Not your typical band

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By Kirsten Laskey

The story behind this particular band just does not seem to be the norm. There is something fantastical and out-of-this-world about Igor and the Red Elvises.

The band made its start as a Russian group playing “Siberian Surf Rock,” according to the band’s Web site.

The Web site reports that Igor Yuzov, the singer, songwriter and guitarist, grew up in the former Soviet Union, where folk music reigned and rock n’ roll was illegal. Yuzov defied convention and sought out forbidden records.

Ultimately, he and his band, Limpopo arrived in America where they were personally greeted by then-President Ronald Reagan and won Ed McMahon’s Star Search.

The Red Elvises was the result of Yuzov dreaming that Elvis Presley appeared to him and instructed the musician to perform rock n’ roll.

Los Alamos can see the fruits of this dream starting at 7 p.m. Friday at Overlook Park.

The Red Elvises will kick off the Summer Concert Series  as well as the Los Alamos Arts Council’s Kite Festival.

This is not the first time the band of Russians have made an appearance in the show.

“The Red Elvises have played here a number of times now,” Concert Organizer Russ Gordon said. “They are great entertainers, fun, exciting … they’re a whole lot of fun.”

Yuzov said they are also excited to return to Los Alamos. He said they look forward to “The great crowd, great response.”

Yuzov said it feels like everyone owns a science degree, which reminds him of a city in his home country.

Another plus, Yuzov said, is working with Gordon. “He’s quite the character. He’s another reason why we go there.”

Igor and the Red Elvises is not the only band to come to town this summer.

A rich array of musicians will be coming in to entertain Los Alamos on Friday evenings.

“I am excited about every single show,” Gordon said. “I am very excited.”

Other performers include the Eric Sardinas Band, the Boulder Acoustic Society, Old Blind Dogs, the Peter Case Band and many others.

For the performers who are new to the series, Gordon said Los Alamos is in for a treat.

“The people who are regulars to the concert series are going to love these new acts and I kind of find it a challenge to make sure these shows are really good quality. And as far I‘m concerned, these are some of the best acts in the business,” he said.

Despite some new faces in the series, some familiar ones will be spotted on the stage as well.

Gordon said people enjoy the bands that return continuously. They like to hear acts and music they are familiar with.

Although the bands are what make the shows, these concerts would not occur without local sponsors.

“It’s a benefit if they’re a business, they get recognition in town for being a sponsor,”  Gordon said.  

Sponsors gain recognition by being mentioned at the concerts as well as noted in ads and banners. I

t’s also a real plus, he said, if business owners are music fans.

“They like to have a good party,” Gordon said. “And it also supports the town. It helps supports business … it’s something I hope brings the town together. It’s good business to support your community.”