Sunday, February 24, 2013

Red Gretchen at Otto's Shrunken Head

Frank Wood presents “Wind Down Sundays” at Otto's Shrunken Head at the end of each weekend. The bands and the audience are usually comprised of somewhat older rock fans; let us call ourselves “first generation rockers.” Nevertheless, many of the bands still have that rough edge, like they are still working out what their music will be. It is refreshing to find bands that are not trying to be the “next big things,” but who are playing music simply for the love of playing original music live before a small audience of friends.

Such is the case with Red Gretchen, a New York-based band which has recorded an album, Crystal Moon, and is trying to find its way into the local band circuit. First, let us quickly get past the novelty that the band is 75 percent female. Ronnie Lee Wheeler on lead guitar/vocals, Nancy Pollak on rhythm guitar/vocals, Anne Husick on bass, and Shauna Westgate on drums play simple pop songs often infused with a gritty, psychedelic guitar sound. Given the proper stage, the band may appeal to old-time fans of the Grateful Dead or modern fans of indie-rockers Yo La Tengo. Red Gretchen gets another chance to impress at Sidewalk on March 16.