They’re not straight-up jazz, but then again, they’re not really straight-up anything. Mix jazz and funk, sprinkle in some hip-hop vocals, and you have Red Kettle, a 3-year-old local band.
Though many of the band’s beginning members have come and gone, guitarist senior Chris Coffey and bassist senior Micah Wiesner said they’re ready to embrace the styles of past members.
The core band, which includes a bass, a guitar and drums, has been exploring the fringes of its potential in an effort to experiment with different sounds. Since last year, the band has temporarily added saxophones, vocalists and songwriters. “We’re moving more in the direction of Red Kettle Collective,” Coffey said. “It’s not like the band’s going to go up and it’s going to be the same people who are there at the end.” Coffey has been with the band throughout his entire experience at Geneseo. Originally from Stony Brook, N.Y., Coffey said he became interested in music in junior high school. Aided by his father’s influence and instruments, he continued to broaden his musical tastes and grow as a guitar player. “I was never that into learning songs,” he said, but more into writing them. In high school, Coffey started jamming with friends from home and “made a band right off the bat, even though we couldn’t play anything,” he said. But he said his existence in a band has always been an essential part of his journey with music. “That’s how I’ve always gotten better, just through playing with other people,” Coffey said. Wiesner, who joined forces with Coffey and Red Kettle last year, picked up the guitar in high school, but did not become interested in pursuing it until he attended Monroe Community College in Rochester. There, he began going to local funk and reggae band performances. Wiesner said he recalls a specific show where he found himself thinking, “That guy’s really good; I wish I could play like him.” He said this instance was enough to motivate him to increase his skills; he then searched for guitar lessons on the Internet, practiced more and found himself in a band in Geneseo. Though Red Kettle is a band, don’t assume that it’s restricted to inflexible arrangements of music; passing members are a large part of the band’s sound. Coffey and Wiesner said they look forward to improvisation when they perform, often playing house shows around the Geneseo area. “We just jam until the people leave,” Wiesner said. The band is currently working on recording, and Coffey and Wiesner said the band looks forward to tightening up its sound this semester. With Coffey graduating in May, they agreed that now is the best time to experience the band with its core parts. For those interested in joining the music scene, Wiesner said, “the more musicians we have the better … funk music is just about making people dance and having a good time.”