“We’re a five-piece rock, pop and blues band. We’re from all around the area.” That’s how Gina Marini introduces Redstone, the cover band gaining steam across Beachcomberland.
Redstone is Marini (lead vocals and piano), Cheenie Papineau (vocals, trumpet and percussion), Doug Sanders (vocals and lead guitar), Sean Connolly (vocals and bass guitar), and George Bailey (vocals and drums).
“The drummer is actually the one who started to form the band,” says Marini. “I found out about them through Craigslist. I was looking around and it said they were looking for a singer.”
After an exchange of texts and a successful audition, Marini was a full-fledged member. “As we were working on some songs, trying to put together some harmonies and other parts…I was like, Hey, I got a gal. Let’s bring on my friend Cheenie. And so Cheenie came on and she sings backup vocals and plays trumpet and harmonica, and some percussion. We’ve been together now for about three years.”
For Marini, music was a constant in her life, although she did take a break from performing. “I’ve been doing music since I was a little girl and then growing up, as a teenager, I was in rock bands in and out of high school. Then I got married, had children, and raised the family. And now they’re all grown, so I’m back at it again.”
Church and the radio were Marini’s first teachers, and she continued to learn new songs even after she gave up the stage. “I had this whole repertoire of my own—you know, there’ll be songs I could play on piano and sing. I wasn’t playing for anybody so I started really, really itching to play for somebody other than my dog. He really does enjoy my music, but it was time to break out and let the other people enjoy (it) as well.”
After a couple attempts at music projects, Craigslist was Marini’s road to Redstone. “I’m glad I started again, and I’m at a place that is so fulfilling because we can go to a gig without even rehearsing now… It’s so nice to be able to get to that point.”
Marini calls the band “family” now and says they are excited to continue to add new venues to their schedule.
Redstone aims to include a unique mix of older rock songs with current radio hits, encompassing a range from Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” to the Mark Ronson-Bruno Mars collaboration “Uptown Funk.”
“We try to have a little bit of something for everybody,” says Marini. “We’re always learning new music to keep it fresh.” With a band that averages close to 45 songs per night, it’s a feat they manage with ease.
Part of what makes Redstone stand out is the inclusion of the trumpet, which the band finds surprising ways to work into many of the songs in the setlist. It creates an added depth to the songs we know and love, whether replacing a synth or violin line or just providing additional melody.
In addition to Redstone, Marini and Papineau have formed a duo named Reciprocal Vibe. “We do some of the songs from Redstone, but there are more pretty songs, too.”
Keep up with the band at Facebook.com/redstone.okaloosa.