Reign of The Rinaldis
By: Katei Cranford
The Rinaldis will celebrate their new album “Rain In The Face” with a free show on Thursday at Studio 503 in Greensboro with Ryan Downing opening.
The Rinaldis are not a Ramones situation: they’re a literal family band. At its core are a trio of siblings including Stacey, who sings (and spoke for the interview) with Joseph and Robert on guitar and bass.
They’ve spent a few years cementing what it means to be both sibling and bandmate. They’re not an Osmonds sort of band. They grew-up independently and came together as a band in adulthood.
“Some people are maybe born natural performers,” Stacey Rinaldi said. “But most of us go through a lot of awkward growing pains and terrible haircuts and cringe-worthy wardrobe choices.”
Their second album sees the family exiting that awkward stage, honing focus from their days as “the Flying Circus.”
“We seem to be morphing more into our true selves,” she added. “Nothing flashy or forced. Just The Rinaldis out here doing Rinaldi things.”
Those “Rinaldi things” for Stacey carry influences from Ella Fitzgerald and Patsy Cline. Her smoky vocals lend their tastes to classics such as Tom Waits and newer rockers Parquet Courts.
“We like weird people,” she said, “Some of our favorite bangers are by Hall & Oates, Jackie Wilson, Talking Heads, and LCD Soundsystem.”
Spicing things up is new drummer, Chris Vargas. “He’s a great fit for us,” Stacey noted. “He brings a new energy and somehow puts up with all the Rinaldi. We’re excited to see how we evolve together.”
“Rain In The Face” features even more of the Rinaldi clan, their dad appears on a few tracks, as does a horn section from folks in Corporate Fandango and Harrison Ford Mustang. Even more special guests are slated for the show.
“I’m just so proud of how it all came together,” she said regarding the record and release.
“This new album still carries pieces of our first album, but also leads us in a new direction,” Stacey explained. “It’s very much rock and soul whereas Old Hat had a little pop-rock here and a little folk-rock there. It’s a fitting sophomore album.”
With a few years under their belt as a band, The Rinaldis carry their development from the record to the stage.
“I think we’re moving more and having more fun during shows,” she said. “It’s truly a journey of learning self-confidence, letting go and being brave and trying new things.”
And on that journey, tensions naturally arise. “We’ve definitely become a lot more patient with each other,” Stacey said of the band’s interpersonal progress. It’s still, after all, a family affair. ”At some point, you just realize: we love each other, and we’re all here just trying to make this awesome thing together.”
In both families and bands, siblings have their roles to play. ”You can’t just show up and play and crush beers when that work needs to be done,” she said. “Joe has taken on a lot of the administrative demands in our band.”
Organizing does seem to be her brother’s bag. Joseph was the driving force behind their Jabberwalk concert series and continues to run “Bang Night” on Mondays at M’Coul’s Public House, where he’s often joined by Ryan Downing, who will open-up the release show.
“Ryan is a rare, beautiful butterfly that somehow fluttered his way into our clogged hearts,” Stacey beamed. “He’s constantly creating weird, unsettling art and he looks fantastic in a wig. We don’t know his plans for Thursday, but we can’t wait.”
As for the upcoming show space, “we heard about Studio 503 from some friends that have recorded there, and thought it’d be perfect for a big album party,” she said. “I love being on the ground with the crowd. The energy is just so in your face; you can’t help but all groove together.“
As for the future, “We’re gonna keep grinding and try to get it out to as many people as we can,” Stacey said.” I keep trying to tag Sheetz and PBR in our posts; they’re our dream sponsors.”
Beyond that, the band expresses gratitude for those who’ve got them this far. “Thank you to our supporters,” she said, ”especially anyone who’s contributed to make this new album a reality. We love you guys!”
Katei Cranford is a Triad music nerd who sends love to all the music families out there—especially to her boogie-woogie grams, Thelma Lamb. She also hosts a radio show, the Tuesday Tour Report, on WUAG 103.1fm.
The Rinaldis extend that love to anyone who wants to come to their free album release on Thursday at Studio 503 (503 E. Washington St.) in Greensboro.