Rednex song honors Carson City Deputy Carl Howell

Still photo of the Rednex's "Wish You Were Here" music video, repurposed for fallen Carson City Deputy Carl Howell.

Still photo of the Rednex's "Wish You Were Here" music video, repurposed for fallen Carson City Deputy Carl Howell.

As a way to honor fallen Carson City Sheriff’s Deputy Carl Howell, the internationally acclaimed band Rednex have released a song dedicated to the deputy.

The Swedish band, known for hits such as “Cotton Eye Joe,” reproduced their song “Wish You Were Here” specially to perform at the Carl Howell Memorial Music Festival on Aug. 19.

“(Organizer Don Alexander) explained the event and about Howell and thought the song was appropriate for the situation,” said Rednex producer Pat “Ranis” Reiniz.

Howell was killed in the line of duty Aug. 15, 2015 while responding to a domestic violence call. The music festival was created to honor Howell and raise money for his children.

“I’m excited about the event, because its a very special and (unique) festival,” said Rednex singer Misty Mae. “I have never performed in such a festival like this before, and I think it’s a very good thing to have a festival to honor someone.”

Reiniz said they didn’t originally interpret Wish You Were Here as a melancholy tune, however, Alexander perceived it a different way.

“That was a new angle for us, but we thought it made sense and if we made it in a good way, it would be a nice and meaningful use of the song,” Reiniz said.

In addition to the reproduction, the band also created a new music video for the song. The video features Mae, that previews the band as well as pictures of Howell’s life, his family and funeral.

“It is more acoustic this version and when we made the music video we wanted it to be simple and intimate because it is about grief and persons mourning,” Reiniz said. “It is a very serious subject… and we wanted it to be an homage or a memorial display of Carl.”

For the band, the reproduction is a much different angle than what they usually produce.

“We are excited but nervous (to perform it) because it isn’t something we’ve done before, touching this kind of seriousness,” Reiniz said. “It is much heavier than anything we’ve done.”

“I think it’s a great song and I hope that the people who listen to it will like what they hear and also because it’s dedicated to Carl’s family it’s even more meaningful,” Mae added.

But that isn’t the only unique feature of the Wish You Were Here reproduction. Rednex isn’t doing a mass release of the music video, instead they are keeping it private to everyone except Northern Nevada until after the festival.

“We wanted to do this because we wanted to get attention with the video and want to feel like we have a fair amount of local support so we wanted to just share it with Nevada until after,” Reiniz said. “Not even Rednex fans know about this video so it is a new angle to approach the public because usually you want everyone to see it but considering the content we wanted only the people with this experience to see it.”

The music festival will be the band’s first appearance in the United States since their founding in 1994.

“Cotton Eye Joe was a big hit and we have a presence in the U.S., so we wonder why we never go there?” Reiniz said. “It is close to our heart and its been puzzling us so when the chance came, we did everything in our way to make it.”

The music festival is honoring Howell, who was killed in the line of duty Aug. 18, 2015. Alexander created the Last Response Memorial Fund to put on the Carl Howell Memorial Music Festival and all of the proceeds from the festival will go towards a trust for Howell’s three children.

Tickets for the festival are $20 and a special VIP dinner will be held Aug. 18 and tickets are $100.


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