Lipbone Redding looks forward to his humble return to the Roaring Fork Valley and is ready to make shoes groove and minds soothe. He has a list of shows and meditation sessions lined up between Basalt and Carbondale, beginning Aug. 19 at True Nature, as part of its Peace Garden Summer Concert Series, and finishing up at Heather’s Savory Pies on Aug. 28.
At the beginning of his career, Redding moved to New York City’s East Village to work with fellow artists. “I loved it all,” he told The Sopris Sun. “I loved the bohemian lifestyle.” In the ‘90s, he jammed in Washington Square Park, “where all the folkies used to play.” From there, he started writing his own music.
He moved on — or down — to the subway stations, playing his original tunes for commuters. Around the same time, he got involved with New York’s “free jazz improvisational scene” — like skronk music, he explained.
When COVID rocked the world, he headed back to the states after performing at a festival in Mexico. He ended up in Tarboro, North Carolina. “It’s a little country town in the middle of nowhere … between the mountains and the beaches,” he described. He considers himself fortunate, having coasted through the pandemic on a large plot of land known as the Oak Grove Retreat — a sort of healthy lifestyle haven — knowing other musicians struggled to make ends meet.
“I was very unsure about the future — like a lot of people,” Redding stated. “As a musician, I could feel the rug being pulled out from underneath everything I had been doing — at least for the past 10 years.”
So, he gave live streaming a try. That brought about connections, not only between Redding and his listeners, but among the people streaming his shows. “A lot of people who didn’t know each other but were Lipbone fans, started to be friends and that made me really happy,” he stated.
When it comes to performing in-person, he found himself in what he calls a “boogie” culture. “It’s somewhere between a house concert and a small festival,” he explained, and “I fit right in.”
Aside from playing the guitar on stage, he’ll strap a wooden spoon to his foot and use his mouth to create sounds — a trademark of his. “I’ll duct tape a wooden spoon to a barefoot, no problem,” he laughed.
In 2006, Redding made his way to the Valley. He recalls driving through and hearing KDNK Community Radio’s Luke Nestler spinning one of his albums on air. Since then, he’s come every summer (with the exception of the COVID years).
“Carbondale especially … has been so nice to me and the people in town have been so good to me over the years,” he added. In addition to KDNK, he considers Steve’s Guitars a big supporter.
While residing at Oak Grove, Redding was asked to play music during their regular meditation sessions. Having that background already, he took an even deeper dive into the intricacies of sound.
It’s a lot different from playing a “boogie” and the music is improvisational. “I may come up with a central idea or theme, but I create the music in real-time,” Redding explained. “I get a little more experimental with the music for the meditations.”
The intention is to provide a “chill” moment — a reprieve from the worries of the world — and relax the mind. People have varying takeaways: from simply being relaxed to “going on a journey” or resurfacing a forgotten moment from their past.
“I incorporate a lot of breathing and some relaxation exercises,” he said. “It’s like a long savasana in a yoga class … the last part when you get to lie down and just let it all go out. Let all the stress evaporate — melt into the floor.
“The world has been really fractured and divided — more than ever,” Redding reflected, “and it seems like this idea of splitting people into different thought groups has really taken a toll on people’s families and relationships.”
Therefore, at the end of a meditation, Redding encourages participants to pick a person in their life who they’re having trouble with and “send them some love. Even if they ‘hate’ you and you ‘hate’ them — that’s the one, that’s the one you need to focus on.”
For a list of meditations and boogies Redding has planned in the Valley, visit www.lipbone.com/shows