Summer Concert Series
"We are a Red Dirt, Southern, Americana, Country Rock Band," founding member Dennis Phillips said, with a mile-wide smile and tongue firmly planted in cheek.
"There are so many labels now for our music, we gave up trying to pick just one and decided to go with all of them. It helps everyone find us through the search engines online and we can please more people this way. Nah, what is Redneck Jedi? Just an a**-kicking party, with great fans and great tunes."
Redneck Jedi will be performing live in downtown Gonzales on June 5, the first of the Gonzales Summer Concert Series events. Show time is 7 p.m.
Founded in 2003 inside Dennis' trailer, Redneck Jedi has come a long way from humble beginnings. But through it all, two original members remain, Phillips and drummer David Beinke.
"It has been a long, weird road performing with Redneck Jedi," he remarked, "Ups and downs but Dennis has remained very loyal to the project and as he has grown musically, so has the serious nature of the band."
For over a year, the band played the Texas Hill Country bar scene on a regular basis, filling up bars and honky-tonks with a brand of southern fried rock covers and a taste of what was to come. In 2004, the first Redneck Jedi record began making it into the hands of their fans.
"Defiance was so named because we had a bit of a reputation, a higher class of place refused to book us in fear our fans would destroy the place,” Dennis remembers. “It’s kind of funny to think of it, now."
In 2006, Redneck Jedi changed names and released the full length recording, "Black & White." Though that band toured to support the record, Redneck Jedi could not be contained.
"Great musicians were on that record, but as a touring band, the stage presence was lacking." Phillips said. "There had to be a solid mix of both recording and touring."
With that goal in mind, the present day Redneck Jedi is the best yet.
It started with getting a solid musical foundation. Beinke was in on drums and the new band would need to pair a solid bass player with him. Daren Underwood is that bass player and was a perfect fit from day one.
“He’s active on stage but musically meticulous. I have never seen a bass player work so hard to be the best," Phillips says of his on stage madman.
The search for the right vocalist and frontman turned out to be just a quick look back for Jedi.
"Vocally we tried a few guys out, but ultimately we knew, we needed Jeff Foeh back at the mic,” Phillips states. Foeh had been the original vocalist for the Black & White album and he and Phillips’ friendship had remained.
With the lineup complete, the guys began booking frantically, playing all over the state. After finishing off 2008 with a bang and a rigorous schedule, the band had its new material and was ready to hit the studio. Road Runner, the title track along with two others, had been written by Phillips and Foeh in their previous collaboration. Phillips had in fact had been sending music to Foeh, even though he had not committed to the band and his former bandmate added lyrics to what would be one of the new songs on the album, Electricity. Phillips also found a co-writer in Ed Jones (of Whiskey Jones) and completed two other tunes. When all was said and done, 10 new songs emerged and Road Runner is the result.
"It's exciting. I Believe has already found a chart position on TOSSM Radio and Electricity is burning up the stations since we did the pre-release on both" Phillips notes.
Considered one of the hardest working acts in Texas, with a show schedule that makes some folks tired just to look at, Redneck Jedi has already scheduled a video shoot for the title track Road Runner. Also, a live recording, "Unplugged and Underground" is scheduled to be recorded at Longhorn Cavern State Park in April, inside the cave. This show will produce a new live CD as well as DVD for the band. If that is not enough for 2009, the band intends on entering the studio as earlier as January 2010, for "Radio Ready."