Formed in Paducah, KY on Memorial Day weekend of 2012, Coming from an easily overlooked market that has given birth to Bluegrass, and cornerstone contemporary bands like Cage The Elephant, My Morning Jacket, and Nickel Creek; Red Ember looks to capture hearts in the same genre-bending, novel-yet-universal, captivating sound. Folk instrumentation is a focal point around Alex Coltharp (banjo), Ryan Cothron (Dobro), Justin Doss (Mandolin), but the band brings so much more. Funk and Jazz elements pour out of Brad Hammack (Bass), while the electric edge is crafted by Foster Stacy (Synthesizer and Percussion), finished with a large load on the shoulders of metal styling Alex Riley (Rhythm Guitar). The elements exist for a great instrumental band, but huge vocals swimming in emotional harmonies pour out of the group around heart-felt songwriting to offer the full package. The group is easily capable of hitting any genre skillfully, and still settles in an individual niche that is can’t be replicated.
After meeting Brad at a local downtown Paducah festival in September of 2012, Foster and Alex Coltharp invited him to jam on bass with their unnamed folk project. Less than a month after adding their sixth member, they performed a five-song set during the set break of long-time friends' Gideon's Rifle's show. With a room packed beyond capacity, the sextet realized for the first time that what they were doing was exactly what they had wanted in a band all along... they just needed a name.
Once decided upon a moniker that reflected their passionately fueled compositions and eclectic yet energetic personalities, Red Ember began to accept gigs in all of the live music venues of their home base; easily spotted on stage by themselves or with many of their other musician colleagues about town. Focusing on original songs and an array of covers that range from bluegrass standards to re-envisioned heavy metal string breakers, Red Ember is notable for their attention to the quality of their shows. By utilizing West Kentucky’s professional sound and light engineers, the band has been able to make every performance a memorable one for everyone involved.
In Spring 2013, Red Ember expanded their performance diameter and frequency. Along with the live music venues, Red Ember also began to play major benefits (Cystic Fibrosis, Historic Theater Restorations, Red Cross Red Dress) and music festivals (Lowertown Arts & Music Festival, ROMP) In Summer 2013, Red Ember increase their number of gigs to a more regular weekly schedule, performed at ROMP, and entered King Sound Studio, wherein they recorded their first LP, "Wakes in Shadow, Lies by Fire" - A conceptually designed story that offers clues to the meaning, but allows for the listener to create their own conclusions what is happening. Filled with double meaning, personal reflection and introspective gems, “Wakes in Shadow, Lies by Fire” is tricky to categorize into a genre. Just like the band itself, the EP is a cultural collage of personal views, perspectives, outlooks, beliefs, upbringings and cultures. The music, too, reflects every member’s musical taste and idolism – Bluegrass, Folk, Alternative Rock of course, but more surprisingly Hip-Hop, Metal, and Electronic styling…. it’s all present, but mixes pleasantly.
The band seems to be thoroughly involved in a music renaissance in their own town, bringing music lovers out that have long since forsaken the music scene, and hungry eyes are set on the rest of the country to do the same.