Flutist adds a high note to Slow Down Scarlett

To hear their music, go to: reverbnation.com/slowdownscarlettJune 15, 2014 

You'll see the flute in a whole new light if you go to a performance of the metro-east rock band Slow Down Scarlett.

Courtney King plays the woodwind instrument on everything from Men at Work's "Down Under" to Modest Mouse's "Float On" to Mutemath's "One More."

"I think people really like it," said Courtney, 35, of O'Fallon, who also sings with the band. "A lot of times, I'll hear 'Play Jethro Tull!' (from the audience). We haven't actually gone there yet, but we should. People actually dig it."

The break from tradition has been fun for Courtney, a stay-at-home mom who teaches flute lessons and home-schools her three children.

She has performed patriotic music with the U.S. Air Force Band and classical with the Belleville Philharmonic Orchestra. Now this.

"The more comfortable I get (playing rock music on flute), the more I'm starting to experiment," Courtney said. "I'm not trained to do it. It's just about listening to what's going on around you and making it sound good and feel good."

Slow Down Scarlett has been performing nearly three years at venues such as Lemmons and The Heavy Anchor in St. Louis, Hemingway's Zen Garden in O'Fallon and Taste of Southern Illinois in Lebanon.

The name has no particular significance, except drummer Danny Walls and lead guitarist Dylan Tucker saw it on a billboard while driving to Florida.

"We were like, 'Hey, that's kind of catchy,'" said Danny, 41, youth pastor at First Baptist Church in O'Fallon.

The band also features guitarist and vocalist Andy Lewis, 26, a history teacher at First Baptist Academy; and bass player Dan Kaltenbaugh, 46, of Lebanon, an Air Force lieutenant colonel.

They describe their music as "jambalaya rock" because it's a stew of "smooth tones, spicy vocals, groovin' bass, jammin' drums and just a hint of some dirty Southern twang," according to their Facebook page.

"In a broader sense, you could call it 'alternative' or 'indie,'" said Dylan, 26, of O'Fallon, an inventory employee for Apple. "From the beginning, our mission statement was that we would never write two songs that sounded the same."

Slow Down Scarlett covers artists such as Boston, The Wallflowers, House of Heroes and The Black Crowes. Original titles range from "Groovitude" to "Radioactive Friend," "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee" to "Droppin' Beats not Bombs."

All five members attend First Baptist, and some perform at services, but the band's music doesn't fit the Christian genre.

"We're absolutely influenced by our faith in the lyrics we write, but it's not something you'd play in church," Danny said. "It's not worship music. We just write about ourselves. We can perform at a festival or in a bar. Anyone can enjoy it."

Where to see Slow Down Scarlett

Tuesday -- The band will perform at Busch Stadium in St. Louis before the Cardinals game against the Mets as part of a five-week "Battle at Busch" competition and concert series. Gates open at 5:15 p.m. (music starts shortly after). Tickets available for $10.57 on the team's website.

Friday -- The band will perform from 7 to 9 p.m. as part of the Eckert's Summer Concerts series on the plaza, outside the Belleville Country Store. Admission is free. For more information, visit eckerts.com.

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