does local music really get the respect it deserves? Just how much of an influence can a small, local band have on a community anyway? Apparently, local musicians once played an influential role in Madison County. Local bands were always playing at the bars and pubs around town said current local band, Tripping Scarlet, but not so much these days.

"Local music doesn't seem to get as much attention as it used to," said Berea-native Dustin Williams, lead singer of Tripping Scarlet. "You have to beg places to let you play."

"I really think Players is one of the last places left showing local bands," said John McCullough, owner of Players in downtown Richmond.

Drummer Cliff Cox, who is from Green County, founded Tripping Scarlet, a band local to Richmond, about two years ago. Cox placed an ad on Craigslist, which was answered by Derek McElwee, Eastern music marketing alumnus and now, lead guitarist of Tripping Scarlet.

McElwee had started a recording studio, Redhouse Recording Studio, while he was a student in the music-marketing program at Eastern. After graduating, McElwee said he was burnt out on guitar. However, after losing his job in 2008 he decided to answer the ad on Craigslist and started putting a band together.

The band now has five members - Cliff Cox: drummer, Derek McElwee: lead guitar and vocals, Jay Ritchie: bass, Skyler Parks: guitar and Dustin Williams: lead vocals.

The Eastern Progress met up with Tripping Scarlet on Saturday at Players before a show. They showed first-hand what it's like to be in a local band.

"Having a band is difficult," McElwee said. "[But] I think we have good music and people enjoy what we do."

"We're just a band," he said. Although he claims there is nothing mind-blowing about their crew, they have been ranked the No. 1 alternative rock band in the area on, a marketing platform for artists/bands, managers and venues who are looking for online retailers such as iTunes, Pandora and Amazon.

"We are working on an album right now and should be done this summer," he said.

"There is definitely a work element to [being in a band]," said Dustin Williams, as he hauled in giant cases full of their equipment.

"Some people say we are the hardest working band they have ever seen," said Jay Ritchie, the bass player from Hazard.

He said they're in the recording studio at least three to four nights out of the week, for three to four hours at a time.

"I've been playing in a band since 1996 and this band is what I'm most proud of," Ritchie said.

As true for almost any dedicated musician, music is what keeps them going. It's what drives them to simply wake up in the morning.

"It's my outlet," said Cox, after explaining the obstacles he has been faced with, such as, a broken neck in an accident with a four-wheeler and a divorce.

"Something I never look at as a burden. I love entertaining people. That's why we do it," Cox said.

"I've been playing the guitar since I was seven," said McElwee.

He said playing the guitar was the only thing he ever felt he was good at. It was the one thing he ever really wanted to do.

"I feel like I'm married to a guitar," said Mandy McElwee, Derek's wife. "Some bands have bad attitudes, or aren't so nice, or aren't so sober, but these guys are really down to earth."

Skylar Parks, the most recent addition to the band and Eastern alumnus, agrees. He has been playing guitar for the band for three months and said he has learned as much from them as he did in school.

"They have [proved] that there are good musicians out there who haven't been formally trained," he said. - The Eastern Progress


1. Take Me Down (Single)
2. Walls (Single)



Tripping Scarlet is Reverb Nation's #1 Ranked Alternative band in central Ky. The band is a 5 piece that's sound is inspired by 90's alternative rock, Metal, and Blues. A mix of powerful vocals, solid rhythm, and eclectic leads give the band a unique new sound that will catch your ear but stand apart from anything else you hear. Tripping Scarlet is currently in the studio working on the debut cd and playing shows around the area with cover music and originals.