Red Moon Rounder (RMR) started in the Spring of 2017 when Blake Goodwin (percussion), a recent transplant from the Tulsa, OK scene met Justin O’Connell (vocals, guitar), a transplant from the Midwest by way of San Diego. While performing mostly covers in an acoustic folk duo, Justin had the urge to focus more on his originals. From their first jam session, Justin and Blake felt an instant connection musically. They agreed to expand the acoustic duo into an eventual four piece with Chad Cunningham (banjo) and Quinn Bryant (bass).
In 2018, RMR released their first EP and began making their way into the local scene with a raw, energetic sound rooted in folk. RMR played notable shows, including opening for Shane Smith & The Saints as well as Great American Taxi. RMR also made their debut at the FIBArk Whitewater Festival in Salida, CO. Tabitha Reule (fiddle, vocals) began sitting in for shows throughout 2018 and into 2019.
In 2019, RMR expanded their footprint throughout Colorado. They made their debut on the pallet stage at Black Shirt Brewing in downtown Denver and were regulars at the Little Bear Saloon in Evergreen. The band also broke into the performing arts center scene with an appearance at the Gunnison Arts Center. At the end of 2019, the band revamped their lineup with the departure of Chad and Tabitha joining as a regular member.
Heading into 2020, RMR had a lot of momentum with a busy slate of shows lined up throughout Colorado. Unfortunately, COVID put a damper on things as with many live music acts. Throughout 2020 and 2021, the band played sparingly and was reduced to a three piece after the departure of Quinn. Justin focused on songwriting and recording demos and after taking some time off, RMR decided to refocus on their original intent…to record and perform original music.
In early 2022, Justin built a recording studio in his basement and the band began focusing on arranging new material written by Justin. RMR reinvented its sound, incorporating more elements of Indie and rock, featuring harmonies between Justin and Tabitha and favoring more polished arrangements. Bart Wachtler (keys, guitar) joined and added a final element to complete the band’s sound evolution. RMR had its most notable year yet in 2022 with performances that included Cheyenne Mtn Zoo’s Moonlight on the Mountain and Tails & Tunes events, the Mountain of the Sun festival in Woodland Park, a return to the Gunnison Arts Center, the Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival and performing for the Beulah Valley Arts Council.
Throughout 2022, RMR has been self-recording their debut full length album, which is expected to be released in Spring 2023. RMR will also make its debut at the Meadowgrass music festival in Black Forest, CO.