Jay Kutchma of Red Collar writes blue-collar anthems about working and living that resonate with a familiarity similar to putting on my boots every morning. His voice — oft-gruff, oft-soft, shouted-when-appropriate — delivers them with a sincerity, strength and, at times, a vulnerability that makes me give a shit. And his Springsteenian singing and songwriting style makes me at once nostalgic and hopeful.
But perhaps more than anything, I respect Kutchma's authenticity. He's a working-class guy doing everything he can to live his passion outside and around a 9-5. His bandmates, his wife and bassist Beth Kutchma, guitarist Mike Jackson and drummer Jonathan Truesdale, exist in the same reality. They're probably never going to be able to leave work and tour the country for months at a time, and they're OK with that. They're still releasing a full-length album (stream it at Alt Press) June 12 via Tiny Engines (order it here), and they'll make their annual pilgrimage this fall to Gainesville for Fest, the country's predominate punk rock festival wherein Red Collar has earned a devotion and respect from 20-something punks usually reserved for only the hardest-touring veterans.
Red Collar are their own kind of rock professionals. They're real, and they're doing things their own way. I don't know about you, but it resonates with me. And it sounds so damned good.
On Day 12 of the 2012 Love Drunk Tour, we captured the Kutchmas performing the title track from Red Collar's new album, stripped-down, in their buddy Chaz Martenstein's Bull City Records in Durham. See if it doesn't resonate.
Eight Love Drunk videographers went on tour shooting live, one-take videos with bands across the eastern part of the U.S., spreading the word about Nebraska music along the way from May 4-20. This was day 12 of the 17-day tour. Learn more about the project and the tour here. Watch all the videos here.
audio recorded/mixed by Django G-S
video edited by Django G-S
* performed Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Andrew Norman is Hear Nebraska's editor-in-chief. Kutchma performed in one of his all-time favorite Love Drunk videos, while getting his first tattoo at Iron Brush in Lincoln. Watch it here. Contact Norman at firstname.lastname@example.org.