Blaine Long & Rosas Del Rey to perform here SanTan Sun News

Blaine Long & Rosas Del Rey to perform here

July 20th, 2018 | by SanTan Sun News
Blaine Long & Rosas Del Rey to perform here
Arts
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By christina fuoco-karasinski

Staff

Blaine Long has made a name for himself as a solo artist, thanks to riveting lyrics and appearances on “The Voice.”

Despite that, the Ahwatukee resident always knew he would return to a band. Recently, Blaine Long & Rosas Del Rey released its appropriately named first album, “Uno,” which blends country, blues and R&B.

The band includes vocalist/rhythm guitarist Long, bassist Marcus Weeden, drummer David Libman and lead guitarist Drew Hall.

“It’s something I haven’t been part of for a long time,” Long said. “I got a bunch of guys together and just said, ‘OK, let’s do this.’ I’m definitely the leader and they’re going off with my songwriting, but they’re also writing.”

“Uno” was a quick turnaround for Long, who released his 10th record, “Scorpio,” in late 2017. But the Rosas Del Rey project came about naturally. He needed a backing band to make the songs on “Scorpio” come to life.

The first person he thought of was his longtime friend and collaborator, Weeden, who produced Long’s 2010 record, “Honey in My Coffee.” Libman came to mind for drums and Drew Hall was a natural choice for guitars.

“Our No. 1 rule for this project was let’s just get good people who are nice,” Long said. “You know, no attitude, no weird rock ‘n’ roll stuff. Just nice people. We’re too old and tired to be putting up with silliness.”

Two months after the lineup was solidified, the band was in the studio. The album was a group effort, Long said.

“It’s truly a band,” he added. “It’s definitely a collaboration, which is nice because I haven’t done that in years. That was nice and refreshing. Lyrically, I write a little differently because it wasn’t just my music. I had no preconceived anything, so I could just really take it and run.”

Blaine Long & Rosas Del Rey will showcase its new album Friday, Aug. 3 at Chandler Center for the Arts as part of the theater’s summer concert series. The band is also performing Aug. 11, at the Elks Theater in Prescott.

Long’s family has roots in the Valley. His mother attended McClintock High School, while his father studied at Tempe High School.

Long was born in West Virginia and lived in Ohio and California before his parents returned to the Valley, specifically Chandler. He briefly attended Thunderbird Adventist Academy in Scottsdale before dropping out to pursue music.

“Music is something I’ve loved since I was a little kid,” he said. “My dad, who was not a music fan, listened to the ‘story’ songs, the really old classics – the old-timey stuff. Late at night, he would switch to classical music.”

Long has vivid memories of creating songs on the floor of his bedroom. He is a fan of putting words and chords together and making “something from nothing.”

His first couple concerts were Rush and Jethro Tull.

“I love what I do,” he said. “I’m very grateful and thankful. Every gig, I love grabbing my guitar. I love being a singer-songwriter. I love being a working musician. Every time I open my guitar cases, I love it.

“What a great job. I get to sing to people; go out into the real world and sing my songs. I’m very blessed.”

If You Go

What: Blaine Long & Rosas Del Rey

Where: Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3

Tickets: Free; suggested donations: $5/child, $10/adult, $15/family

Info: 480-782-2680; chandlercenter.org

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