Red Wanting Blue prepares to take the Kent Stage



Conner Howard

Making the leap from playing bars and assorted restaurants to playing full-service music venues is a tall order for an until-recently unsigned band, but Columbus folk/rock outfit, Red Wanting Blue, is making an honest attempt.

Red Wanting Blue will bring its eclectic, road-worn sound to the Kent Stage on Saturday, March 12. Band-leader Scott Terry (vocals, tenor guitar, ukulele) has high hopes for the performance, seeing it as a stepping stone out of the cycle of endless bar shows the band is so used to playing. After touring for more than 10 years, Red Wanting Blue is ready to move on to more legitimate, specialized music venues.

“We’re trying to break out of the bar scene one bar at a time,” Terry said. “We’re trying to get into the more and more hard-ticket rooms across the country, certainly in Ohio.”

After having played at House of Blues Cleveland and the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, a logical stop for Red Wanting Blue is the Kent Stage. The band aims to expand its fan base and build a reputation as more than just tavern background noise.

“Almost more important than breaking into new markets for us right now, we’ve really been trying to solidify and strengthen our actual draw and fan base in the places that we do play and the regions we’ve been around,” Terry said. “It’s a tough thing to run around and play music for as long as we have where people think ‘Oh yeah, I know that band.’ When people think we’re a bar band, it’s hard to make them leap into the next thing.”

“I think that at the end of the day, there ought to be enough porridge that’s the right temperature for every little bear in the crowd.” -Scott Terry

Although excited about the Kent Stage’s large-yet-intimate setting, Terry expressed concern at the big historical shoes that Red Wanting Blue will be stepping into, playing in the same venue as artists such as Stephen Stills and Pete Best.

“There’s a certain amount of reverence you have to give to a room like that. For a rock band to be able walk in there is great, but at the same time, it’s also nerve-racking because you don’t want to disappoint,” Terry said. “You want to be able to be received in the same way that those other great artists get received.”

Fans and new listeners alike can expect the show to feel like it’s taking place in an antique shop, with the stage adorned with what Terry describes as “Knick-knacks and Americana.” Given the band’s strong ties to the road and all the little things that influence them, Red Wanting Blue’s rustic, cozy stage setup seems only natural.

“We try to make the place look like a living room,” Terry said.

A sound that defies genre and a band that does everything but phone it in means this show could very well be one to remember. Terry said his band follows in the footsteps of larger-than-life musicians such as Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen as they work hard to emphasis intense, honest music over theatrics. Attendants can expect a broad spectrum of musical styles and experiences from Red Wanting Blue’s performance.

“I think that at the end of the day, there ought to be enough porridge that’s the right temperature for every little bear in the crowd,” Terry said.

Contact Conner Howard at [email protected].