Red Light Runner Takes it Easy While Building a Band

by Ed Peaco

The sudden absence of three notable bands created an opportunity for Drew Beine to start a new group, mostly with players from those bands: Red Light Runner.

Drew (lead singer and guitarist), along with David Pyck (piano), were members of Smokey Folk, and Drew pulled from the resources and experience of Smokey Folk. He hopes to keep the fan base.

Drummer Richie Allen moved from Pearl, and guitarist Steven Sparks came from Mood Ring Circus — both bands which are not currently performing. In addition, bassist Nick Archambault joined Red Light Runner while remaining a member of the thriving band, Luna J.

The unit has been working on more original songs for their first show: Aug. 14 at Shuffle. The goal for Drew is to be a band producing a lot of all-original music, he said.

“I want to play stuff that I have to work at,” he said. “I want to be challenged, play cover songs that a lot of bands won’t play, but are still going to be captivating to an audience that has never heard us.”

Meanwhile, he wants to play an assortment of demanding songs such as: Incubus, Toto, Peter Gabriel, Billy Joel, and The Police; with driving, upbeat rock ’n’ roll, and a little pop. “Where most bands stop, these guys are just getting started,” the bands manager, Debra Shelton mentioned.

Drew said each player has a different character and abilities, he said:

• “Richie is the leader of the group, internally, because he has the most experience and he’s very vocal. He gives a lot of good direction.” Drew said Richie is one of the best drummers he’s heard.

• David has an education in jazz piano. “He’s one of the most accomplished players I know. As a teammate, he’s the most steadfast and stable person you could have in your band.”

• “Steven is able to turn on some special power; I have no idea what it is. He flies on that neck and puts together these runs that are so pleasing and with an ability to construct riffs that are catchy and captivating.”

• “Nick is a ton of fun to be around. He’s played in serious bands for a long time, but he’s still so excited to perform. He’s like a spark plug. And is an incredibly gifted bassist and song writer.”

With the diverse backgrounds of the players and the music they enjoy, expect a show of wide variety.

Drew offered one new original track, “Rise and Shine,” as a sample of the band’s work. The song embraces the rhythms and atmosphere of Jamaica. On the track, Drew lends a bit of a lilt in his delivery, and midway into the piece, he brings a little rasp for emphasis.

A few of the song titles suggests a fun evening: “Beautiful disaster,” “Sledgehammer,” “Message in a Bottle” and “Hold The Line.”

After the praise that Drew blanketed over the players, he also emphasized their attention to detail and in tune with the communication in rehearsals.

“This is going to be an exciting relaunch for us,” Drew said.

Red Light Runner
Friday, August 14. 8:30 p.m.
2550 S. Campbell Ave.

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