The Blushin' Roulettes
Photos © Sienna M. Potts 2009
The Blushin’ Roulettes hail from Mendocino County, CA. This folksy twang gang delivers old-time tunes with a modern twist deeply rooted in feminine perspective. The span and scope of the Roulettes’ performances range from intimate, sometimes featuring 2-3 members, to raucously outrageous full-band shows.
Songwriter/guitarist Angela Rose belts her sweet and sultry tunes of damsels in their bliss and distress in a warbling vibrato often compared to Iris Dement and Dolly Parton. The often quirky, funny stage presence and earnestly loving interplay among band members reflects the small-town closeness of the kindred rotating cast of characters, which includes Kate Stone on vocal harmonies and plucked and bowed cello, Cas Sochacki on dobro and sassy baritone duets with Rose, Buddy Stubbs on soulfully gritty lead guitar, not-so-little drummer boy Jubal Stedman, ivory-tickler Luke Stone , and electric bassman Mike Luparello.
Cas Sochacki, Gwyneth Moreland (special guest), Angela Rose, Kate Stone
photo © Michael Monko 2009
They first appeared in the Mendocino Stories and Music Series on the second Saturday of April 2009. Playing to a full house in the Mendocino Hotel’s Garden Room, they became another one of our favorites and will perform for us each year. That evening’s performance was digitally recorded and three clips can be viewed at http://vimeo.com/6204574 .
Whether their venue is the large but intimate late-night scene of the Kate Wolf Festival’s People’s Stage, with band members spilling off of the under-tree- stage into the blanket-camped crowd; the local regular all-acoustic gig at Frankie’s ice cream shop where they sweeten their licks and try out new songs among friends and family members; or the Caspar Inn - where the band might occasionally emerge in costume as their silly alter-ego band, Tequila Mockingbird; the Roulettes always bring a spirit and presence appropriately responsive to their audience and setting.
Gwyneth Moreland (special guest), Angela Rose, Kate Stone
photo © Michael Monko 2009
Their first album “March Sketch,” a collection of 10 mostly live tracks originally intended as a demo for Angela and Kate to peddle on a tour of the northeastern US, earned the Roulettes enough love to convince them to re-release the recording as their official debut.
For their sophomore release, “Took to the Country”, the Roulettes returned to the scene of their debut recording at the “Old School Studio” to work again with engineer/producer Calvin Turnbull to capture the earnest yet smoothly rich flavor of their evolving sound.
The Roulettes are part of a blossoming west coast crop of bands you could call “California Country”, from Humboldt bluegrass boys the Bucky Walters to Gwyneth Moreland’s dark country ballads to rugged rags of the Kerosene Kondors. This small town scene of shared backdrop makes for a cross-pollination that has heavily inspired the Roulettes to twang it up.
The Roulettes’ upcoming release “Duets and Jagged Gems”- will feature live and in-the rough cuts as well as collaborations with the Kerosene Kondors, Gwyneth Moreland and Bob Heimann (Rose’s dad.) Their current project, “The Day Pigs Fly”, will feature the sweetly snappy duets of Rose and Sochacki, who are scheduled to tour the northwestern US in late fall of 2009.