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Articles in Danbury News-Times and Hudson Valley Times-Herald Record

A little fact-checking in order but some kind words from the Times-Herald Record:

This Kingston folk collective led by Jay Erickson and Nat Zilkha combines multiple styles using a big band to create a thrilling, naturally American sonic template. Red Rooster's album "Walk" is available online through a pay-what-you-may method.

Some history and insight into our process from The News-Times:

Cock-a-doodle-doo!


Never mind if roosters actually make a cock-a-doodle-doo sound. I have no idea. What's really important is the refreshingly original sound Red Rooster makes when it performs. Pawling resident Jay Erickson, 35, the group's co-lead singer and guitar player, said the band plays a style of music they call "eclectic Americana."


"We pull from bluegrass, folk, blues traditions and add an urban twist. We have had 12 people on stage at times, including a horn section and a DJ," Erickson said. "One reviewer dubbed one of our albums `hick hop' -- which I thought was a fun term."


The earliest incarnation of the group formed in the late '90s.


"It started after college in 1999 in the West Village living room of a friend of mine. We would get together and play old folk and blues songs. I was bartending at a place in Chelsea at the time, so I booked us in for our first gig. People have come and gone from the band, but it has always been comprised of friends or friends of friends," Erickson said.


The group's name is taken from the title of an old blues song by Willie Dixon. In addition to Erickson, the group's members are Susannah Hornsby on vocals and accordion, Andrew Green on banjo, sax player Dave Gould, drummer Lucas Ives, Guy Engelman on electric guitar, and Daniel Engelman on bass.


Erickson said Red Rooster creates original music through a highly collaborative process.
"One of us comes to rehearsal with a song that is somewhat complete and we arrange as a group. Personally I usually start with an image or an emotion, then write the chords and then start on the lyrics. 


Like any creative process I think so much of it is in the editing and revision stage." He added that sometimes the hardest part is taking the first step, "you just can't be afraid to get something out to start with."

full article

... like butter on a warm biscuit...

Review of WALK from Ink 19:

Red Rooster's sound typically gets put into the alt-country category, but that just provides the foundation. They incorporate virtually every other genre into their third and best album, Walk.

"Bluebird" has a slower hip-hop feel complete with record scratching and synth bass lines, but lead singer Jay Erickson's voice and guitar solo add a heavy dose of blues. Then, just to spice it up, they add a jazz sax solo. The mash-up sounds completely random, but making these odd combinations flow is what Red Rooster is so good at.

"Black Point Road" is a beautiful pop song that they Rooster-fied with harmonies and banjo pickin', turning a really good song into a great one.


Background and harmonizing vocalist Susannah Hornsby takes the lead on "Borrowed Money" and her voice is like butter on a warm biscuit. It just melts you, especially on this 6/8 time gem which sprinkles electronic blips and a little sax over a melancholy rhythm and a deceptively sorrowful chorus: "Borrowed money buys her diamonds/ Borrowed money keeps her happy."

This album as a whole is fantastic for a variety of reasons. Red Rooster puts multiple genres into a big pot and stirs it around making a musical concoction that is truly unique. With each listen, there is a different instrument that comes out, or a blip that you didn't notice before. If that's not enough reason to listen to Walk repeatedly, then do it because the songs are just that friggin' great.

see review on Ink 19