...and so much more !!

Rio Neon has played our unique  blend of distinctly American music for over 10 years.  We’re rooted in the American folk and string band traditions:  two guitars that bring distinct voices; mandolin and ukulele to add high notes, melody and accents; a bass that doesn’t just maintain rhythm or play the roots of chords, but becomes an integral part of the melody and solos as well; percussion to add rhythmic support, and more importantly color and spice.  Add three lead singers with distinct vocal colors and a wonderful ability to combine for harmonies that go well beyond simple chords.    The arrangements are tight and tasty, and always fun! 

Original songs and arrangements of other artists’ works make up our shows.  From local songwriters like Guy Pernetti to icons like Bob Dylan, from the vocal jazz catalog of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross to traditional folk and jug band tunes, the band has “Rio Neon-ized” songs to place our own stamp on well-known standards and obscure gems.   We call our music “folkjazz”,  all of the members are rooted in these two American traditions.  Folk, swing, Celtic, jug band, gospel, old time string band and an undercurrent of good old rock and roll, that’s Rio Neon.

This is what others say about Rio Neon

About our 2012 CD, Coffee Love:

Bob Burford, Kent Patch, December 1, 2012:

“Rio Neon’s music incorporates elements of country, folk, swing, jazz and bluegrass.”

“The band simply refers to its sound as “folk jazz,” and that’s an apt moniker. The CD’s 12 tracks feature a number of complex and challenging harmonies, which they navigate quite well.”

“Coffee Love also includes a couple of bonus tracks, or “seasonal beverages” as the band refers to them. North Pole Jamboree, which was first heard on WKSU’s Ornaments and Icing program in 2006, is an up tempo swing number, and all of the vocalists take turns on A Kiss for New Year’s Eve, a fun plea to Santa for some holiday romance.”

“Coffee Love is a fine representation of Rio Neon’s music – distinctly American and rooted in folk and string band traditions.”

About our CD – Midnight Surprise

Peter Chakerian, Cool Cleveland

December 13, 2006

“On its swinging business card that accompanied Midnight Surprise, the four-piece folk-jazz outfit Rio Neon bills itself as "A unique band featuring swing and traditional music." Fact is, this local group's sound is like something straight outta Lake Wobegon and "A Prairie Home Companion". Eat your heart out, Garrison Keillor. Note to Keillor: book these guys for the show the next time you're in Cleveland.”

About our show

Jay Minkin, Mimi Vanderhaven,

January 14, 2008

“Their sound will take you back in time with the flavor of Tin Pan Alley, ragtime, early jazz and swing, and a touch of ‘60s Peter, Paul and Mary harmonies.  Along with Red on guitar and Sally on ukulele and percussion, the band consist of some exceptional craftsmen including former Boulder Junction employee Roger Phillips playing guitar and mandolin, and Bob Smith handling the bass guitar.”

Sunday, July 23

6 - 8 PM

Look About Lodge

37374 Miles Rd

Bentleyville, OH 44022

(440) 247-7075


No cover charge

Sunday August 6

12 - 2 PM

Kent Lions Club Sweet Corn Festival

Beckwith Orchards

Kent, OH 44240

(330) 673-6433



Monday, September 7

6:30 - 8 PM

Taste of Hudson

Stage TBD

First & Main

Hudson, OH 44236


No cover charge