This Friday, two of Ithaca’s favorite bands pair up to hit one of Ithaca’s favorite venues, the State Theatre. After hosting national heavyweights moe. and the Indigo Girls, the State turns locally for what is certainly one of the most anticipated double bills to come our way in a while. This clearly says something about John Brown’s Body and the Sim Redmond Band. That two local bands are placed in the State’s schedule between major label acts (Herbie Hancock and Medeski, Martin, & Wood are on their way in October) is a testament to the richness and talent within the local scene.
I asked Sim Redmond about Friday’s big show, the landmark that will house it, and finally put to rest a lingering question about his dietary preferences.
daze: How would you explain the relationship between Ithaca music and The State Theatre?
Sim Redmond: I think we’re blessed to have such a beautiful and historic venue in this town. A building where so many amazing musicians have passed through, a venue for live music that isn’t so filled with smoke and alcohol, where the music is the focus. It’s a real stage, a real performance at a real theatre. Don’t get me wrong, clubs have their place too. We have a blast in them all the time, but the State Theatre offers us a whole new beautiful world. Plus it’s huge. You can put on much larger shows. I don’t think John Brown’s Body and Sim Redmond Band could fit in any of the clubs in town. Hopefully we can fit in the State!!
daze: What have been your experiences at The State? Any particularly fond memories?
Sim: I remember going to movies there as a child, going to see Rusted Root as a teenager. Recently I saw the Nutcracker for the first time there too. They’re all very fond memories to me.
daze: What can someone who has never heard either band (SRB and JBB) expect from Friday’s show?
Sim: Positive, fun, beautiful, music all night. Good vibes filling the room. Good people everywhere. A dance party. Roots-Rock, Folk, African and Reggae music and so much more.
daze: What’s your take on the current local music scene (strengths, weaknesses)?
Sim: I see nothing but good things in the current local scene. Diverse sounds, lots of local, regional, and national acts. Great music every night of the week. One thing we could use is a nice venue in between the size of the Haunt or Castaways and the State. I often miss the Odyssey….
daze: Which do you like better: fruits or vegetables?
Sim: Fruits!! You may not know it but I can be kind of a fruity guy.
daze: Should fans expect anything different from SRB?
Sim: We are going to be showcasing some new songs, we’re getting ready to record another album so we’re going to try some things out on the crowd. Even a cover or two … Doors open at 7 p.m., SRB is starting at 8 p.m. sharp, JBB at 10 p.m. so folks should get there early!
daze: Who have you been listening to lately?
Sim: Boubacar Traore, Elliot Martin’s [JBB’s harmony vocalist] solo album Black Castle, Jennie Stearns new CD Sing Desire.
daze: Any new additions to the SRB extended family (i.e. babies)?
Sim: Funny you should ask, my brother Asa, SRB’s drummer, and his fiance Stephanie just had a healthy little baby boy, Gavin Vatter Redmond, a couple of Fridays ago on Sept. 13th. So you can call me Uncle Sim from now on.
Archived article by Ben Kupstas