MADE IN CHESTER: Redneck Pool Party releases CD

It’s not exactly what it sounds like. The band Redneck Pool Party (RNPP) doesn’t play selections from “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” and their opening song is not “Man of Constant Sorry.” Redneck Pool Party plays a mix of songs from Bad Company, the Temptations and, yes, Kenny Chesney.

RNPP recorded their first original song at Full Circle Recording, which is exactly what it sounds like – a Chester recording studio owned by Dan Uphoff that records local, regional and national bands.

Now RNPP has sharpened a note and “Demons,” their premier song, is being played on local radio.

“WWDW 107.7 FM radio has picked up our song ‘Demons’ and it will be in the normal rotation starting in January,” said Barry Brockwell, one of two guitar players in the band.

“We are going to do a promo with them sometime in January when they debut the song. We played an acoustic version of it last summer on the morning show with Greg Thrift.”

Barry says he and the band are hoping to get some play on some additional Richmond radio stations. RNPP is on their way.

The band, the recording and the CD cover design companies, are from right here in southeastern Chesterfield. RNPP was formed about seven years ago by brothers Bruce and Barry Brockwell. They played some local venues but two years later they decided to have a singer front the band. Enter Nicole Andrews who the Brockwells, bassist Tommy Edwards and drummer Frank Kirby agreed, could really belt out a song.

Nicole said she has been singing in a band since she could legally get in a bar when she was 21. “I was singing karaoke and I was asked to sing with this band – I asked my dad to go with me to that first audition in some strange mans shed in Mechanicsville – and I started singing with the band called ‘Accelerator,’ and I was with them for a couple of years. Then I went into about three or four different bands with my brother-in-law, [drummer] Wade Queensberry, and I can’t remember all the bands we were in.”   
After five years with Nicole’s voice, adding the icing to a well-made layer cake, it was time for RNPP to record and burn their first disk. They didn’t have to travel far. Full Circle Recording on West Hundred Road at the edge of Chester was both convenient and run by an experienced recording engineer.

“Working with RNPP was great,” said Dan Uphoff, owner, and the man at the mixing board. “I always enjoy the opportunity to collaborate with the local talent, especially with a band as experienced as RNPP.”

Another Chester company, CAM Marketing, designed the CD cover and took the photos that wraps the plastic disk holding the first baby of Pool Party.

“Working with the Brockwell brothers, Nicole and the guys was a blast and gave us a chance to explore some really creative designs,” said Bryce Hipps of CAM. “Our photo shoot on the rooftop of the American Tobacco Center gave them a chance to show the world the Redneck Pool Party. We always enjoy working with fun and creative clients like RNPP.”

“As time went on we wanted to do our own stuff,” Barry said. “We kind of had to learn how to do that. It’s more than just writing a song and putting the song together with the band. You get to that point, but then we had to find a third person to tell us how we’re doing. If we stink, tell us we stink, and we’ll trash can it.” Barry said his brother Bruce went to Full Circle and spent some time with Uphoff and saw the studio. “Bruce said, ‘it’s an unbelievable studio and said let’s try it out,’ and it worked out great.”

The “circle” was complete and RNPP spent hours upon hours in the studio. But the rates were good and Barry said with the way you record each of the band members, who have different schedules, each could go to the studio at different times and record their part.

“I think we all shared a strong enthusiasm for the creative process,” said Uphoff. “Those guys (and gal) just flat out love making music, it doesn’t get any better than that.”
While RNPP’s first CD contains only one song, their goal is to do a full CD, and as Barry said, “Do it to the nines.” They want to do all their own songs and write them as well.

According to Barry and Nicole, they could do a CD of covers right now but that’s just not what they want. They know it’s going to be expensive to do an entire CD so they were testing the water with “Demons.” And going local, they kept the entire process right here where they live.

Redneck Pool Party tries to keep their gigs under control because most of the band members have families and as Barry and Nicole said, “family comes first.” They will however be playing at a number of regional venues over the next few months as there CD hits the airwaves. See them at Sharky’s at Innsbrook on January 25, Kahill’s on February 9, a benefit for Grayson Austin at Country Club of Petersburg on March 9 and at Friday Cheers at the Country Club at the Highlands on opening night at the Highlands. Their full schedule, along with pictures of the band and more, is on their website: www.redneckpoolparty.com.

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