It is a story steeped in the American tradition of pursuing one's passions. On Thanksgiving Day 2007, Kendra, LaRae, Alisa, Meghan "Redhead Express", along with their entire family, left their brand new home in Palmer, Alaska to pursue a larger dream.
Music had always been part of their lives, but Christmas of 2006 changed everything. Kendra had been asking for a guitar, and LaRae got her coveted banjo, an instrument she had been begging for since she was 12. Alisa had always loved the family's violin, and that Christmas, out of the blue, their aunt gave Meghan an upright bass. The band was formed.
The following year was all about music. They practiced with a local jam group, performed for tips at coffee shops and festivals, and traded performances for food tickets at the Alaska State Fair. Everyone was hooked, but they wanted more. "The fall of 2007 was the most freeing thing I have ever experienced," said Kendra. The family literally sold everything they owned down to whatever they could each fit into their own plastic Rubbermaid bin- and headed for the Appalachian mountains to study the roots music of America.
Kendra- singer, songwriter and band leader- is known for her perfectionistic approach to music and extremely long band practice sessions. Says Meghan, "She pushes us relentlessly, but we love it." Kendra was never satisfied with an entirely acoustic sound and has pushed the band instrumentally to create a much larger feel. Along with their numerous acoustic instruments, they now also tour with Keyboard, Electric Guitar, Electric Bass and their signature hand-made Craviatto Drums. Whatever the method, it is clearly working. While many believe it is their near perfect three and four part sibling harmonies that truly makes them unique, after 10 years and over 3000 shows, their sound and stage presence is undeniable.
What genre is Redhead Express? Every band is asked the same question, meant to define them, categorize them, to place them in a small box, neatly beside other similar musicians. Certainly their early study of mountain music along with their acoustic instruments suggests an American Folk influence. However, Kendra's vocal influences are quite varied, reaching into Jazz, Blues, Rock, Pop and both early and modern Country Music. Some refer to Redhead Express as Folk-Rock or Folk-Pop while others like the Alternative Country label. However, it seems that no matter what they sing, it is uniquely their own.