Arts & Entertainment

Battle-tested by industry, Mark Watrous returns home for solo show at Red Room

Many have heard of the rise and fall of one of the Tri-Cities' most talked about bands. In the early 2000s Loudermilk had a deal with Dreamworks, were dropped, rose from the ashes as Gosling and signed with V2. Then that label went belly-up.

But this case of the disappearing record label provided Mark Watrous, a founding member of the band, a valuable lesson: The days of riding the wave of music to fame and fortune were over.

"We got a pretty modest advance and the second advance was even more modest," Watrous said on the phone from his Manhattan apartment. "But we got to watch the industry die. And we knew things were changing back to the way they should be ... artists making art because they want to."

Watrous is now on his own and will be coming back home for a show Feb. 12 at The Red Room in Kennewick. Davey Ingersoll, former Gosling lead singer, will back him up on bass. It will be the first time the two have played together in more than three years, making it a mini reunion of sorts. And while Watrous said he'd prefer not to play any old Gosling/Loudermilk songs without bandmates Isaac Carpenter and Shane Middleton there, he wouldn't rule it out.

The break-up of the band came after a realization that the foursome had given up 12 years of their young lives to hear the talk of "you're going to be huge" and "sure-fire success" only to sign on the dotted line and then have to start over again.

"It was taking up so much of our time and effort that we decided to take a step back and work on our own personal growth," Watrous said.

That sent Watrous off to New York to play with Brendan Benson and Jack White in the Raconteurs (He's now on tour with Benson). Davey Ingersoll is now back in Kennewick taking over management of The Red Room. Isaac Carpenter is doing studio work in Los Angeles and playing in a project with Duff McKagan of Guns 'n' Roses and Velvet Revolver. Middleton also is in L.A. and owns a hair-cutting business and clothing line.

Though Watrous learned the business the hard way, it never soured his feelings for Gosling.

"There's been talk of a reunion," Watrous said. "I think it's inevitable that we'll all do something together again in the future."

Seattle's The Globes (who were recently signed to Barsuk Records) and Pablo Trucker also will be playing at the show. It starts at 8 p.m. at The Red Room, 711 Vineyard Drive, Kennewick. For tickets, go to http://redrm.net.

*Jeremy Dutton: 582-1525; jdutton@tricityherald.com

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