Local album delivers strong, diverse sounds in blues rock

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The Red State Blues Band’s sophomore album, “Down at the ‘Ville,” was released Sept. 6. The newest album from the 8-person band made up almost entirely of K-State professors is sure to win over the hearts and stereos of Manhattan residents. The 12 track blues album is relatable, entertaining and true to the blues in terms of lyrics, melodies, rhythm, raw blues riffs and the utilization of harmonica and saxophone.

Though this band could play almost anything, “Down at the ‘Ville” shows what they can do when left to their own devices. This album brings a great fusion of electric blues and rock. Slide guitar and acoustic harmonica also sneak up on some of the tracks. With just an edge of funk, this album is sure to get you moving.

It’s also an ode to the true talents of the band and pays homage to blues and rock through elements such as in-your-face guitar, harmonica, melodious saxophone, loud bass and original lyrics.

The band is headed by Seth Galitzer and Walter Dodds. Galitzer, systems administrator for the Department of Computing and Information Sciences at K-State, provides vocals and plays saxophone. Dodds, distinguished professor of biology, plays harmonica. The lyrics on the original tracks, “Mojo Mobile,” “Dark Turkish Eyes,” “Down at the ‘Ville,” “Good Time Woman,” “Down to the River,” “Jump Stop Boogie” and “As Good as Me” are a collaboration of the band.

“We all collaborate a lot,” Dodds said. “Seth is lead [vocals] on a couple of them. I walk to school and I play harmonica, and sometimes stuff
just kind of comes. Some of the other stuff [that comes to us is when] Bernd [Friebe] has a riff and they’ll play it
and record it, and I’ll just sort of listen to it and try and get a melody and
words to go with it.”

With tales of love, heartache and all the things that come along with any relationship worthy of singing the blues over, comes a special ballad about the relationship between a man and his automobile, “Mojo Mobile.” “Mojo Mobile” is a great representation of what Red State Blues Band is all about — great solos, original lyrics and a get-down rhythm.

“Down at the ‘Ville” is an album five years in the making, due to differing schedules and family priorities.

“It’s a lot fun,” said Steve Dyer, keyboardist and professor of electrical and computer engineering. “It’s tough going into the studio at 9:30 p.m. and leaving at 2 a.m. [and just] doing that for too many weeks in a
row. It’s just something you’ve got to do.”

The long nights that turned into early mornings paid off for the band. “Down at the ‘Ville” is fun for any lover of blues or rock, but also pays tribute to their musical influences in the production of great, soulful blues. There’s a special song to make the K-State family proud by giving residents an Aggieville Anthem, with their title track and album title, “Down at the ‘Ville.”

Whether dealing with a breakup or heading out on the town, Red State Blues Band has a track on their new album that will fit your every blues need. I would give this album four out of five stars.

“Down at the ‘Ville” is available for purchase in Aggieville at Sisters of Sound or at Varney’s for $12.99.

Deme Kopulos is a senior in journalism and digital media. Please send all comments to edge@kstatecollegian.com.

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