Americana Rhythm & Blues band Roosevelt Dime just wants you to put on your red shoes (or otherwise fancy shoes) and “hide away” your blues, as they profess in their new single “Red Shoes,” the title track of their new EP that’s due out on Tuesday, July 5. The song, a swinging tune that encourages leaving the troubles of the world behind – if only just for a night – and dancing the night away, is available for streaming on the group’s Bandcamp page.
“That song was kind of a celebration of the power of live music because so much of what we do is a live, communal, cathartic experience at its core,” said Andy Green, the group’s banjo player. “We actually got our start playing out on the streets of New York City, totally removed from the whole music promotion and business side of it. We were literally playing music right there for the people….So that song is a little bit of a celebration of that idea.
“It’s like when you’re feeling down and have the blues, being able to kick that off and go out with someone you love and go out and feel the love in a room and being in that environment. So it’s kind of hearken back to that energy. We used to really feel that back on the streets.”
They are bringing their jubilant, real and ultra danceable tunes to Arlington for a weekend-long kick-off event for the Festival BeCause, which will launch in 2017. The festival will feature music, lectures, workshops and screenings in pavilions, each dedicated to a different cause.
Roosevelt Dime, one of the founding bands of the festival, will be playing two shows at the kick off event for the festival. The first one is on Saturday, July 2 at Sehkraft Brewing, located at 925 N. Garfield St., Arlington, at 8 p.m. and the second is on Sunday, July 3 at the same location at 11 a.m.
“It’s kind of a chance for artists to bring on causes that they support,” Green said.
“But then it’s really taken off beyond that where the outreach of these social causes is its own wing of the festival. There’s going to be something called the Village of Causes that’s going to be on the grounds of the festival….We’re hoping we’re going to attract music fans and people who have socially active leanings, so it’s going to be an incredible opportunity to get in one place with all these causes.”
Roosevelt Dime’s latest EP features three original songs and three covers. The covers, the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Funky Monks,” Tom Petty’s “American Girl” and Bob Marley and the Wailers’ “Pass It On,” are an eclectic mix of musical genres.
“That’s something that we did think a lot about and chose carefully. We think a lot about these types of choices as a band. What is going to say about us? What are we trying to convey? What are we trying to say with it?” Green said. “And, especially in the folk and Americana world and bluegrass scene, the idea of covering songs is very prevalent. I think there’s this kind of shortcut that you can take, where you take any sort of classic song and folking it up or bluegrassing it up and getting the mileage out of it, but it’s not gratifying for us.
“So we really wanted to take songs that really did inspire us and really were fundamental for us in some way, not necessarily in what we play in this band, but in our lives, in our development as music fans.”
• For more information about Roosevelt Dime, visit rooseveltdimemusic.com.