Bert Ingram was once a successful rep in the music industry who, through his own self-torture, loses it all, his career, his family and his contacts. One day he is living the good life, the next he's wearing clothes from the garbage and sleeping on a heat vent in some run-down neighbourhood.
One afternoon, while working the subways for his next meal, he happens upon a blind guitar player, named Abe, singing some Motown and Bert has an inspirational epiphany. He is going to put together a band that comes from the soul of the streets. After approaching Abe, and being rebuffed several times, he finally succeeds in getting some interest out of the old-timer who shares with Bert the name of an exceptional saxophone player. Taking the tip, Bert heads off on his quest for the ultimate band, his instincts are ticking again and he knows he is on the correct path this time. Taking one last swig of his bottle of liquor, he throws it into the river and embraces the future.
Charlie is a great saxophone player and after hearing Bert's pitch, joins on and becomes Bert's sidekick and advisor and together the two ride the subway rails in search of America's next stars. After months of searching they are growing frustrated with the raw sound and energy they are hunting for, while they have a few potentials, they aren't exactly what they require for their 'street thump' sound.
Dave Hollaway is going through a mid-life crisis, his dreams of being a great concert pianist are over, and he is deluded on his path in life. When he meets Bert and Charlie he is against the idea but soon warms up and joins the group. Next on board is Bongo Joe, a young lad with the dream but not the drive, who just needs the right people to believe in him to make his drums pump out the rhythm they were meant to. Ethan, the uptight university student, who believes he is better than everyone in the group plays lead guitar. Gene is a retired background musician living in a retirement home, Bert remembers working with him in the past and recruits him for his mean bass playing ability.
With everyone in place, the group begin to practice. Dave is great at writing music, Ethan has a way with words and everyone plays horribly together. Each member playing his own thing without thinking about the whole, and its up to Bert to find a way to bring them all together, to be the band he knows in his heart they are destined to be. Will he succeed in bringing this motley crew of redeemers together and making the big time or will all he succeed in is driving himself further into oblivion where there is no hope for rescue. This is Bert's one last shot to make it out alive and he's giving it all he's got!
This was a really good read, the characters were all enticing and believable. I thought their personalities to be endearing and loveable, even Ethan with his snobbish attitude, you just know underneath his demeanor is someone waiting to be loved and appreciated. I loved the back stories regarding each character and the choices in life they made in which they found themselves a part of "The Redeemers".
Quite truthfully, I would love to see this book made into a movie, it has a feel good attitude about it that makes you feel inspired to reach for your dreams, even as remote as they may seem in the beginning. I'm thinking there is enough character insight and plot to give this a cinematic affect bringing to life the people upon the pages and the message they are trying to convey.
Bert's tenacity to stick to the situation, even when he falters, was inspirational to read. I thought the whole story was a well-written with many engaging aspects that kept your turning the pages. I'm definitely recommending this to anyone who asks if I've read anything good lately because of the feel good message it instills upon you.
"Ladies and Gentlemen…The Redeemers" tells the story of Bert Ingram, once a successful rep in the music industry, who has lost his way. Desperate for redemption, the perpetual dreamer decides to put together a band, recruiting musicians who have only one thing in common: the need to overcome a significant obstacle in their lives. The volatile mix of the musicians' personalities and backgrounds threatens to derail the band at every opportunity, but in time, the Redeemers begin to realize they have more to gain from one another than they ever could have imagined.
** Disclosure: I did not accept any compensation from the sponsors other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by me..as I see it~!! **