By Kara Martinez Bachman
IBMA award-winner and Grammy nominee Audie Blaylock is really into cars. Not just any cars, but old cool ones. He’s one of those Ford guys. He’s got a 1967 GTA Mustang convertible and is on the board of trustees at the Early Ford V-8 Museum in Auburn, Indiana, dedicated to the history and preservation for the Ford automobile era between 1932 and 1953.
“If I’m into something, I’m not a ‘halfway’ kinda person,” he explained, “and I have loved cars for about as long as I have loved music. I can’t remember not loving cars.”
Blaylock said in addition to hitting the top bluegrass chart slot, the video for “Love is an Awful Thing” has been doing great online, and it garnered a bunch of YouTube views within just three or four days of its release. “It was a substantial amount,” Blaylock said, too humble to brag outright, but a tone of happiness apparent in his voice.
Blaylock said he and Redline attempt to do exactly that in their music. He said they strive to “pay homage to the tradition of bluegrass music but take it into the new century.” Redline’s song selections — a mix that’s half classic tunes and half originals — are rarely about flighty things.
“I like serious lyrics,” Blaylock said, “and things about real life.”
Sound and lyrics have infused his own real life since as far back as he can recall. He was born in El Paso, Texas, son of a military dad who was stationed at Ft. Bliss. Blaylock would eventually follow with his family to Virginia, then move to Michigan, and at some point, end up where he is now, in the northern part of Indiana. Through it all, he and his family have been strumming and singing. His mom made music. His dad did, too. His relatives did as well.
“That’s what we did on a Saturday night,” said Blaylock, who plays both guitar and mandolin. “I don’t know what it’s like to not make music.”
Audie Blaylock and Redline — which he started in 2004 and has changed very little in the lineup since then — also includes Evan Ward (banjo, vocals); Reed Jones (bass, vocals); and Mason Wright (fiddle).
“I believe in this band,” Blaylock said. “I believe in this music. The cool thing about this band is there’s nothing they can’t play.”
He explained the name “Redline” reflects the band perfectly. Not just because they dig cars, but because they dig pushing themselves musically.
“Redline is an automotive term,” he said. “There’s a red line on your tachometer, which tells you you’re pushing it to the limit.”
To tell the truth, though, from the revved-up tone you can hear in Blaylock’s voice if you listen closely, one thing’s clear: there’s no limit for these guys, and the next #1 is probably just a song away.