MUSIC REVIEW- Two Red Shoes: Inspired by All-Stars


Two Red Shoes aren't bad. Especially when they're a pair of classic Converse All Stars. All Stars are the original sneaker (the "Chuck Taylor" model really got things going) and the founding fathers of high tops. Converse All Stars have maintained their appeal over generations and even mass cultural gaps. Just look around today. A scofflaw Blood from Los Angeles will rock two red Converse All-Stars underneath a heavily creased pair of Dickies just as quickly as a neo-grunge angst suburbanite would flash a pair with his/her heavily faded, pope-hole-y Levi's.

What makes the All Star so special? Easy. It's a shoe, nothing more, nothing less– no air bubbles, pumps, straps, buckles, buttons, heels, or hidden pockets. There's nothing to dislike. There's nothing bothersome or out of the ordinary. It's just a shoe, a well-made shoe that serves its purpose.

It's no coincidence that the band Two Red Shoes featured a lead singer/guitarist sporting two red Converse All Stars while she performed. The whole thing just made sense. The band itself is a three-piece blues ensemble– like the shoes, nothing flashy– just bass, drums, and guitar.

They preferred the swinging blues, the kind that never gets old or out of date. It's that Stevie Ray Vaughn blues for those who love a heavy bass and a dirty emotional 16- to 32-bar guitar solo on every song. The sound was quite formulaic, but not bothersome or out of the ordinary.

Within that formula, Two Red Shoes played very enjoyable music. The front woman of the group is a certified Bonnie Rait badass. This you should know: she knew the blues. Her fingers shredded solos something fierce, and her voice meshed perfectly with the guitar tone. It was nice. Real nice.

Two Red Shoes weren't perfect. There were times when the bassist seemed to jump out of the pocket or throw in an extra riff that didn't quite jive with the momentum of the song. The group as a whole missed a few changes here and there. Maybe the songs were new, or maybe they were old and someone forgot where to go. This type of thing happens to every band. To their credit, they never let any of it faze them. They played through the slight errors and kept the mood solid and consistent all night.

Two Red Shoes won't make headlines anywhere, and they probably won't be the next band signed to Rounder Records. But that doesn't mean what they play isn't important. We need bands out there that just give it to us straight, no frills and no deals. It's nice to know that I can walk into a bar and hear the straight-up rockin' blues the way I like it, the way I'm familiar with, the way just about anyone can enjoy it.

Two Red Shoes didn't really give the audience anything to dislike. It was just blues– well-played blues that served its purpose. Chuck Taylor would probably have loved it.