Issue 4 November Freedom Riders interview.
is part one of the Freedom Riders interview that was in the November
1998 issue of Big Time Music Trade Magazine. Due to space
limitations in the newspaper we published we never got the full
interview. The band is still around today with a
number of new players. We would like to interview them in our
upcoming video interviews that will be posted under a new
site. Their address is 1294 east Pittston Road in Pittston
Maine, For booking information you can call 1-207-582-4798
. Here is the letter that appeared in our
publication and the interview that followed.
East Pittston Road
is an introduction letter to the FREEDOM RIDERS, a local country band
from Pittston Maine.
has been in the country music business for over forty years, when he
had his own band at the age of sixteen. Conrad plays a
variety of instruments and sings lead vocals. His guitar
playing includes rhythm and lead.
plays bass guitar and sings harmony. She has been in the
country music business for over twenty years.
has been involved in bands ranging from classic country to classic
rock. Ervin plays lead guitar and sings both lead and harmony.
sets the pace of the band playing drums. His love of both
rock and country brings excitement to the music. Chad also
sings lead and harmony.
is a relative newcomer to the music business and the youngest member of
the band. Jared plays rhythm and lead guitar and backup
vocals to round off the total harmonies.
band has a wonderful blend of harmonies. Because Conrad and
Merlene are parents to Ervin, Chad and Jared, their voices are all
similar, making the band a total family unit.
RIDERS entertains with a mixture of COUNTRY ROCK hits from yesterday
and NEW COUNTRY hits of today.
booking information you can contact FREEDOM RIDERS at the above address
or by telephone at 1-207-582-4798.
TIME : What was your first band, Chad?
: It was a good ole' fashioned square dancing. It
was at the community hall in East Pittston, down here at the
village. Every Saturday night my Mother played hawaiian
guitar. Her father played fiddle, guitar and
mandolin. My brother played accordion. It was torn
down last year, and it used to be open every Saturday night.
MERLENE : We
were Conrad and the Country Ramblers, We played 13 years and
we quit for 8. We been back together for 2 years.
: People might also remember CHUCK MATES.
: As a family band we have a realistic method for solving
problems. We have a contract. With this contract,
it governs us to be able to treat each other equally. If any
one gets huffy, we just say Paragraph Four. We do have mixed
feelings about songs, but we can talk it out, how we will actually be
playing the song.
: We also have no drinking before or
during the show
and a dress code; that's in the contract.
EBEN : The
contract also states that if a memberwas sick, they would have to find
a replacement within our extended family. We are a family
band as advertised and we have quite the large extended family who are
also musicians. We all don't just play one instrument.
: We've had eleven kids. He had three before, and
all the kids are talented. Every one of them can do
one or two things in music.
TIME : What do think about Country music in the
next five years in the area?
: I think it will pick up. I think that
there was nothing 10 years ago, because there was no
competition. There are great bands like Aces and Eight's and
more dance halls now. A lot more bands are getting hired now.
: The technology is also getting up there with Rock n'
Roll. There's Bryan White, and others who look
young. C.M.T.'s out there also. You got to look
good and sound good. Garth Brooks did a lot to get it up
there with Rock and Roll. The Internet has a lot of fan clubs.
: I would like to see radio stations get into it more in the
: Channel 9 on the local cable network, went to
different dance halls and taped different bands. If they
would advertise different bands and not just the dance halls,
it would do the people a lot of good. People would also like
to see local people dance, like how channel 30 already has
it. This would be great for people who like to
drink. They could stay home and watch the locals party,
instead of drinking and driving. That way overall there's
less trouble at the filming.
: We used to see fighting all the time, but we don't
anymore. It hasn't been that way since the 1970's.
We enjoy having fun performing as a family band.
One thing is people have to people have to practice a lot more due to
the excellent bands in the area.
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