Making Good Music with Cold Sweat
● By Jon Lewis
With the BandNovember 2014
By Jon Lewis
Photos: Kara Stewart
The five guys knew each other in the way musicians in a smallish town do. They had
either heard one another play somewhere along the way, or they had heard of one or the other. It
was only a matter of time before the five atoms met and bonded into a rock ‘n’ roll molecule.
The Redding Moose Lodge, which at the time was hosting the Jefferson State Blues Society’s
weekly jams, served as the catalyst. The stars aligned, the guitars, drums and keyboards came
together, and Cold Sweat was formed.
Lead guitarist Andres Acuña, who had returned to his native Redding after stints in San Diego
and Los Angeles and was looking for opportunities to play, was the principal instigator. Kim
Norden (who would later become Acuña’s wife) was a performer and instructor at Trish Harris’
studio in Redding, and she put him in touch with keyboardist Cleveland Bonéy.
Bonéy, who says he was “making my rounds” when he landed a gig as the pianist for the local production “Footloose,” quickly became a member of Acuña’s previous band, the Vatos.
The two then met bassist Josh Sandbloom and welcomed him into the band. The Vatos disbanded when Acuña and his wife moved to San Diego in 2012. In his absence, Bonéy befriended vocalist Tiffany Crittenden, who mentioned another singer by the name of Eddie Sadler.
When Acuña returned, he and Bonéy ventured out to the Moose Lodge blues jam and heard Sadler sing. Sadler, who had been in Redding for two years, knew of Acuña through Facebook but had not met him in person. The two met at the Moose, exchanged pleasantries, and Cold Sweat had found its lead singer.
“They were looking for another guy and it just clicked,” says Sadler. “It really worked out. It was magic, really.”
Eustaquio “Gino” Molina, a veteran drummer and trumpet player whose career as a recruiter for the Marines brought him to Redding in 2006, also met Acuña and Bonéy at the Moose jam and soon drummed his way into the band.
“I’d known Josh from other bands, and I had heard about Cleveland and Andres. We all knew each other. We’re all very tight now. This is pretty much the most comfortable thing I’ve ever played in,” Molina says. Bonéy quickly seconds the drummer’s assessment. “We had all these
cool cats who could play their (butts) off, who had never played together. All of us knew each other from these different things. We came together and wow. These guys … we’re friends for life. These guys are like family to me. We all make really, really good music together, which is a huge bonus. I’m so stoked to be a part of this.”
Acuña enjoys the comfort level that comes from playing in his home town, especially compared with the music scene in Los Angeles, which can be a tad intimidating. “Down there it was harder. It felt like you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting a musician who plays five different instruments and sings in five octaves.”
On the flip side, however, is the lack of opportunities to perform. “There are not as many places to play. It’s harder to get out and play during the week,” Acuña says.
“There’s a lot of great music, but not a lot of venues for whatever reason. It’s hard for a bar to keep its doors open,” says Sadler, who works at the Cascade Theatre as a lighting designer.
Despite the challenging environment, Cold Sweat is marching on. The band recorded an EP, “After Hours Sessions Vol. I,” and had the distinction of opening for Los Lonely Boys at the Cascade Theatre.
To help keep Redding’s music scene flourishing, Cold Sweat members are happy to sit in and host weekly jam sessions at Kelly’s Pub and Brick’s Smokehouse. “We’re a blues-based rock band, but we’ve had singer-songwriters, country music, jazz—we open it up to anybody,” Acuña says.