Celebrate the music of Neil Young and Crazy Horse at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center with the Sacramento-based group Tribe of the Red Horse.
Much more than a tribute or cover band, Tribe of the Red Horse delivers the guitar tone, harmonies and raw energy that Neil Young and Crazy Horse are known and loved for.
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.
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.
“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,” said 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 Sutter Creek Theater, Marilyn’s on K in Sacramento, the Sacramento Music Festival and Creekside Fridays 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.
Throughout the performance the band also shows clips from well-known performances by Young, including Woodstock, which never aired in the documentary because Young disagreed with the idea of the movie.
“I consciously chose the ‘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,” explains 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.”
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.”