Hats Off to The Redhead Express

by Christine Wiese

The nine members of the Redhead Express rolled into Holstein last Friday and collectively stole the audience’s heart. There were no special effects; no pyrotechnics; no electrified anything. What they brought to the stage was just plain great music – instruments, and voices , and a genuine love of performing. It was quite simply a wonderful show. I haven’t seen that much toe tapping both on and off the stage in a long time.

As promised, there was something for everyone. Songs ran the gamut from Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” to tricky banjo picking on Bluegrass standards to an Irish medley. The latter so moved Pat Forristal that he leapt to his feet and stayed there for the entire first verse. We were also treated to the Express’s rendition of “Amazing Grace”and a Gregorian Chant as an encore. There really wasn’t much more they could have done except maybe acid rock and that just isn’t their style.

The whole thing resembled a musical family reunion. The Walkers might have been relatives you hadn’t seen for a while and who you wished would stay around longer. They were just so darn nice. Witness their honouring local veterans and singing Happy Birthday to Helen Wanberg.

It’s difficult to single out anyone of them or anyone of their numbers for special mention as the evening was so enjoyable. However, the four sisters seemed to have an extra spark whenever they teamed up to perform one of Kendra’s songs. “Somewhere Where the Road Don’t Move” was piercingly effective and especially well done. Their brothers were a delight as well. Dueling banjo and mandolin, anyone? The whole family gave 110% and it was a real treat to have them here. As one fellow observed as he walked out of the auditorium, “That was a show and a half!”.