Gettin’ Somewhere
99 Records
Live at Doc Watson’s, Philadelphia, PA

Bitterly cold weather, a Wednesday night, and a late show time. Red Radio Flyer seemed to have three strikes against them for their January19th gig at Doc Watson’s in Center City Philadelphia. All things considered, Red Radio Flyer had a respectable audience, and not only that, but a responsive audience who enjoyed the music. There were even a couple of CDs sold! For those of you who haven’t heard, Blondie guitarist, Paul Carbonara also plays in a New York-based band called Red Radio Flyer. The band was formed in 1996 by Mike Jones (bass/vocals), Janardana Ryan (vocals/guitar), and Paul (guitar/vocals). Two years later, they brought drummer Tommy Allen on board. Released on September 24, 1999 by 99 Records, their first full-length CD, Gettin’ Somewhere, (a self-fulfilling prophecy, perhaps?) was recorded in New York City and Woodstock, New York. Visit RRF's website at and sample a few of their tunes. Be sure to check out the message board where you can post your comments to the band members; it is here you will see that Paul has been named as “the sexiest man in the world.”

RRF's guitar-oriented sound has an urban twang to it, and their CD is surpassed only by their dynamic live performance. “Good songs, nice guitar licks, not too loud. They were just what I was hoping they’d be. They were really tight, had some nice harmonies, and sounded great for not having a PA. My band can learn a great deal from them.” commented Scott from Philadelphia’s local band, Bunny Plasm.

Sam, a musician from the Reading area, said he’d call the music “rootsy” straight-ahead folk-pop in the vein of Steve Forbert, with maybe a bit more of a country-jazz edge. “Their sound is based on skillful playing and intelligent songwriting, all in support of the lead singer’s strong, wide-range voice. The stage show reveals the band as four friends who are playing the music they enjoy most, and the singer's dialogue with the audience between songs lends warmth to his already-engaging presence.”

“Angel puts on his lipstick...” sings Janardana Ryan, opening the show with The Story of Angel. The 12-song set list included Don’t Ask Me To Explain, San Antonio, Fading Away, Banker’s Hands, James Henry, Blame Is On Me, I Got A Way, Wasting, These Are Times, Leave Right Now, closing with American Girl. The faster-paced Leave Right Now, These Are Times, and I Got A Way with their catchy choruses were clearly crowd pleasers. Paul told me, they expected to play to whoever was at the bar and were very glad to see a pretty good-sized group. The band spent a long time playing to tough rooms in New York and they’ve learned that you really have to work for your audience. RRF had a good time and look forward to coming back in the near future. Philadelphia anxiously awaits Red Radio Flyer’s next appearance.

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