Bio

Red Rooster is the New York-based folk collective formed in 1998 and led by Jay Erickson (lead vocals) and Nat Zilkha (lead guitar) - lifelong friends who fashion plainly honest and self-reflective songs from fragments of their diverse musical influences and sensibilities. Originally established as an acoustic act, playing a mix of original and traditional bluegrass, blues and folk, Red Rooster has evolved into highly original and eclectic band with a sound all its own.

Though its roots remain firmly planted in Americana, Red Rooster has created a highly original and urban-infused sound. Today, Red Rooster shows vary from just Jay & Nat with a couple of acoustic guitars, to an urban country orchestra complete with electric guitars, drums, horns, fiddle, mandolin, banjo, and a DJ. Their music tells stories that grow out of the rich historical and cultural landscape that is America; from Appalachia to the Delta to destinations unknown. As the Houston Chronicle writes, it is a "...journey through the heart of Americana and roots music."

On their third release, WALK, Jay and Nat pull together a seamless album fashioned from country, bluegrass, folk, gospel, blues and hip-hop. A lot has happened in the years since their critically acclaimed second album, DOSE, was released and it shows in their new tunes. After a successful tour in 2008 (including a breakout appearance at the Newport Folk Festival), the band went to work on WALK. Musically and lyrically their most mature work yet, the album is infused with Red Rooster's signature musical tension between the traditional and the modern.

There is a wide array of musicians who have helped create the Red Rooster urban country orchestra over the years and the core group currently includes Susannah Hornsby (vocals and accordion), Andrew Green (banjo), Dave Gould (saxophone), Brandon Doyle (french horn), Lucas Ives (drums), Daniel Engelman (bass), Jeremy Randol (Drums) and Pete Nilsson (keys).


A few kind words about Red Rooster:

Just when you think there's nothing new in folk, along comes the New York-based Red Rooster to blow you away.


"Walk" is a gem and is some of the most original material I have had the privilege to review so far this year... ...it was music of this caliber that got me into the Americana scene in the first place. ...These guys are from New York, but we’re not going to hold that against them.

-Texas Star Tribune


...a unique patchwork quilt of musicians and influences—bluegrass, folk, country and other Levon Helm colors... ...confident and patient Americana pace.


I dare you to not love what these guys in Red Rooster are doing.


Red Rooster puts multiple genres into a big pot and stirs it around making a musical concoction that is truly unique. If that's not enough reason to listen to WALK repeatedly, then do it because the songs are just that friggin' great.


One lovely song after another, gorgeous singing and a deliciously underproduced sound.


Wonderful new record! ...guitar playing is superb and the voices blend really beautifully.

-Don Was (Grammy-Winning Producer)


My favorite band of the day was Red Rooster - phenomenal music, great style and energetic performance made them one of my favorite new discoveries.

-Newport Folk Festival 2008 blogger


New York's Red Rooster updates the somewhat tired alt-country genre...

-Nashville Scene


I dare you to not love what these guys in Red Rooster are doing.


...It's a great big stew of blues and pop and bluegrass and ethnic (think Mexicali and Klezmer) and 'hick-hop' (sort of the Americana man's hip-hop) simmering over an urban fire.

-Pure Music


...a journey through the heart of Americana and roots music... ...plaintive lyrics that deal with life, love and loss amid intricate guitar work, weeping fiddles and Erickson's aching vocal delivery.

-Houston Chronicle


It's a big, broad plate of goodness, so clean off your fork, tuck in your napkin, and get ready to eat.

-download.com


...the songs are strong enough to stand up to reinterpretation, and the production and musicianship are excellent, whether fleshed out or stripped down.

-Vintage Guitar Magazine


Red Rooster has released possibly the ultimate modern alt-country album... 'Dose' is certainly an early frontrunner for album of the year.

-Americana UK