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These Dreams: Redwood Groove Rocks

Local Santa Cruz Mountains Band Gets Ready to Roll

By Julie Horner

There’s no resume,” Brad Andersohn said. “It’s the path traveled.” Brad and his wife and musical partner Debra Lee Andersohn are founding members of Redwood Groove, a band with roots in the Santa Cruz Mountains and influenced by the venerable sounds of the glory days of KSJO and KOME radio, the bedrock of 70s and 80s mainstream music in the San Francisco Bay Area. From Journey to Heart, Fleetwood Mac to Skynyrd, Redwood Groove is pure-drop tribute with soaring female vocal leads, captivating multi-part harmonies, and instrumental breaks that flash back to ‘front page drive-in news’ and everything ‘Bill Graham Presents’.

Debra said, “Brad and I met in 1990 in a bar where his band was playing. He pulled me into his musical world. There was immediate magic!” Brad was a veteran electric guitarist who had opened for some of the greats like Y&T, Robin Trower, Paul Gilbert, Eric Martin and Mr Big, The Tom Landry Band, and Pearl Heart and the Cosmic Blues Band (Janis Joplin’s band with Sam Andrews and Snooky Flowers). Debra had the powerful voice and an innate ability to pick out harmonies from growing up listening to her older sister’s favorite rock groups on vinyl. She said, “Even though I’m a lead vocalist, I love singing harmony even more.”

With these shared passions, Debra and Brad started recording original music together and explored a multitude of performance opportunities. Across a sea of musical exploration they fell in love and got married and raised three boys to follow in their footsteps. In 2010 they launched their duet, DebraLee Darling and Her Brad Habit, which featured vintage songs with Debra on ukulele and Brad on guitar. Celebrating three decades of music making, their dreams have culminated in Redwood Groove, which launches fresh this year with like-minded classic rock powerhouse players.

Rockin’ the New Year

Leslie Heinrichs joins Redwood Groove on bass and backup vocals. The seasoned musician picked up bass when she lived in Austin and played with several tribute and cover bands doing 80s and 90s pop, rock, and alternative rock. Singing backup harmonies with Debra, band favorites include Linda Ronstadt’s ‘When Will I be Loved’, Heart’s ‘Barracuda’, and ‘Little White Church’ by Little Big Town. Patrick “Patman” Hughes rules the keys and sings backup vocals. He said Redwood Groove is all about the blended vocal harmonies and that each member of the band brings years of experience to the effort. Frankie Dee is a solid pocket drummer who has been playing since 4th grade when he started out in his father’s family band in Marin County. Self-taught, he said he plays off the feel and emotions of the other band members. He said, “We expect to show a lot of Santa Cruz County what we can do and the happiness we will bring.”

It’s not just about playing music. Redwood Groove is about connecting people, building community through shared experiences and collective memories. High energy, drive, excitement, and determination got the band to this point, but Brad said, “This goes way beyond having fun, singing, and dancing. What matters most to all of us is that the people who come to our shows will never forget how we made them feel. That’s the groove we want to leave.”

Redwood Groove: (707) 646-1876 | | FB: @redwoodgroove

Julie Horner writes about art, music, and the local business scene in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Photo by Julie Horner

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