Miners Foundry Cultural Center will celebrate the music of Neil Young and Crazy Horse Friday when they present a concert with Sacramento-based group Tribe of the Red Horse. Tribe of the Red Horse delivers the guitar tone, harmonies, and raw energy that Neil Young and Crazy Horse are known and loved for, according to the Foundry.
The band is comprised of guitarist/vocalist Wayne “Tex” Whitzell, guitarist Frank Kenney, bass player Charles Williams, and drummer Ernie Belles. Tex Whitzell has spent the last decade playing Texas blues and N’awlins funk with bands such as San Francisco’s Bodacious and Sacramento’s Cold Sweat. An in demand acoustic player, Frank Kenney has a reputation for solid skills and a driving rhythm style, according to the band’s bio.
Charles Williams is a full-fledged funk-punk cowboy who has the chops and the wardrobe to play almost any kind of music. Ernie Belles keeps the rhythm seated and the groove groovin’, but his high vocal harmonies are what bring sweet texture to the Tribe of the Red Horse sound, according to the bio.
“After playing blues and folk music for over a decade, I wanted to do something different. Neil Young was a major reason why I picked up a guitar,” explains Whitzell when asked why he felt the urge to perform the music of Neil Young. “It is the kind of music that every generation needs to hear.”
Since forming in the summer of 2011, Tribe of the Red Horse has performed throughout Northern California at well known venues such as the Club Fox in Redwood City, the Sutter Creek Theater, Marilyn’s on K in Sacramento, the Sacramento Music Festival and Creekside Friday’s in Mill Valley all the while steadily growing a fan base that Whitzell says appeals to both boomers and 20-somethings who have discovered the music of Neil Young on their own.
“It is amazing to look out from the stage and see such a diverse group of people all grooving on the same music. It is a true testament to the power and importance of Neil’s music,” said Whitzell.
Tribe of the Red Horse will perform two 50-minute electric sets with an intermission in between. The set list reaches deep into the archives with a blend of feel good songs and Young’s more political songs.
“I consciously chose “Live Rust” as the epicenter of the show because it is a seminal moment for Neil and then we go back to “Zuma” and then forward to “Freedom” and radiate from there,” said Whitzell. “We want to take a snap shot in time of different eras and reproduce them with accuracy.”
“Live Rust” is the live album by Neil Young & Crazy Horse, recorded during his fall 1978 “Rust Never Sleeps” tour. The album features the well-known tracks “Sugar Mountain,” “My, My, Hey Hey,” “Cinnamon Girl” and “Like a Hurricane.” Zuma was Young and Crazy Horse’s seventh album that was released in 1975 and has an overall more upbeat, country-tinged rock vibe. Released in 1989, Freedom was Young’s 18th studio album. The album effectively relaunched Young’s career and brought about commercial success with the single “Rockin’ in the Free World.”
“There are other Neil Young tribute bands, but the major difference between them and us is the guitar tone. I’ve personally spent a lot of time to replicate that sound and with the help of my guitar tech Don Lopez at Uptown Music in Millbrae who has customized my guitars, I can,” said Whitzell. “Tribe of the Red Horse is not a caricature of Neil Young, we are not dressing up to play the music; we are celebrating the music.”
Tickets to Friday’s 8 p.m. show are $18 in advance and $22 at the door and are available online, by phone 530-265-5040, in person at the Miners Foundry, or at BriarPatch Co-Op.
For more information, go to www.minersfoundry.org.