They say it’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll so it doesn’t hurt to start early.
For local rock band Retro Roots, the focus is on the journey, not the destination.
The trio of young musicians includes three former and current students of Old Rochester, led by Janey Rego on bass and vocals, with Charlie Richards on guitar and Joe Gauvin on drums. The band’s founding member, Patrick Igoe, still plays guitar with the band in the summer, but takes a year off while attending Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay.
The group met about five years ago while a student in high school OR through the school’s jazz band. Igoe, a freshman at the time, led the group when he contacted his compatriot Rego and Gauvin senior and asked them to be the band’s vocalist and drummer, respectively. Rego picked up the bass soon after, completing the ensemble.
From the start, the band’s setlists were based on classic rock and blues covers, music the members grew up listening to and had a deep affinity for.
âWe started and we knew we wanted to do classic stuff,â Rego said. âJoe and I had previous experience in a 50’s rockabilly band and Patrick had always been into rock and Clapton era stuff. “
Gauvin said the familiar structure of blues music makes it a good starting point for musicians to get to know each other.
âThe original songs we played were all blues songs because it was the easiest for us to come together and play,â he said.
The three later met Richards at a Battle of the Bands event and contacted him to be their replacement guitarist when Igoe’s parents bought a house in Georgia, causing him to spend more time away from the city. Massachusetts.
“[Charlie] really impressed us [at battle of the bands]. He put his guitar behind his head and everything, âGauvin said. âSo that definitely grabbed our attention. “
When Igoe started in Mass Maritime, Richards, who has been playing guitar since the age of seven, took on a bigger role and is now the band’s lead guitarist.
“[Patrick] has been away since the end of August, so we haven’t really seen him since, âRego said. âIt’s generally good for the summer.
In the meantime, the group has been working hard to resume live performances since the pandemic interrupted their schedule.
âDuring the covid everything was canceled, you know the restaurants were closed and there were a lot of restrictions and everything,â Rego said. “So we ended up branching out and doing live streaming on Facebook, which we had never done before, and we were pretty successful.”
Now, as the bars have reopened and events are returning, they’ve started playing regularly again, typically booking three or four shows a month, despite their busy school schedules.
Rego and Gauvin attend UMASS Dartmouth where Rego is studying Gauvin’s nursing and music. Richards is a senior at Old Rochester and says he’s still figuring out what to do after graduation, although he would like to continue playing with the group if he stays in the area.
The young artists say they are taking their music careers step by step, focusing on their studies rather than worrying about when they will become rich and famous rock stars.
âI think people assume we all want to be recognized immediately and I think it’s important to mention that we all take it on a day-to-day basis. Our priority right now is really school, we’re just trying to do well in college and see where the music takes us, âRego said. âHonestly, I love playing music and I love what we do, so my priority is just to make people happy and see them enjoy what we do. It is such a rewarding job.
Rego said one of the next steps the band would like to take is to write and record their own original songs.
âWe didn’t really take the time to create anything original,â she said. âCharlie had some really cool ideas and we played around with them a bit, but it was mostly about building our repertoire of music that we know everyone will love and appreciate; stuff that pays the bills.
Until then, the band is content to keep improving their skills while playing covers of their favorite bands in local venues where they get a lot of encouragement from friends and family.
âThese are our biggest supporters, you know my extended family always go out when they can and Charlie’s friends usually come to see him, Joe has friends who go out,â Rego said. âSo it’s really nice to have these people who are close by and enjoy the music. “
Retro Roots will be playing their next shows on Friday January 14th at the Tavern on the Wharf in Plymouth and Saturday January 15th at the Quahog Republic Dive Bar in Falmouth. For more information, visit their website at retrorootsmusic.com.