The Band

Red Dirt Strip 3 copy

Red Dirt have appeared in many guises over the years, the only constant being the unerring talent that is Dorset-based guitarist and singer/songwriter Russell Middleton who, twelve years ago, teamed up with former Devon-based jazz double bassist Ian Turner.  The latest line-up also includes classically trained violinist Chloe Bix, long-standing fiddle player with folk rock band The Dambuskers and solo artist in her own right having supported Steeleye Span on their Wintersmith tour in 2013.

I recently asked Ian why, after all this time on the pub and club circuit, are Red Dirt still putting themselves out there?  His reply….”because the band and the music keep getting better!” … and anybody who has seen Red Dirt live or heard their songs will agree that the caliber of Russell’s songwriting is absolutely outstanding.

Poetic lyrics of profound meaning that address head-on the tainted and corrupt in our society coupled with blatant and sometimes caustic views of life and love result in a unique Nirvana-esque grunge folk genre.  The “folksy, rootsy, bluesy, gutsy” musicianship of the band members merge together seamlessly and effortlessly to produce a spine-tingling and thought provoking performance.  But let’s not also forget those moments of humour… one night after a gig they were actually offered a slot at a comedy club.  They didn’t quite know how to take that one!

In this time of a somewhat banal and mundane music industry landscape, Red Dirt is, it seems, a rare breed in challenging the corrupt and rotten system, but they consider themselves part of an ever growing movement socially and artistically, outspoken and defiant in the face of a stubborn and deaf mainstream media.

The name Red Dirt could therefore be interpreted as a political badge, a flag of purpose, but in actual fact it comes from the local Devon geology near to where Russell was living at the time – a fertile land, great for growing roots!

Red Dirt have a loyal following of fans but such is their personality and broad appeal they can easily turn round a large group of disinterested and noisy youngsters into an attentive and appreciative audience, and that’s because their music is edgy, accessible, and above all, speaks a universal truth.

Red Dirt have released two albums, ‘Go Go USA’ and ‘The Art of Trickery’, [DOWNLOAD AT:], and one E.P., ‘Dirttracks‘, and are currently writing fresh material for a third album set to be released in the New Year.

Don’t forget to check out their LIVE DATES too! x




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