Issue 4 November Freedom Riders interview.

This 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 or .   Here is the letter that appeared in our publication and the interview that followed.
1294 East Pittston Road
Pittston Maine
This is an introduction letter to the FREEDOM RIDERS, a local country band from Pittston Maine.
Conrad 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.
Merlene plays bass guitar and sings harmony.  She has been in the country music business for over twenty years.
Ervin has been involved in bands ranging from classic country to classic rock.  Ervin plays lead guitar and sings both lead and harmony.
Chad 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.
Jared 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.
The 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.
FREEDOM RIDERS entertains with a mixture of COUNTRY ROCK hits from yesterday and NEW COUNTRY hits of today.
For booking information you can contact FREEDOM RIDERS at the above address or by telephone at 1-207-582-4798.


BIG TIME  :   What was your first band, Chad?
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 then we quit for 8.  We been back together for 2 years. 
CONRAD  :  People might also remember CHUCK MATES.
CHAD  :  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.
JARED  :  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. 
MERLENE  :  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.
BIG TIME  :  What do think about Country music in the next five years in the area?
CONRAD  :   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.
CHAD  :  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.
EBEN  :  I would like to see radio stations get into it more in the future.
CONRAD  :  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.
MERLENE  :  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.
REGGIE  : 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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