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New Missionaries is a Chicago-based indie rock quartet, featuring Randi Russo on vocals/guitar, Charlie Crane on lead guitar, Eric Gannon on bass, Andy Miles on drums.
New Missionaries was formed in the fall of 2012, the night that Randi Russo, a recent transplant from New York, performed live at Transistor Chicago, the gallery/shop/performance space owned by drummer Andy Miles. Miles was so impressed by Russo's solo set he offered to be her drummer and put the rest of a band together. Charlie Crane (Airline-X, Feature Flick) joined the following week on lead guitar, with bassist Eric Gannon, another recent transplant from New York, joining in March of 2013. They plan to begin recording their debut EP in the spring of 2013 with a release date planned for the summer.
As a solo artist Randi Russo has released three full-length albums, Solar Bipolar (2002), Shout Like A Lady (2006) and Fragile Animal (2011), and the EP Still Standing (2005). She has toured the U.S. and Europe and opened shows for artists like Regina Spektor, Here We Go Magic, White Rabbits, Nicole Atkins and Ida. The Village Voice has said, “Randi’s someone to keep your eye on… all she needs is one gig opening up for someone like Cat Power and her fame is pretty much guaranteed.” Randi left New York City for Chicago in the summer of 2012. She is also a painter. www.randirusso.com
Charlie Crane is a multi-instrumentalist who has lent his talents to such diverse projects as The Dyes, Airline-X, New Missionaries, The Loudness War and The Unswept. His latest solo release, Loanwords, features 15 songs named after German vocabulary words but also functions as “a loose concept album about the post-collegiate, pre-professional trials and tribulations of folks in their early 20s,’ according to Charlie himself. He has a B.A. in Audio Arts & Acoustics from Columbia College Chicago.
A recent transplant to Chicago, Eric Gannon is a self-taught bassist who has been playing extensively over the last four years in the NYC Metro Area with Brooklyn-based outfit The Roof Walkers and experimental project Bishops & Clerks. In that time he had the opportunity to play on some of the best stages the city had to offer. Eric’s recording portfolio includes a pair of EPs recorded with the Roof Walkers at The Seaside Lounge (Brooklyn, NY) and One Man’s Bedroom (Boston, MA) and an early recording at Cue Recording Studios (Falls Church, VA) with college-town favorite Light Street Groove. In the past, he has shared the stage with such bands as Alberta Cross, Eric Lindell, Full Service, Chasing Kings, The Fools, The Telephones, Pat McGee Band, Charlie Mars, and Tracy Bonham. A lover of vinyl and cross-generational music, you will see his eclectic taste evident in his playing style.
Andy Miles has played drums in a series of short-lived bands dating back to the late ’80s. In addition to keeping time for New Missionaries, he is drummer with the local four-piece Feature Flick, and plays bass and programs drums/samples for the “indietronic” quartet Airline-X. In 2010 he released the ambient/electronic record Nested Forms under the name Rayograph. He also owns the North Side gallery/shop/performance space Transistor, and his writing has been published in more than a dozen print and online publications.
RIYL: PJ Harvey, Patti Smith, EMA, Cat Power, early Liz Phair, Throwing Muses, Velvet Underground, Morphine, Wye Oak