Today’s Colorado roots music scene with Americana saturated revivals has some disruption this week with the arrival of the Ragbirds. They lean into older traditions from around the world without sounding ragged at all. Erin Zindle’s voice runs from full-bodied calls to harmonic indie rocking. The band drives down backroads of style from Romani and Flamenco to Afrobeat and Cajun party music. They pay tribute to explorers like Peter Gabriel and Paul Simon, but manage a more integrated mix, like a single bloodline. There is no jamband song-salad here. Their ranginess is crafted and intentional, and the production is fully reverent and professional. The music is in service of the story. “I think it’s our percussive complexity and rock-n-roll edge that makes us stand out from what is generally referred to as “Americana” music. It’s high-energy folk rock at the heart of it but the music is inspired by sounds from all over the world.” explains Zindle.
It makes sense that their new album burns with energy the whole way through and feels like a single feature film from beginning to end. Says theragbirds.com, “Zindle’s conceptual storyline for the album — a make-believe tale of two lovers who meet, fall in love and spend the next 20 years dealing with the joys and struggles that come with any long-term relationship — turn The Threshold & The Hearth into a universal album that appeals to anyone looking to forge a home out of the chaos of everyday life.” The album brought in one of the industry’s best producers in Jamie Candiloro, who has worked with REM, Willie Nelson and Ryan Adams.
With drum kit, congas and bass behind a toolbox of electric and acoustic instruments for founders and partners Zindle and Randall Moore to choose from, the live Ragbirds show is a special occasion. “I am so happy playing with this group of guys every night, ” said Zindle. “We are so connected and truly respect each other. I feel like we are all growing in leaps and bounds.” The Ragbirds have completed several backbreakingly paced tours around the country and indeed the world, picking up critical acclaim in Nashville and Knoxville; home in Ann Arbor and abroad in Osaka, Japan where they are proud of having the song “Book of Matches” reach #1 on the pop chart. “We play in cities of all sizes all across the country,” Zindle replied when I asked her if they were excited to play small town Salida. “We have had the best nights in places that barely make it on the map.”
Clark Roberts scores another band with broad appeal for less than a song (16$) right here in Salida. They will fill the Steamplant on Friday, February 17 at 7 PM with Chris Nasca opening.