Redleg Husky, an Asheville, North Carolina-based bluegrass and country duo, will soon pay a visit to the Midwest.
The band — made up of Tim McWilliams on guitar, banjo and vocals and Son the Bassman on bass and vocals — will entertain audiences alongside local bluegrass, blues and southern gospel artist Cari Ray starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Player’s Pub.
McWilliams said he and Son look forward to hearing Ray play, as they have so far been impressed with what they’ve heard online. Playing in the Midwest is a homecoming for McWilliams, as he grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, around that musical environment.
“I like the Midwest a lot,” McWilliams said. “There’s a really good music scene and it has been one historically that people forget about. Especially in Cincinnati, people do not know how many musicians used to record there — huge names in country-bluegrass. It’s cool to come share this roots music we’re doing in the Midwest and reach a different audience.”
This will be the outfit’s first time in Bloomington. Touring throughout the southeast so far has been a fun experience, McWilliams said.
McWilliams and Son play shows five nights a week in locations that range from sports bars to breweries to major musical venues and more, he said.
In the last year, McWilliams estimated Redleg Husky played 222 shows. This year the total number of shows they will play should be almost 260.
“It’s great, that brings us to a diverse group of people and it seems like most folks can find common footing in what we do,” McWilliams said.
McWilliams said the band has existed for years, though membership has rotated as musicians have come and gone.
“It is a unique experience and most people can’t believe that all the sound is being generated from two people,” McWilliams said.
Son met McWilliams after the latter musician finished studying Appalachian music and went on a three-month tour playing with a different musical partner.
McWilliams said he and Son kept in touch after ending up on the same ticket in Denver, Colorado, and soon joined forces for Redleg Husky. Music became McWilliams’ full-time career in 2012, and though time consuming, he said turning his graduate school hobby into his job was a positive choice.
The feeling of performing and having an audience connect with the music is what McWilliams said he most enjoys.
“When you really feel like you win a crowd over and they’re really paying attention it seems like what you put so much effort into is bringing joy to people,” McWilliams said. “When people cut loose and boogie with us there’s nothing else like it, really. It’s amazing.”